#79 A Passion And Joy For Heaven


Photo by Trevor Rapp

It’s 12:50 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Tears are streaming down my face and thoughts are rushing through my head. Seventeen days ago my dad died unexpectedly. He had major health problems but he was the definition of a warrior, and death was never an option. But on a normal day, like today, he left this earth to be with Jesus. 

Even now, 17 days later, it doesn’t feel real. I’ve never felt such strong emotions about anything before. I don’t know how to act and I don’t know what to think. But I want to tell you one thing—this is just the beginning of my story. 

Over the past year, God was preparing me for this life-shattering moment. At the time, I had no idea. Last semester, I led a small group through a book called Through the Eyes of a Lion—a book written by a man who lost his five-year-old daughter to an asthma attack while she was helplessly lying in his arms. The author explains that pain for a believer is a microphone to those without Jesus. It’s all fun and games until you have to love Jesus even when you can’t find the strength to get out of bed in the morning. People outside of faith begin to watch you as you struggle through heartbreak, in whatever form it may take. They think, “There is no way she will still love Jesus after that.” That’s the funny part; that’s the punchline. The pain doesn’t diminish, my heart still aches, I still cry all the time—but God. But God makes it possible. 

I have suffered a lot of pain, even prior to my dad’s death. I lost my 15-year-old cousin in 2012 to a freak drowning accident. I share these things not expecting a pity party, but for you to see that Jesus really does change everything. I can say that with confidence and I would share that with anyone. It is an honor to be trusted with pain, for God is near to the brokenhearted. The world will tell you that your story is over, but I promise you, this is just my second wind, and it’s going to take endurance. 

Since my dad passed, God has instilled in me a passion and a joy for Heaven! Not just for myself, but for others. I do not want anyone that I come in contact with to not know or see the reflection of Jesus—because if they don’t, everything I have said is inapplicable. If you are going through pain, do not rob yourself of grieving. We are all human. But also, please do not disqualify yourself from Heaven. God lost his only Son so that you and I would have the hope of the same reunion Jesus experienced as He returned home to the Father. There is a confidence in my heart that I will see my dad again because of the Father’s promises. 

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

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