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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

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Surviving the Valley Series
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Anticipating Heaven

Life if full, all the time, with two teenage boys. I have a love/hate relationship with the calendar.  It helps to keep me sane and know how to budget my time, and I love to write down fun things we plan to do together. On the other hand, I hate watching each day slip by, wondering if I enjoyed each moment as much as I anticipated it.  

Then every once in a while, things happen that throw a curve ball into our plans, and the calendar immediately changes. Unscheduled meetings, emergency doctor visits, or funerals you hoped to not see for several more years.

When my mom told me my Grandpa asked for prayers to meet Jesus soon, I struggled being so far away. I wanted to go see him, to tell him goodbye, and to tell him what he's always meant to me. Instead, I wrote it down for someone to read to him, and I prayed for Jesus to take him home peacefully and painlessly.

When I got the news he went to Heaven, I didn't quite know how to feel. Sad? Relieved? Grief-stricken? Joyful? I guess I felt a bit of them all. I struggled to decide whether or not to make the trip to Peoria to attend his funeral. I was afraid if I didn't go, I might regret my decision for the rest of my life, always wishing I had gone. More than anything, I wanted to give my Grandma a hug. I knew I could only do that in person, so I prayed for wisdom to know how to make the trip affordable.  Mike agreed to take a few days off of work to make the long drive with me, our friends didn't even hesitate to take care of the boys, and I found two good subs. for my class very quickly.

I am so glad we went.

First, I got to give that hug to this beautiful lady, my sweet Grandma. She's the main reason I wanted to go. I have this picture on my phone now, and I pray for her every time I look at it.

I loved hearing the three tributes to my Grandpa, all three stating the same thing seen from a different perspective. My Grandpa loved Jesus with everything in him. I'm sure it was harder on those who lived day in and out with him, but for me, I really saw his funeral as a celebration of his life. I felt like the main message said, "He leaves us a legacy of faith in Christ. Now take the baton (the Word of God) and go forward into the next generation."

I also greatly enjoyed seeing and reconnecting with my "long lost" cousins whom I hadn't seen in over 15 years. What a blessing to spend a day with them. It's amazing how years can pass, yet you can pick up right where you left off.

Here's another one with my only male cousin on that side of the family. I don't remember seeing him since he was a kid!

My mom and her brothers. One drove from Colorado, just an hour longer than our own drive.

And then the spouses, too (my dad and my aunts).

Who knows when we will all find ourselves in the same place again. I wish it could have been under a different circumstance, but at the same time, I could never wish for my Grandpa to leave Heaven now that he finally made it there.

We went back to his house for a few hours after the funeral to spend a little more time together before everyone headed in different directions. My aunt made a pot of coffee, and Mike brought me out a cup in this mug. 

I love you, Grandpa, and I look forward to spending eternity with you in Heaven. 

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