post no. 327 -- heaven is for real

this morning on my way to work i finished the last few chapters of a book i have not really been able to put down since it was originally recommended to me. the book is called "heaven is for real" by todd burpo, and it's a christian pastor's account of his son's near death experience at only four years old, and the tales of heaven he recounted upon his recovery. now before you close the tab on your browser, here me out. i know what you're thinking. or at least might be thinking. or at least what i would have thought a couple of days ago before reading it. i thought yeah right.. a christian pastor's son... and there was no coaxing involved. would an atheist's kid have the same story to tell... pssh. but seriously. i was wrong. 

i downloaded the e-book to my nook friday afternoon after getting off work, and started reading the first chapter aloud to kris that evening. even from the prologue i had a feeling it was going to be a tear jerker. when i woke up saturday morning, with buzz still asleep in bed next to me, i propped myself up with some pillows and read on, hunched over my laptop like a kid disregarding what their mother says about sitting too close to the television. that's when the water works began. i sobbed, for about 30 minutes straight, in between gasps, and sniffles. something that doesn't usually happen unless it's that time of the month...

long story short i read it, and i hate to be cliche, but it changed my life. maybe not drastically in the sense that you won't see me on a street corner any time soon thumping my bible, but it got me interested. interested enough to start reading again. from the very beginning, word for word, reading my bible. interested enough to have faith.

like a lot of people i'm afraid of dying. i have been oh... since forever. i didn't ride upside down roller coasters until my senior of high school because i'd always heard the freak accident stories of them derailing. so even though i recited greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world when i walked alone in the dark at night, i don't think i acutally had the faith to back it up. i had gone to christian schools for half my life not understanding what it meant to actually trust in a great good and a higher plan, not just for me, but for the world.

it's hard to live, and walk by faith. i know i haven't for quite some time now. it's hard to trust, not just what you can't see, but sometimes even what you can. it's hard to give up control of your life, to accept that not only do you not always know what's best, but that the one who does might not always lay it out for you clear as day. but he will give you pieces, bits and pieces, to lead you and guide you and nudge you for as long as you will let him. you just have to let him. 

there's a reason god is called father. because in so many ways he reminds me of my dad. or i guess my dad reminds me of him? when i moved out and got married i took a big long break from school. i really didn't have that much of an interest in going back truthfully. but my dad wanted me to get back in class. so much so that it started getting annoying when every phone conversation revolved around what the progress report was for admissions into my local college. he finally stopped asking. not because he didn't care, or he was less interested in my education, but because he realized i had turned my back in a sense. remind you of anyone? it took me coming back on my own. filling out the paperwork, requesting acceptance, the works. as much as my dad knew it was right, knew how much better i'd be in the long run for getting a degree, he couldn't do it for me. i had to take the first step. just like i had to take the first step to come back to god.

the truth is he never stops caring. he never stops loving. even when you scream and yell and have hissy fits and swear at him under your breath. even when you feel you've messed up beyond belief, that you've done something you feel you can't forgive yourself for. the truth is he already has. 

maybe it took reading this book for me to realize that, or maybe just to give me a little more faith in what i've been blind to in the past. but either way i invite you to read it, and be open to letting it change you a little too.


  1. I grew up religious and never really got anything out of it so I haven't felt a sense or need to go back but I would be interested in reading the book.

    I doubt I'll ever really go back to religion but I'm always interested in other people's perspectives and I get why it people are drawn to it.

  2. I've been totally nervous about reading that book, but it looks so good and just reading your post totally makes me want to read it now.

  3. Oooh, sounds like a very interesting book! I think I may have to look for it :D I could use a life changing event in my life right about now.

  4. Agreed with Elizabeth. Thanks for the candid post. I know you'll touch a lot of hearts.

  5. I also loved this book. Your post is so true, and so honest. Thank you for writing it.

  6. i loved this book too! it was so cute and i had a few goosebumps reading it..

  7. I also could not put the book down until it was finished. For me it was a definite eye opener, an open door, a bright neon sign that said, "Hey, remember me. It's been a while, but I am still here."

    Loved reading your open, honest opinion on your past and current faith - thank you!


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