I just finished reading the book “Heaven is for Real.” I watched the movie made from the book as well. This book was given to me quite some time ago but in all honesty I was afraid to read it. Why? I knew that I would have a very hard time getting through the book because of experiences I have been through in life.
The book is about a four year old boy who is placed into a life threatening situation because of a burst appendix. His survives his brush with death and begins to tell his parents that he visited heaven while on the operating table. I won’t go into any more details as I highly recommend you read the book or see the movie.
As I said it was hard for me to get through this book. Ten years ago, on a day in July, I spent the afternoon holding my mother’s hand during her last hours on earth. This first of August will mark a year since my little sister passed away. Yet those aren’t the only reasons this book had such an effect on me. I can, in a small way, relate to what this boy experienced.
Let me first say that no, I have not visited heaven. At least I don’t think I did. Actually, I really don’t know what happened. I have a heart condition. Some time ago, my heart went out of rhythm and it would not go back on its own. I spent three days in the hospital hooked up to monitors and being fed drugs that were supposed to make the chambers of my heart work in a normal rhythm again. The cardiologist explained that a condition like this, as acute as it was for me, had to be rectified within 72 hours or there was a chance I was suffer permanent damage to the heart muscle and possibly even death. If the drugs did not “flip” the heart back into rhythm, they would have to stop my heart for fifteen to twenty seconds then resuscitate me with a defibrillator. I would be given a “cocktail” of drugs that would put me to sleep and stop my heart; essentially I would be placed in a state close to death. I was told I would not feel or remember anything. Well that didn’t happen.
For some reason, I have a resistance to anesthesia. I have woken up during surgery before (but that is another story). They gave me the shot to put me under. The next thing I remember is being in a place that was all white. I can’t say I was floating as it didn’t feel that way. I felt a more at peace than I have ever felt before. I can’t explain it any other way. It felt wonderful. I remember thinking I didn’t want this to end. Then I began to see these colors passing by and all of a sudden I was awake. I opened my eyes to see the nurse standing over me and I blurted out; “That was cool!” I explained what I had just experienced and she just looked at me like I was out of my mind. I haven’t told many people about this as I figure most people would have the same reaction as the nurse did that afternoon.
Is heaven for real? Since this experience, I truly believe heaven exists. This belief, or faith as some may call it, has gotten me through the experience of watching my mother slowly slide away before my eyes and the shock of my sisters passing. I miss them terribly but I know they are with God and their suffering is over. I am not an outwardly religious person. I keep that between God and myself; at least until now.
The book is “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.