I Don’t Live There Anymore

Part VI

07/27/2006

You may wonder why I am starting off a new message with “Part VI.” Well, for those of you who have been my faithful readers all along this journey, you may remember a message back in December of 2004 entitled, “Leave.” It was a message that had five parts to it, starting with the word I received from God on that day, which was to “Leave” Colorado. (See dcshore.com, The Journey, Dec. 2004)

Jim and I were parked in Golden, Colorado during the month of November in 2004. It was cold, to say the least, and Jim worked a difficult job which required that he be out in the cold all day walking along underground gas lines, looking for leaks that could be potentially dangerous. If he found one, he was to report it and have it fixed, and then move on. Each day, Jim would get up early and head out… One morning, it registered six degrees in the truck. For two native-born Californians, that’s cold!!

The job was becoming increasingly dangerous because of the lack of proper clothing Jim wore, the patches of ice that he nearly slipped on daily, and the fact that our truck was not exactly four-wheel drive. Our truck is a medium-duty Freightliner that was not set up for snow and ice. We were parked at an elevation of about 5,000 feet, and from there Jim would drive up into the mountains and do his work, while I would remain at home in our RV, studying and writing and praying--until the day came when I was on my knees asking for an answer to our situation--and all I heard was, “Leave.” So we did. Within a few days, and with a call put in to Jim’s boss about the decision being made, we drove out of Golden, Colorado with no clear direction, except south to warmer weather, and no job, except to follow where the Lord led. It was definitely a step of faith!!

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.
It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

We could not see then what we can see now, as we are once again parked in Golden, Colorado! Wow, the view is amazing!! It is now 20 months later and a whole lot warmer, being July, and the journey we have been on has been challenging and interesting and more than we could have hoped for. So this morning, once again on my knees praying to God about how I can share all of this with all of you, the title to this message came…“I don’t live there anymore.” Interesting conclusion to, “Leave,” don’t you think?

So let’s begin…

When I heard those words, and when I write them here, “I don’t live there anymore,”--it’s not a location that I’m talking about, it’s an emotion. It’s a deep, dark valley of brokenness that once seemed to hold me captive at times…a journey through devastation that seemed to be without end…a loss that was unfathomable and a heart-wrenching pain that was beyond what words could express--and yet the words flowed out of my heart and onto the computer screen in volumes. Not only were hundreds of pages written about it, but also songs began to pour out of my heart to describe the journey through the valley of the shadow of death.

I wrote about it, I talked about it; I prayed about it, I cried about it, and little by little, slow-motion step by slow-motion step, the healing progressed and the pain eased. And now, almost five years later, “I don’t live there anymore.” That deep dark valley of grief is behind me, and I live in a land promised by God to His children--a land full of Hope and Joy and Peace like I’ve never experienced before. Without what I have written down throughout this journey, I would have lost many of the details of God’s great healing power, and many of the miracles of each step of the journey would have been forgotten. Not because they were not appreciated, but because of our human nature to forget so quickly the goodness of God--just as the Israelites did in their forty years of wanderings through the desert. That is to say, Moses went up on the mountain for forty days to talk with God and by the time he came back down, the Israelites were building a golden calf to worship, instead of the One True God…and Aaron was helping them!! If they could forget the parting of the Red Sea so quickly, should we be surprised how soon we forget the miracles of God in our own lives?

I am so grateful for having a record of my own journey, and I use it sometimes so I don’t forget the goodness of God along the way. I also use it to “go there” when I need to be reminded of the pain another is feeling at their own loss, perhaps of their own child. Just because “I don’t live there anymore,” doesn’t mean others don’t. Some are right in the middle of a pain so great it can’t be expressed, and I need to go back and be reminded--not so that I can wallow in the misery with them, but so that I can walk alongside them in the dark valley, with the “flashlight” I found on my own journey, and help them not to get stuck in the muck and mire along the way.

What I have written in the last five-plus years could not be written now by me. Since “I don’t live there anymore,” it has faded into the background of my memory, of my emotions, and where “I live now” is very different. I believe God had a great purpose in all of those writings, and I continue to build on those experiences and lessons today as I continue to write of the new journeys He is talking us on--as in returning to Golden, Colorado this July. I look for God in all of it, aware that nothing is by accident…I no longer believe in coincidence or luck…I believe the hand of God is on all things and we will feel His touch if we will pay attention.

Upon returning to Golden, just outside of Denver, I wanted to pay attention. I knew there was something here to be learned. It was not merely a coincidence that we have returned to this very spot we left in the cold of winter.

For a quick recap, after leaving here in ‘04, we headed south and spent eight months in Southern California, making a CD about the journey through brokenness and beyond with my brother, Rick. When all those songs that God had given me the words to, and my brother Rick the music to, and been recorded, Jim and I then returned to the Bay Area for “further instructions.” We remained in the Bay Area for almost a year. For almost one full year, the wheels on our RV never moved an inch from the place where we were parked in Castro Valley, on the property of friends. We talked and prayed many times as to whether we were to give up our RV and move into something more permanent. If we weren’t going to move, there seemed to be no need for living on wheels.

During that time in the Bay Area, Jim would often say, “There is a fine line between being unemployed and self-employed.” Jim worked hard on learning web-site design and I went back to my part-time job at our church, since the position became available right as we pulled into town. It was a challenging year for us, to say the least. We not only learned about God’s provisions, we also learned how to trust God when those provisions seemed to disappear…

When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy.
You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity.
Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter
what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient
endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will.
Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Hebrews 10:34b-36 (NLT)

All the latest blessings...
Jackson with his Bedstefar Kylie in her stroller at the beach Denell, Oma & Jackson

It was a year of patient endurance, but not one without great blessings. We received two new grandchildren into our family, and enjoyed the time we were able to spend with family and friends, also making new friends along the way. It was a time of wondering also…what were God’s plans for the CD we had made, and where were we to go now, and what exactly were we to do? It was not clear…

Just in talking with Jim the other day about all of this, one thing became very clear; our time in Southern California, recording words and music about the journey through brokenness and beyond, was done during a season in our lives that we cannot go back and repeat. To put it quite simply, “I don’t live there anymore.” If we had been disobedient in “leaving” Colorado in December of 2004, in taking that step of faith to use the godly wisdom we had been given in our situation and heading south out of the freezing cold weather, ending up in Chino with my brother and his family, we would have missed the opportunity of putting to music a very important part of this journey. To attempt that now--to simply say, “Let’s go do that,” would not be possible. It would not be God-ordained, but rather man-ordained, and it would be lacking what can only be captured in certain seasons of life. Was it easy? No! Are we grateful for the opportunity to have done it and now having a tool that can be shared with others on the same journey? Absolutely! Without question!

Which brings us to Golden, Colorado on a warm summer day here in July of 2006. There are no pipes breaking due to freezing conditions and no trucks rusting due to road grime from slippery conditions. We return here for a short stint with Jim’s new job, a better job repairing ATM machines, and with a glimpse of what dividends evolve out of seasons of patient endurance in our lives.

As we were driving here on a four-day journey, still based in the Bay Area, we were excited to be on the road again! As we prayed each morning for safe travels and God’s direction, the journey was not without its bumps in the road, but God was overseeing each one of them. For example, there was the day when I had been out in front of Jim, driving his company vehicle, for many, many miles. He was bringing up the rear in our medium-duty Freightliner and our 20,000-pound home behind it. For reasons only God knew about, I started to slow down and let Jim catch up with me, and when he saw me, he thought I wanted him to pass, so he pulled out to go around me…as he did, I noticed that a tire on our triple-axle fifth wheel was in the process of shredding…you’ve seen those big pieces of tire on the sides of the road from truckers that have the same things happen! Because of the triple axles, you can’t feel this when driving the truck, and if it is not caught in time, it can heat up and possibly catch the entire trailer on fire! I quickly motioned to Jim that there was a problem, he pulled over, and we put the spare on, with the help of a kind highway patrol officer who stopped to help. Being that we were out in the middle of Nevada, we questioned him as to the next exit. It was about eight miles up the road in Wells, Nevada, population about…100? Just a guess. What could possibly be in Wells? We were soon to find out. Not only were there two Flying J’s, the place were we as well as truckers get our diesel fuel, there was also a Les Schwab Tire place which kindly gave us a free spare for our trailer and found on their computer, where the nearest Les Schwab Tire store was located that carried the exact type of tire required for our trailer. Bumps in the road? Yes? God’s protection along the way? Without a doubt!

God's Holy Hill Also in praying for safe travels and God’s protection, Jim threw in a quick prayer that when we arrived here in Golden, “Diane would have a mountain to look at to be inspired by.” You may laugh, but God wasn’t! As we pulled into the RV park here, we were ushered to a spot where our back window looks out on what I call, “God’s Holy Hill.” Of all the places we could have been assigned to here, we are in one of the few spots where instead of looking out at other RV’s, we look out at a small, rocky hill which includes some tables and benches set upon it to go and sit…and be inspired! God is good all the time!

And what do I see as I sit up on this hill…just across the road…I see an RV park that is not quite as nice, shall we say, as this one? I see the very spot we were parked in when we were told to “Leave” in December of 2004. Accident? Coincidence? Or the hand of God on all circumstances in life?

I wrote this to a friend about some time I spent on the Holy Hill the other morning, “I was just up there for an hour, reading through Titus and listening for God. You know what I realized as I listened? It was noisy up there. Isn’t it strange how we get so used to a noisy world that we don’t even hear it after a while? As I sat quiet and listened, I heard cars on the freeway miles away, I heard horns honking and dogs barking and then I felt the breeze and heard the birds and knew that God’s gentle whisper would be just beyond that, if I would just listen closely.”

In that listening, I also asked God, “Why have You brought us back to this very spot?”

How can I not ask that question, and listen for an answer? It’s just too perfect to pass up the opportunity to see and hear from God in this situation!

To repeat a wonderful piece of Scripture:

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for
is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

When we were parked across the roadway in December of 2004, we saw the RV park we are in now from a distance. We knew it was a bit nicer than where we were staying, but it was out of our budget. It was not something that we got upset about; it was just something that “was.” When God brought us back here in July of 2006, provisions were such that we could move across the road and enjoy a bit more “luxury.”

At Dakota Ridge In the Old Park, there were really only a couple of places we could even put our “large” home, and even in those, when the slides were out, there was maybe only six inches between our slide and the slide of our neighbor. We had to keep the snoring to a minimum!! In this New Park, there are lawns with trees and there are picnic tables, and the Laundromat is decorated, and the pool and hot tub are there for the “residents” to enjoy. The men in their little golf carts come by to pick up our garbage every morning so we don’t have to walk it over to the large bin, and we feel a bit spoiled by all of it. We once were in the Old Park across the street, we now are in the New Park…and God has lessons for us to learn in all of it.

During all of this, I have been reading a book called, “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. This book was loaned to me and came highly recommended by one of the pastors at our church. His eyes lit up as he would tell me about it, and I was excited to read it too. As I told him, when you have a child who lives in Heaven, you want to know as much about Heaven as you possibly can! One day I was reading this book in a Laundromat, and a woman there got excited to see it. She actually knows Randy Alcorn. I said, “In the reviews in here, it says, Randy not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. Does he?” She said he does, so that was encouraging!

When we lived overseas, our parents could come and visit us—then they could go home picturing where we lived and what we did and where we ate--we can’t do that when our loved ones live in Heaven…or can we? After reading this book, Heaven has become all the more real to me, and as Randy Alcorn dives deep into Scripture, shedding new light on passages I have read over and over again, I am more excited than ever about the New Earth, as compared to the Old Earth, that all believers will enjoy one day!

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to
a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)

What do you picture when you think of Heaven?
How real is it to you?
Where have your thoughts of Heaven come from?
Hollywood?
Sunday school as a child?
Sermons on Sunday morning?
Personal study in the Word?

I know my ideas of Heaven have come from a little bit of all of the above, plus some additional places. Because of our son’s illness, and because of his departure from this earth, Heaven absorbs a lot of my thoughts. Phil even shared with me a bit of Heaven before he left this earth one night shortly before he died. He saw a light, and he glimpsed Heaven, and he told me about it. He said it was beautiful!! After seeing it, he didn’t want to be here anymore…what must he have seen?

My friends laugh at me when I talk about Heaven because of my longing to be there, so when I read a quote by Richard Baxter in this book on Heaven, I could relate. It’s a little difficult to read, but he said, “If there be so certain and glorious a rest for the saints, why is there no more industrious seeking after it? One would think, if a man did but once hear of such unspeakable glory to be obtained, and believed what he heard to be true, he should be transported with the vehemency of his desire after it, and should almost forget to eat and drink, and should care for nothing else, and speak and inquire after nothing else, but how to get this treasure. And yet people who hear of it daily, and profess to believe it as a fundamental article of their faith, do as little mind it, or labor for it, as if they had never heard of any such thing, or did not believe one word they hear.”

When I see that word, “believe,” it always grabs me. It grabs me because it is such an important part of what has brought me along on the journey through grief and beyond. It was the word that I heard six months after Phil died at a friend’s memorial service--when it was said that she not only believed in God, she believed God…that was a light-bulb moment for me! That was my “flashlight” through the dark valley of muck and mire. And now that Phil lives in Heaven, I must believe Heaven to be true with all my heart, or my heart faints and withers and dies…God will not let that happen if I will continue to believe!!

“God uses suffering and impending death to unfasten us from this earth and to set our minds on what lies beyond.” (R. Alcorn)

He sure does! I’ve seen it in my own life! I didn’t have time to be thinking about all of this “God stuff” when we lived overseas. I was too busy skiing, and traveling and shopping! God could wait, Heaven could wait, I was too busy living my life to worry about such things. Now I don’t worry about such things, I love to think about such things, because by doing so, it enhances every day I live on this earth. And to read a book about Heaven, such as Randy Alcorn has written, I now know more than ever that what lies ahead in the New Earth for all who believe is not more than we can imagine, but exactly what we should be imagining and setting our minds on every single day we live!

Just the other day, Jim and I took a drive from Golden to Montrose. It’s about a five-hour journey through some beautiful scenery, which includes such places as Vail! I’ve never skied in Vail, most of my skiing was done in the Alps of Germany and Austria, so I’m not exactly complaining, but I don’t think I will ever ski in Vail. I may be wrong, but for now, probably not. I’m not in shape to do it, I don’t think my knees could take it, and I’m not sure I’m willing to risk the injuries at this time in my life that I could incur in doing it again. But as we drove by those slopes, now green in the summer months, I longed for the days when I skied weekly overseas. It was a good time in life, a fun time with my boys and with friends! And then I thought of what Heaven will be like, the New Heaven, and the New Earth that is talked about in the Bible—ideas that I have “missed” for so many years…a New Heaven and a New Earth that is tangible, that can be not only imagined but pictured, because really, God tells us so much about it in His Word.

We won’t be floating on a cloud somewhere playing a harp in Heaven…it won’t be boring…we won’t be spirits without bodies…or be turning into angels when we die…it will be a life redeemed, a new body resurrected, and a New Earth that God tells our enemy, Satan, he can’t have! It’s not his! It never was! As R. Alcorn says on page 88, God “surrenders no territory to the enemy…Christ died not merely to make the best of a bad situation. He died so that mankind, Earth, and the universe itself would be renewed to forever proclaim his glory.” He goes on to say on page 90, “Will the earth we know come to an end? Yes. To a final end? No. Revelation 21:1 says the old Earth will pass away. But when people pass away, they do not cease to exist. As we will be raised to be new people, so the earth will be raised to be a New Earth.”

Now, this may be new thinking for some. A lot of it was for me. I had “spiritualized” Heaven so much that now I truly believe I was missing what Scripture actually said about it. I started to see this as I read this book and as Randy wrote, “Scripture shows us God’s purpose with remarkable clarity; yet for many years as a Bible student and later as a pastor, I did not think in terms of renewal and restoration. Instead, I believed God was going to destroy the earth, abandon his original design and plan, and start over by implementing a new plan in an unearthly Heaven. Only in the past fifteen years have my eyes been opened to what Scripture has said all along. What lies behind our notion that God is going to destroy the earth and be done with it? I believe it’s a weak theology of God. Though we’d never say it this way, we see him as a thwarted inventor whose creation failed… But this idea is emphatically refuted by Scripture. God has a magnificent plan, and he will not surrender Earth to the trash heap.”

At Black Canyon...
Jim and Diane at Black Canyon Lightning at Black Canyon

So, as we drive by the slopes of Vail, as we see the beautiful waterfalls, as we discover Black Canyon National Park for the first time here in Nevada, I am starting to get hold of a tangible Heaven that awaits…one where the enemy does not capture what God has designed, but a Heaven where God puts the enemy in his place and begins to Reconcile, Redeem, Restore, Recover, Return, Renew, Regenerate, and Resurrect all that was planned in the first place. Victory is God’s and ours forever!!

“In Genesis, God plants the Garden on Earth; in Revelation, he brings down the New Jerusalem, with a garden at its center, to the New Earth. In Eden, there’s no sin, death, or Curse; on the New Earth, there’s no more sin, death, or Curse. In Genesis, the Redeemer is promised; in Revelation, the Redeemer returns.” (R. Alcorn)

Scripture says:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"
Revelation 21:1-5 (NIV)

As I sat on “God’s Holy Hill” here in Golden, Colorado, right outside our back window, and looked at the place where we are now parked with its green trees and neatly mowed grass, spacious accommodations, pool and hot tub and happy gentlemen driving around in their little golf carts helping out those who are pulling in and pulling out, picking up the garbage and waving to the residents as they go through their day, I also glanced over at the RV park across the street, the “Old” as compared to the “New,” and it seemed God was trying to impress upon me how much better the “New Earth” will be as compared to the “Old Earth.” Was He answering my question:

“God, why have You brought us back to this very spot?”

Perhaps God was saying, “With patient endurance, the old will pass away, the tears will be dried, the pain will be no more, and I will create something new, something better, something that I had planned all along before you could see it--as you walked through this life by faith--but I want you to not only imagine it, I want you to learn about it, to grab hold of it, to talk about it and write about it and look forward to it!”

Randy Alcorn writes,

“Buddhism, which knows no resurrection, teaches that time will be extinguished. Christianity, solidly based on a resurrection of cosmic dimensions, teaches time will go on forever. For too long we’ve allowed an unbiblical assumption (“there will be no time in Heaven”) to obscure overwhelming biblical revelation to the contrary. This has served Satan’s purposes of dehumanizing Heaven and divorcing it from the existence we know. Since we cannot desire what we can’t imagine, this misunderstanding has robbed us of desire for Heaven.” (Page 261)

With a son living in Heaven, I desire Heaven. I long to see Phil again, to catch up on all the latest with him, to tell him about his new nieces and nephew, to let him know his brothers have gotten married to wonderful women that he would adore. To let him know that through it all we discovered God to be a healing God, and that life went on in the best way possible even though we could not share the rest of our days with him…we learned so much because he had been here.

Some may say, “But don’t you desire to see God most of all? Isn’t it wrong to want to see Phil so much?” I’m not sure what the “correct” answer is to that question, and I may be falling short of the holiness God desires in my life at this point, but here is my honest, heartfelt answer to that question as a mom, on this day…Everyday I talk with God, I walk with God through my comings and goings, I listen for His gentle whisper and I hear Him speak to me. He is all around me, living inside of me and very present in my day, I see Him everywhere, and in everything, the Holy Spirit is alive and well on planet earth…Phil is not. As talked about in the book, Heaven, those that have gone on to Heaven have not been lost, but we have lost contact with them. I so agree, Phil is not lost, we did not lose him, but we have no contact with him. So I miss him with all my heart. I don’t miss God. He is here… Do I want to see the face of my Lord? You bet I do!! But I also long to talk with our son, and share life with him again, as we will do in Heaven.

(After writing the previous paragraph, I came upon this by Henry Drummond in one of my daily devotionals…

“They shall see His face. Where? In the city. When? In eternity? No, tomorrow. Those who serve in any city cannot help but continually see Jesus. He is there with them. He is there before them. They cannot but meet face-to-face. No gentle word is ever spoken that Christ’s voice does not speak also; no meek deed is ever done that the unsummoned vision does not see there and then appear. Whoever, in whatever place, receives a little child in My name receives Me.
-Henry Drummond
His servant will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Rev. 22:3-4)

Even when I could not fully imagine Heaven, I thought about it constantly because my broken heart needed to believe it was tangible, that it was real, and that my son was just fine living in Heaven without me. In this book, it talks about the Heaven Phil lives in now as really just a pre-curser to even the final New Heaven and New Earth that is to come when all is said and done…when all believers will arrive Home together…when we will get our new bodies! It just keeps getting better and better! Now I desire Heaven even more because I understand what Scripture truly says about it!

Through it all, the thought of Heaven has helped me live out each day fully on this earth. The gift that Jesus gave to all who believe in Him is truly priceless and hope-filled--but so many do not desire Heaven because they don’t have any great reason to…life here is just fine, and they really don’t want to leave it all behind just yet. Why leave the friends and family we love, the beautiful sunsets, the cascading falls, the crystal clear waters, the white sandy beaches, the tall redwoods, the tasty foods, the thrill of skiing or the joy of traveling…? But if we’ll take the time to see what God’s Word really has to say about the New Heaven and the New Earth that is to come, we will see that when all these things are restored, renewed, redeemed, resurrected…we won’t be leaving the best behind--we’ll simply be enjoying what God’s original design was all about in an even greater way, before the Curse came, the Curse that we all must now live under.

Who wouldn’t desire something new?
Who wouldn’t long for that?
Who wouldn’t want to tell everyone about the Place we will live forever?

“God poured himself, his creativity, and his love into making Eden for his creatures. But at that time, that’s all we were: his creatures, his image-bearers. Now that we are both his children and his bride, chosen out of the human race to live with him forever, would we expect more or less than Eden? More, of course. And that’s exactly what the New Earth will be.” (Heaven, pg. 234)

Of course, we don’t want to leave those we love behind, and you may wonder how I can desire Heaven so much with all the blessings God has given to me here? It’s not that I’m so anxious to get out of here because I’m so miserable. I love my family, my friends, my life, but to put it simply, the more I discover about life beyond the Curse, the less I fear it and the more I look forward to it. It’s sort of the same as moving our home after almost a full year of having it parked in one spot. Wouldn’t it be easier to just live there in the Bay Area--after settling in and being close to family and friends--wouldn’t it be easier to just stay there since we were comfortable in that environment again and enjoy all that it involved? Why up and move? Because, if we cling to what’s comfortable, to what we know, and fear what’s beyond what we can see…we might miss all that God has waiting for us. That would be a shame!

If we so fear the thought of an afterlife to the point that we don’t even want to think about it or even consider what might be beyond what we know and see each day, we may miss the thrill of knowing what God has waiting for us beyond being here and now. That squelches our life here, and it robs us of looking forward to an even greater joy to come!

“If the Bible is right about what happens to us after death, it means that more than 250,000 people every day go either to Heaven or Hell.” (Alcorn) If we are afraid to venture into unknown territories, we’ll not only miss all that God is calling us to on this earth, we may miss the New Heaven and the New Earth He is calling us to also. We should not fear either, or resist either, but instead listen and follow Jesus through this life and into the next with all the joy and hope He is offering to us!

If Jim and I had resisted the call to “Leave” Colorado 20 months ago, we would have missed opportunities to serve God in ways we couldn’t have imagined back then. If we resist the call to leave old ways behind us, to resist what Scripture has to say and not get excited about new revelations God has waiting for us in His Word, we may end up missing some opportunities to share the Good News with those we meet along the way, or utilizing the “seasons of life” we may be in to their fullest--we don’t want to miss some of the very reasons we were put on this earth to begin with, do we?

God wants us to be thrilled with all He has planned for us!
Isn’t it time for us to figure out just what that might be?

As I look out from “God’s Holy Hill” here, and across the street to the RV park we once inhabited, I can honestly say, “I don’t live there anymore.” I don’t live in the emotions I felt at that time, I don’t live in some of the misconceptions I once believed, I don’t live consumed in the loss I once felt…I now live more fully believing all that God has promised and I live excited about an eternity that is very tangible…one I continue to learn about on this journey.

“We need to stop acting as if Heaven were a myth, an impossible dream, a relentlessly dull meeting, or an unimportant distraction from real life. We need to see Heaven for what it is: the realm we’re made for. If we do, we’ll embrace it with contagious joy, excitement, and anticipation.” (Heaven, pg. 443)

When all is said and done, I may never ski in Vail, but someday maybe I will ski in the New Vail!! What are you looking forward to?

Anticipating with great joy,
Diane

“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” (C.S. Lewis)