For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When Heaven Calls

Monday, a college friend of mine lost her 16-year-old daughter unexpectedly.  Savannah was a beautiful girl who loved the Lord with every fiber of her being.  The last time I saw her was while vacationing in Virginia in 2002.  At that time she was an only child but Monday she left behind 3 younger siblings.  When I got the email of her passing my heart broke for her family.  How could this happen to them?  Why did God take her?

Today I read Savannah's obituary and it was a beautiful loving tribute of a child that in our eyes is gone too soon but Earth's loss is Heaven's gain, right?  I began to wonder how her parents would plan her funeral.  Do they know what some of her favorite songs are, her favorite outfit, personal affects that they might want to place in her coffin, pictures to display, etc.? 

The past few years I seem to have a fascination with death.  Many would say I'm not afraid of dying but rather living.  That may be true.  I know I have placed my faith in Christ.  I know that when I die He is going to receive me with arms open wide and I hope to hear Him say, "Well done my good and faithful servant."  My friends and family sometimes get upset with me when I tell them what songs I want played at my funeral or some of the things I want done but then, why shouldn't I plan and prepare?  I have always been a very OCD person when it comes to planning, organizing, scheduling, etc. so would this be any different?

I don't want people trying to make decisions for me that I could have made for myself.  I can make it easy for them if they listen now while they have me with them.  I know what songs I want to be sung at the funeral.  I want the congregation to sing the traditional hymns: What A Day That Will Be and My Savior First Of All.  I want vocalists to perform or a video to be shown of the following songs (click on titles to see/hear videos): Applause by The Talley Trio, Celebrate Me Home  by The Perrys, Christians Never Say Goodbye by The NelonsNow That You Know by Karen Peck and New River.  I have about 25 of my favorite songs on a CD I made  titled "Going Home."  I tried to enjoy life to the fullest so I want my friends and family to be rejoicing that I am where their hearts long to be.

Everyone knows how cold natured I am.  I am always wrapping up in a blanket, snuggling up to my preacher's wife to stay warm in church, etc.  I even take a blanket to the movie theater with me.  So, I told Sandy and my "sis" that I want to be wrapped in a warm fleece blanket from the waist down.  And I loved holding hands with those I was closest to so, those close to me are going squeeze my hand tight as they say good-bye.  Place my favorite KJV Bible near the coffin but let someone have it when I die.  It has tons of notes, quotes, signatures, etc. that I have collected since winning that thing when I was 16.  It was my treasure here on Earth and I hope it will become someone's treasure when I'm gone.

When Christ was here on Earth He also helped prepare His disciples for His death.  He was always reminding them of Calvary and pointing them and others toward Heaven.  He was furthering the Kingdom of God and making ready for His crucifixion.

When my friend/coworker's mother died 2 years ago she knew how strong my faith was and that I was also a very talented writer.  I'll never forget when she asked me: "Gigi, paint me a picture of Heaven.  What do you think Mama is seeing and experiencing now?"  I was very compassionate yet honest.  I told her that her mother wasn't crying because she was separated from her children.  Her mother had been reunited with the King of Kings, with her husband, with other family and friends that had gone on before her.

Heaven isn't just a picture that we see as children...yes, it is pearly gates, streets of gold, crystal waters but it is so much more.  It's a place where Christians get to live for all eternity.  A place where the body doesn't experience pain, sorrow, tears, the sting of death or betrayal.  It's a place where the only scars you'll see are those of our Savior.  I long to touch those nail-scarred hands and to walk hand-in-hand with the Lord.  I long to be a part of the Heavenly choir and to sing His praises around the throne.

Monday Savannah slipped into eternity and now I believe she is looking down on us and smiling.  She was only here for 16 years but she has left behind a beautiful legacy.  What will your legacy be?  What are people going to remember about you?  When Heaven calls are you going to be ready?  My pastor said that all roads lead to Heaven but where will you go from there?  

I know most of us don't want to think about death.  We don't want to believe we are going to die or we think we have all the time in the world to plan.  Savannah's family didn't.  Neither did those families effected by the shootings in Aurora, Columbine, the Amish School in PA, etc.  We aren't guaranteed tomorrow.  Maybe you can put some of your dying wishes down on paper so that your family won't have to try to figure it out.

My prayers go out to Savannah's family and with the recent tragedy in Aurora, Colorado (shooting at the movie theater) my thoughts are with all those families who are left to pick up the pieces, make sense of the unexpected and move on.  Only God can give them that special measure of grace and mercy to forgive and push forward.  And only God can comfort them during their darkest hours.

Psalm 116:15
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.


  1. Losing a child is a pain like no other. However, when our Sarah died, I was filled with God's presence that sustained me through those first few days. I'm praying for your friend to fill God's arms, too. The song that has been echoing in my ears since the shooting is, "He's Still God.

  2. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and letting me know you were here. I am so sorry in your loss. I just keep telling myself that God wanted that child with Him so bad that He called them home early...just imagine what He spared them from. I am so glad that I have a love for music because that is what helps me make sense of a lot of things.

  3. I thought this was a beautiful entry and I'm sure when Meli reads it she will be proud of the small tribute you paid to Savannah. I can't imagine how I would feel if God called one my children home before me but I know His ways are best so I just give him thanks every day for loaning me those 9 precious little angels. I will keep this blog tucked away for safekeeping so if we ever need to know your dying wish we will! The songs are beautiful and I'm sure people would laugh and smile just recalling how precious you are. I thank God for giving you to me as my honorary little sister.