It has been 30 days now since my second born child Lenya stepped into eternity. Her last breath, which she took in my arms, was immediately followed by her first breath in the arms of her Savior and Creator Jesus Christ. Scripture promises nothing less than an instant transition to Heaven for the believer–to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In her final moment on the earth, like Stephen, she saw Jesus, at the right hand of the Father, standing to greet her as angels brought her into God’s presence. Her consciousness which was lost to us on the earth was transferred seamlessly into a place Jesus made specifically for her in His Father’s house where she is safe from harm and waiting for us to join her.
I believe every single letter and every single word of the paragraph I just wrote. Tears streamed down my face as I typed them out and I had to walk away from the computer before I could continue because I started to hyperventilate–I am trying to write about the single most traumatic and painful moments of my thirty years of life after-all. But I believe what I said with all my heart. Thirty days ago, for Lenya, life was upgraded. She was brought to a place that is FAR better than the one she left. The last thirty days for her have been the best of her life. No doubt each day has been better than the one that came before it. She is in Paradise.
Our life, on the other hand, was downgraded. Life on this earth, which groans for redemption, is even more bitter without her. I have never longed for heaven more in my life. She is experiencing fullness of joy and pleasures evermore but we are being hard-pressed by grief and horrified by the prospect of living without her. Death is ugly. But it has been defeated. It’s still got a nasty bite but it’s venom has been removed, therefore we do not lose heart. We choose to look at all this not through just what we can see but what we know to be true. Not just by sight but by faith. I don’t have the strength to go through another thirty days of this, or thirty minutes for that matter. But God does. Lenya is with Him and He is with us, supplying us with strength we need and leading us in triumph. I choose to look at all of this and trust not what is temporary but what is eternal. Not what is in front of my eyes, but what is written in God’s Word.
I wish I could have heard her beautiful voice squeal for joy at the sight of that Land or watched the light of God’s glory illuminate her face for the first time. I wonder what it was like for her to taste a blackberry in that Country. Did she laugh that she ever could have thought one here was sweet? I will have to wait to find out. But she will be there waiting for us and leaping to greet me as I arrive at the distant shore she has already sailed to.