Thursday, September 8, 2011

Heaven is For Real

No I'm not going to get on my soap box and tell you all about my religion and how you should join our church in this post so before you quit reading hear me out. I just got done reading the book Heaven is For Real. It's simply amazing. I'm telling you that you need to read it. Not anything about when you have time, if you get around to it, I recommend it. You NEED to read it. I had heard about this book about 6 months ago and requested a copy of it from my local library. I'm still on the wait list. It is that popular. Luckily I gave the book to my friend for her birthday and she was nice enough to let me read it also.

The book is a quick and easy read for those of you who aren't so keen on reading books. A quick plot synopsis is it's in the father's point of view, who is a pastor, and he tells the story about his son, Colton, who becomes deathly ill and afterwards he starts telling them what he saw in heaven. It blew my mind away.

I think religion is a touchy subject in society and we tend to skirt around it to avoid hurting any one's feelings or stepping on any one's toes. Throughout my life religion has been a huge factor in my life and there has been several speed bumps along the way and I'm sure many more speed bumps to come. I grew up going to church every Sunday, dressing up in cute dresses and learning about God's word. My parents didn't go to the same church, but still went solo each Sunday to their own church. I'm in no way bad mouthing my parents in this post, but it was difficult as a child. I'm a very loyal person and I didn't want them to feel bad if I didn't go to their church. I started at my mom's church, switched to my dad's church and then finally landed back in my mom's church as I felt that's where I best fit in with my beliefs. I make this sound like a simple decision, but it wasn't. It tore me apart when I was younger. As a young child all you want to do is please you parents and I was no different. I ultimately knew I was letting my father down when I quit going to his church, but even at a young age I knew it was a decision I needed to make.

As I entered my young adult life and started dating and trying to find that "happily ever after" story with my perfect spouse religion was always a factor to me. I think many people put that on the back burner as they date and try to figure it out after marriage. I was in no way going to do that and promised myself that it would be a part of our relationship. God truly blessed me with my husband. He came from a strong Christian background and it ended up being what he believed was important also.

Funny story here and I have to tell you this. Our churches that we went to growing up were literally a block apart in a small rural town of 500 people and we didn't know each other! That's right no idea he existed until our blind date. My mom even had him in bible school when we were younger. Our churches were smaller so they combined classes. He was a year younger than me so we weren't in the same class. That's right I robbed the cradle!

Ok back to religion. My hubby and I knew we needed to find a church together and we both wanted it to be "our" church. Not his church. Not my church, but OUR church. So off we went on a journey together. We both knew what we wanted and discussed it. Luckily for us there was a new church forming and after we got married we started attending. Then we joined the church. Of course I miss my church, he misses his church, more I think we were comfortable in our churches and now we are pushing out christian boundaries. Comfort is not a reason to stay in a church. I'm happy we made the decision together and we have our church.

Talking with friends it seems like this is quite the problem in marriages and no one talks about it. No one realizes the couple sitting next to them every Sunday might just be struggling with the same issues. I always think of a teacher in school saying, "No question is a dumb question. Ask the question because if you have it a lot more people probably have it also." I think this is true in many instances in life and until you open up and talk no one else will. So here I am opening up about it....

We all doubt things or at least I assume we do in our faith. I know I do and I look at other people and they seem to have rock solid faith. I admire those people that don't seem to doubt God in hard times or question if He really is there for us. I'm a concrete person and I like to see what I believe. Unfortunately this isn't really possible with God. Sure we see him acting in amazing ways throughout our life, but every once in a while I think, "Is it for real? Is He really out there? Is there really a heaven? Or am I just believing because it seems to be the "right" thing to do and I'm going through the actions of what's deemed to be proper?"

I'm a christian like Thomas was. As Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." I want to be the christian that believes even though I have not seen. I'll be honest I struggle with this. 

This book opened up a whole new world for me. It showed me that it's ok to doubt and everyone does it or at least more people. The dad who is a pastor even doubted God throughout his son's illness. The little boy tells of amazing things that he saw in heaven. I promise that you will not regret reading this book. I don't want to tell you to much about what he sees in heaven or what he reveals because I think you need to read the whole yourself. Remember, it's short and simple and quick read.

Enough of me preaching, which I tried not do. This is simply my story and thoughts that have went through my mind, as my journey as a Christian has evolved. I hope somewhere out there my story will help someone.

No comments:

Post a Comment