by Sarah Nelson
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4
Saying good-bye to people who I love and cherish has been an oft repeated happening in my life. This afternoon, my two youngest children spent many minutes on the telephone, catching up with their friends and neighbors they left in Michigan. I loved hearing the laughter, the questions and answers, and even an ukulele solo my son played for his buddies. After the hellos and good-byes, and everything else in-between were done, my daughter told me she had a tummy ache. I gently asked her if she thought it was because she was both happy to have talked with her friend, and sad at the reminder that she is far from her that was the cause of her hurt. She thought about that for a few seconds and responded with a question, “How can I be happy and sad at the same time? Because I am.”
This past year I am sure that you, like me, have said farewell to family and friends. Some of those good-byes have been with the hope that we will see that loved one here on earth. Some of those good-byes have been in the words “I will see you in Heaven!” For those who have been suffering, their leaving this earth has been a time of mingled joy at knowing they are in the presence of Jesus – healed and well forever, and sadness for those of us left behind who will miss their words, music, and presence in our lives.
As we are nearing the celebration of Jesus come to earth as a little babe, we rejoice in knowing that because of His coming to earth, we have been given the gift of heaven by believing in Him. He has gone before us to prepare a place for us. A place where all of us who have known and received His forgiveness will be reunited forever with Him. I am looking forward to seeing many loved ones again when Heaven becomes my residence. There are great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and six of my little ones that I will rejoice to see again. My greatest joy however will be to forever be in the presence of the One who went and prepared my eternal home for me. I hope to see you there, and together we will celebrate no more good-byes, only “WELCOME HOME!”