Our 21 year-old granddaughter, Madison (Madi) went to be with Jesus on Sunday
She was born with a congenital heart defect and despite living a relatively active life, her health declined this past year and her heart failed as she awaited a heart transplant. Losing a loved one is always hard. It is even more tragic when that person is so young as we grieve all the possibilities and experiences they missed out on. This is because we mostly see with “Earthly” rather than “Heavenly” eyes.  I am no exception. But as I wrestled with my grief, I asked God to help me  “set my mind on things above” and see with Heavenly eyes.

As I prayed, I sensed Him nudging me to write this “letter” below from Madi to those who love her about her first day in Heaven. I’ve studied a fair amount about Heaven in recent years – mostly the teachings of “Heaven expert”, Randy Alcorn. While none of us will know exactly what Heaven is like until we get there, I believe what is expressed in my imaginary letter below is highly probable. My first desire is that it brings comfort to Madi’s parents and siblings as they envision her in Heaven. I also hope and pray it will bring comfort to anyone facing off the loss of a loved one…until you meet again one day in Heaven.


I can feel fresh, clean air rushing into my lungs, filling them up and it feels so good. Ah. To breathe fully again. There’s a crazy energy surging through my entire body and as I open my eyes, I see a beautiful light that is so bright and yet amazingly soft.  And the colors, oh my gosh the colors.  They are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

In this very moment I’m realizing, I’m in heaven. What I had hoped and prayed for – a new heart and more years on Earth, did not happen. And yet, I have no remorse or sadness. I know I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. I left my poor little broken body behind and now I have this new freedom, energy, and power that I’ve never experienced in my entire 21 years.

I’m not alone. Jesus is right here and he’s walking toward me.  He’s smiling and reaching out and I can see other people behind him smiling and walking toward us at a distance. But my focus is only on Jesus. I look into his kind eyes for the first time. I see him face to face and I’m home.  I’m home and I’m free.

Jesus takes me in his arms and lifts me up off the ground and says, “Welcome home, my girl!”

I melt into his warmth and all the love I’ve ever experienced from my family and my friends are all pouring through his heart into mine.  I know that I will feel their love with me every moment until we meet again. I have so many questions and yet I sense He is wanting me to ask them later. Right now, he wants me to simply absorb the beauty and love that surrounds me.

Heaven is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Oh, if only I could describe it so you would be as excited as I am about the paradise I’ve just entered. But there are no earthly words to express how extravagantly and magnificently God has designed our heavenly home.

As Jesus releases me from our embrace, he tilts my chin up with his index finger and points with his other hand to the people now getting closer and says, “It’s time to say hello to a few friends.” And then, my (new) heart about bursts with joy as the first to run to me is not a person, but my beloved Benny! Yes, Jesus loves me so much that He has blessed me to have my sweet fur boy with me in paradise.*

Oh my gosh. I’ve only been here a little while – whatever “a little while” really is here in heaven – but I feel so whole and peaceful. There is so much to explore and so many people to meet. And I somehow know there is also a lot to do. I realize I won’t just be floating on some cloud all day long singing worship songs. Those crazy images are just NOT at all what heaven is like. I thought I was supposed to live out my life purpose on Earth – and I know I did do that in many ways. But I am sensing that I will have even more of a purpose here. I can already tell that each moment will be an exciting discovery and adventure.

Please don’t worry about me. If I’d known how wonderful heaven would be and the kind of future that awaits me, I would have wanted to come sooner. I can tell that time is very different here. You’ll be with me sooner in my reality than I will be in yours. Jesus tells me that for you it’s harder because you live constrained by time and place. Whoa. Did I just say that? See, I’m already wiser than my 21 years! Just know that I love you and I know we will see each other again in this beautiful place.

Jesus is calling me. It’s time to go exploring. I’m so, so happy!




*Yes…there is no promise our pets are with us in Heaven. However, Randy Alcorn has studied and written extensively on Heaven and why he believes it is a very possible (dare I say probable) because God loves us and knows how much we love our pets. And because we ARE told that there will be animals on the new Heaven and new Earth.  Want to study more on Heaven since it IS where we’ll spend most of our existence (if we know Jesus)? Read Randy’s Book, HEAVEN


Song by Casting Crowns:  Scars in Heaven

To watch this video, you must enter the password: MADISON