So, let's start at the beginning. I had heard of it months ago through various places and thought it sounded interesting. I believe in Heaven but am honestly skeptical when people say they've seen it-- I mean, who wouldn't be? After reading a semi-negative review about the book on a VERY conservative blog, I didn't think much more about it. My mom purchased it for me for Easter and I put it on my bookshelf thinking I would read it eventually.
Last night, Hannah, Maggie and I started a new study together reading through the Simple Prayer book I talked about a few months back. While we were chatting, Hannah told me more about Heaven is for Real. Apparently everyone in her family has read it except herself but they've all said great things about it so she told us all the deets :)
What Hannah said really compelled me to crack open the book and read it for myself. I opened it as soon as Jared left for work yesterday morning at 8am and didn't put it down until I finished it at 10:30am, except to put Judah down for a nap. I LOVED the book. I was so inspired.
I don't want to give away all the details in the book but I will give you a short description. The book is about a four-year-old boy, Colton, who has a brush with death and in the years after, tells all sorts of stories of Heaven. He talks about Jesus, what he looks like, what he wears and how loving He is. He talks about people he saw in Heaven, including his mother's miscarried baby girl that he knew nothing about before his Heaven encounter. He reveals how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" to his father (a pastor) when he's preaching on Sundays. He talks of the magnificent colors, the animals in Heaven, angels singing to Him, Jesus holding him, meeting John the Baptist, seeing Mary praying and loving Jesus etc. The book goes on and on and on with details the boy discovered in Heaven that no four-year old would ever know of on their own.
I admit I was a skeptic but after reading the book for myself, I truly believe this little boy encountered everything he said he did. His parents share his story with such care and such a humble heart. The entire time the book is backed up by scripture and seems to jive with what we know of Heaven from the Bible.
I've known eternity was real and fully believe it will be incredible but this book gave me a new passion and excitement for the gift that lies ahead for Jesus' children. It also puts into perspective this Earth and our fleeting lives. We have so much to live for and when we die, we're just getting started. I highly, highly recommend that you read this book. It's a quick, easy and fun read. I honestly can't give it justice; it's the type of thing you just have to "see" to believe.
At the end of my read yesterday morning, I literally closed the book and cried. I cried thinking of God's love that He would allow us to go to Heaven and live with Him in Paradise. I cried thinking of seeing Grandma Vivian (Jared's wonderful Grandma) again, and at a young and beautiful age too. I cried thinking of friends who have lost babies, babies with no names that are resting in Jesus' arms in Heaven waiting anxiously to meet their parents for the first time.
Just read the book, you won't be let down. And if you do pick it up, let me know what you thought :)