Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Message from Jesus!

Have you heard of this book?
I love this book!  
And I love Jesus more after reading this book!

From Amazon.com:

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year-old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.

This is an awesome true story!

I read it in one sitting.  It's pretty hard to put down.  One of my favorite messages of the entire book is about how much Jesus loves children.  He really really loves the children!  Really really!  (Gotta love how a four-year-old communicates messages of truth from our Lord!)  If you ever start questioning whether it is logical to spend $25,000 to ransom one child out of an institution, just reread the words of Jesus as told by little Colton.  Jesus loves each child so very much, so we should, too.  It's that simple.  If we are loving the children, we are doing God's will.  

We don't need to sit around waiting for a big booming voice, accompanied by a hand reaching down from heaven with airline tickets extended and dossier already completed, addressed, and ready to submit.  It'd be nice, but apparently that's not how He chooses to run the show.  He has too many lessons to teach us and muscles to strengthen along the journey.  A lot of polishing to be done.  Refiner's fire, and all that.  So we keep going in faith, and we trust that He will work it all for good.  Because He loves the children.

Another really beautiful message from this book involved Colton's sister.  A sister who had been lost due to miscarriage before Colton was born.  Colton assured his parents that she is happy and loved in heaven, because she has been adopted by the Father.  Adopted!  She is not alone.  She is loved so very much, and she is waiting eagerly in heaven to hug her family again.  Awesome, right?  Can you imagine the joy that must have brought to her mommy and daddy's heart to hear?    

And one final thought on this book.  Todd Burpo, the author, is one of my favorite authors now, for this reason:  he helped to save my daughter's life.  

Colton Burpo suffered from appendicitis.  His appendix burst and he required emergency surgery.  And I just read this book last month.  And honestly, I had never known about the symptoms of appendicitis.  Had I not just read this book, I would have thought my darling Gracie just had the flu when she began to act ill last week.  She was vomiting and had a fever.  Kids do that, know what I mean?  Really, she did not seem all that sick.  But I had just read Heaven is for Real, and by Friday morning, her symptoms seemed a little too suspicious to me.  She was holding her tummy, lower right side to be exact, and started moaning and screaming, and that was the clue that tipped me off that this was no flu bug attacking my baby.  But really, she only did that for about ten minutes.  

I scooped her up, rushed her to the ER, and by the time we got there, she was calm and quiet.  Miserable, yes, but when the doctors asked her where it hurt, she just said, "My tummy."  The doctors did not initially believe anything serious was going on, because what they saw was a little girl with a slight fever, a tummy ache, and a sweet smile on her face.  They kept her in there for hours, running a couple of tests, but seeming to not really think she was in any distress.  It is now believed that it was during her screaming fit that morning that her appendix ruptured, and apparently once the appendix ruptures the pain subsides, and the poison slowly and silently begins to seep through the body.  Had I not just read this book, where this exact same scenario happened to little Colton, I would not have known to insist on further testing.  

Thankfully, they listened to my concerns and decided to transport her by ambulance to the children's hospital nearly two hours away, where I was told they would just keep her for observation overnight.  But once we got there, the doctors quickly assessed the situation, listened to the symptoms I described seeing earlier in the day, and informed me that she needed to get into surgery NOW.

And after the surgery, when my baby was resting peacefully, minus her "naughty appendix," the doctor told me that it had been quite a mess in her little tummy, and that had we waited much longer she would have been in grave danger.  

All of this to say that I believe that God made sure I read that book when I did so that I would know what I did when I needed to.  Thank you, Jesus!  It hurts to breathe when I think about having to say goodbye to my baby girl.  I am so so thankful that I do not have to do that yet.  That I got to bring her home last night and that she is back to her mischief, back to irritating her big brothers, back to leaving a trail of dollhouse furniture and baby clothes from one end of the house to the other, back to picking every blueberry in the garden and eating them all before anybody else gets a chance to try one, back to giggling and cuddling and being stubborn and cute and healthy.  Praise the Lord!



Jill said...

That is amazing, Rachelle!!! I just read this book while I was in Ukraine this summer. When you said she had a ruptured appendix, the book was the first thing I thought of. Amazing that God would use the book to save Gracie's life! You'll have to be sure to write the Burpos and tell them your story.

So glad to hear that she is home already and doing so well! Praise God! I can SOO relate to the doll clothes being strung from one end of the house to the other. :-)

Sarah said...

That's soo awesome! GO GOD! I love that book, and I got goosebumps as I read that! :)

The Road is Long said...

Wow.. what a close call! I've seen the book but haven't read it yet. But I plan to!