Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodbye For Now

No, I'm not leaving.  Just pondering a few things that God is teaching me regarding our temporary separation from Chrissie.  He is showing me a different way to look at death, separation, Heaven, and everything in between.  I am grateful for the books He has set before me to help teach me the things He so desperately wants me to know.  I've mentioned Have Heart numerous times as my favorite source of healing, encouragement, hope, inspiration, and Truth as I'm learning to walk through life without Chrissie.  If you are looking for grief resources, I strongly recommend you visit the Have Heart store to order everything in it! :-)  I just finished a wonderful book called My Dream of Heaven by Rebecca Ruter Springer, which is the story of Rebecca's visit to Heaven in the 19th century, before the fads of many of our recent near-death experience books.  It's a WONDERFUL book that made me feel like I got to visit Chrissie in Heaven, an experience I cannot really explain, but God has used this book (along with Have Heart) to really help me feel connected to Chrissie in Heaven, to feel like I just got to visit her in her new home.

And that is why I've entitled this post, "Goodbye For Now". 

When we visit a friend's home, as we leave, we hug them and tell them goodbye.  We thank them for allowing us to visit, but we usually don't leave in tears of grief and distress.  That's because we know that we will visit them again.  The time between visits will be dependent upon circumstances and proximity and life, but we will assuredly visit our friends again.  It is not a forever goodbye, just a goodbye for now.  A temporary separation.

Chrissie has only been temporarily separated from us.  She has moved to a new Home, a Home which we can only dream of living in.  A Home so glorious that we cannot even fathom a single detail of its glory. 

At this time of year, many moms are kissing their little ones goodbye as they enter kindergarten for the very first time.  Other parents are hugging their children and hollering goodbye as they run out the door to catch the school bus.  Teenagers shout a quick goodbye as they drive themselves to school.  College students move into their dorms and begin a new season of life, farther away from home and much more independent.  A young adult takes an overseas mission trip, saying goodbye for now to his friends and family.  A newlywed couple marries and moves into a home of their own for yet another season of life, separated from their parents for an even longer period of time, but knowing that they will visit soon enough.

All of these goodbyes are only a temporary separation.  A goodbye for now.  We celebrate kindergarten, graduation, mission trips, college, a new home, a new family.  We do not grieve these milestones as losses, but as achievements.  We do not feel uneasy asking our friends how their child is doing in Kindergarten.  We do not withhold our questions regarding how our loved ones are doing with college life, mission trips, new marriages, new homes, new seasons of life.

So why should we shy away from visiting with our family and friends who have children/loved ones who have gone to Heaven?   This is a new season of life with much to be celebrated.  Why do people fumble over what to say or not say?  Look at this season of life as another milestone, a season to be celebrated as the Ultimate Achievement.  We, too, will see Chrissie again, but the length of separation is longer than an 8-hour school day, longer than a mission trip, longer than between college semester breaks, longer than holiday visits from newly married couples.  It is a different type of temporary separation.  But it is still a goodbye for now.  We do not know the length of time we will be separated from Chrissie, but we must celebrate Chrissie's new Home.  She has gone to live in the most glorious of Homes. The Home of all Homes.  The Home that would blow every other home out of the greatest of great home tours.  A Home unlike any home we could ever fathom.  And what a glorious celebration this should be!

If Chrissie had remained on earth for a while longer, we would have joyfully celebrated every milestone that God allowed Chrissie to reach on earth.  And oh how glorious it would have been to see Chrissie grow up and get married and buy a home and raise a family.  But all that Chrissie is experiencing in Heaven is so much  more grand than any earthly milestone or accomplishment could ever be.  And so we should celebrate that Chrissie has moved to a new Home.  A Home that no one can buy.  A Home that no one can prepare for themselves.  A Home where everything is perfect, all of the time.  A Home where we will one day visit and be so privileged as to stay as eternal guests, as forever family, for all eternity.

Chrissie, while we wish that we hadn't been temporarily separated from you, we are so very grateful for the eternal life offered to us by Jesus Christ.  We are blessed beyond measure to know that you are Home with our Father living in His House, a place that none of us can even begin to fathom how glorious it is.  We are so grateful that we will one day get to visit you in your new House.  We are even more grateful that we will get to stay there with you forever, to spend eternity with you, Sweetheart.  We celebrate your new Home and cannot wait to come see you and the place where you have been living.  We cannot wait to hear about this mission trip God has called you to, the Home He has prepared for you, the new life He has created for you.  You are not missing out on anything here on earth because God is fulfilling all and more for you in Heaven.  We know this and we celebrate all of the milestones you have already reached at such a young age.  WOW, what a warrior princess you are and continue to be.

And so we say again with much joy, our precious angel, "Goodbye for now!"  We will see you in Heaven where we will live forever and ever and ever for all eternity.  How glorious!

MWWWAAAAAA!  Brownie batter smooches from Princess Chrissie!
Goodbye for now, Precious Angel.
We will see you soon!
PS  Eat all the brownie batter you want, Girlfriend, just save some for me! :-)

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