Chance’s Journey to Heaven
Today is December 17th. In 2011, December 17th was also on a Saturday. I don’t need a calendar to know that, because that is the day my son left me for Jesus.
My son left me for Jesus.
Every year, at this time, I write something about Chance’s journey to Heaven. When I wrote that last line above that ended in “my son left me for Jesus” my fingers stilled on the keyboard for several moments. I realized that I’ve told the story of his journey so many times, in so many ways, that at this point I’m no longer sure how to tell it or what to share.
So, I just repeated the line. My son left me for Jesus. I guess if I was lying in a hospital bed and Jesus came to greet me, I would leave with Him too. From what The Bible tells us about The Lord, His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Of course Chance left us for His Kingdom. I mean, I am his mama but I am nothing, in comparison. Even when it comes to a boy and his mama….Jesus…..well, Jesus is Jesus. He reigns.
That morning, five years ago, did not start out well for us. I woke early, looked at my phone and saw several missed calls from the hospital. Chance’s nurse, “Mrs. Rademaker, everything is okay. Chance needs rest, so we placed him on a ventilator. It is okay. His body just needs some rest.” While extremely alarmed, little did I know that 12 hours later, his little body would be resting forever.
She said it right though, “everything is okay”. Everything IS okay. Yes, my heart is often broken because I am selfish and wanted a healthy baby boy to live out his life with me, his daddy, big brother, and twin sister. God had other plans. I believe in Him and His plans, even when my heart aches in the process.
A friend asked me last night if my family members are believers. She wasn’t asking about my immediate family, in my household, but my extended family. I have never really known how to answer that question; “is so-and-so a believer”? When this question is asked by a true believer, please know that it is not asked in judgement. It is often asked because as believers, we want to pray for the hearts of non-believers. We want non-believers to BELIEVE. Not because we judge them. Not because we want a gold medal for converting someone. Not because we want to check a box on our list of to-do’s (save a soul. Check!) but because we want everyone else to feel the peace, hope, and joy that we feel in having an intimate relationship with Jesus. We want everyone to feel the overwhelming and everlasting love of Christ.
I remember the moment I realized that love. For years, I knew God loved me, but I didn’t KNOW God’s love. Honestly, I didn’t understand how this Divine Being could have such a love for little ol’ me out of the millions and millions of people on this Earth. How could He possibly truly know and love the tiny, worthless, spec of me? I had to learn His sovereignty. I was comparing His power and ability to love with MY power and ability to love.
My life has not been the same since that moment of realization.
By the way, the difference in typical belief in something and a Biblical belief in Christ is that when we believe in Christ we entrust our lives to His truth (Thomas-Pharrell, 2016). We don’t just believe he was born of a virgin, died on the cross, returned, and then ascended to Heaven (and that’s a LOT to believe). We entrust our lives to His truth.
KNOWING this, I can cope with losing my son. I can cope with anything. I will never forget the pain I felt on this day, five years ago. But, I will also never forget the peace of knowing my son is with Jesus and he suffers NO more. One day, I will be there too.
“But, because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” -Ephesians 1:4-5
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