I have to be honest...Before Hannah became a resident there, I really didn't think much about Heaven. Sure, I wanted to go there someday, but I didn't really know anybody there, other than my grandparents, and, of course, Jesus. And I looked forward to that day (distant, though it seemed, which was fine with me) because I knew it would be amazing to see Him..."I Can Only Imagine" and all that.
Well, now that Hannah is there, my feelings have changed greatly. I look forward every day to the moment I arrive there. I must admit, though, I am a little conflicted about something.
Would you think less of me if I told you that if Jesus is the first person I meet when I arrive, while He's hugging me, I'm going to be on my tiptoes peering over his shoulder looking for Hannah? It's just the truth.
Brad read a book last week on the beach in which a father said he hoped that his child was sitting on Jesus's lap when he got to Heaven, so he could see both of them at the same time. That would be pretty cool.
But Hannah was seventeen when she died, and I just can't really picture her sitting on Jesus's lap.
And that's not really how I think it's going to be when I arrive in Heaven anyway. Here's how I picture it. I have no theological basis for this whatsoever...these are just my thoughts.
If I were to go there today, I think that Hannah would be the first person I would see. As a matter of fact, for some reason, in my mind, I picture her grasping both of my hands and pulling me into Heaven from wherever I am. We would fall into each other's arms and laugh and cry and hold each other for a long, long time. When we had gotten our fill (it might take awhile), she would take me by the hand and together, we would greet all of our family members who were there....grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-great-great-etc. grandparents, and so on.
All of this would take place at a very leisurely pace...no need to hurry like we do every day in this life...we have all the time we could ever possibly need.
After visiting with all the family, next I would want to meet the children of all the bereaved parents we've talked to over the last few years. Most of them I never got to meet on earth, but their parents have become so precious to me, and their stories have been so amazing, I've just got to meet them. And since I have this idea in my head that everytime we meet a bereaved parent here on earth, Hannah meets their child(ren) in Heaven, she'll be able to introduce me to all of them.
After visiting with all of these amazing people, I would want to meet the Old Testament patriarchs...Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Moses, Noah, David, Solomon, etc. Can you imagine? And then the folks from the New Testament...Mary and Joseph, Anna, Simeon, the woman at the well, Lazarus, Mary & Martha, the disciples, Paul, Silas, Timothy...the list could go on and on! What a thought!
And by this time...by this time...at the point where my heart is about to burst with joy and gratitude and awe and wonder...my only desire would be to meet the One, the One who made all of this possible through His sacrifice. And my daughter, my daughter who is now so far superior to me in wisdom and grace, will ask me, "Are you ready?" I will be speechless, only able to nod my head in affirmation. And, still leading me by the hand, with the familiar ease of introducing me to a good friend, she will bring me to the throne of glory. And I will tremble uncontrollably, fall to my knees, worship the One who died for me, and then finally, finally my joy will be complete. Oh, glorious day!