It’s a long gravel drive, beneath a tall white gate with our family brand over it.
It’s lush, green pastures with all of the horses I’ve ever loved, happily grazing beneath a crisp mountain sky.
It’s a cozy log cabin with river rock and beams. It’s a big front porch with swings and benches and hanging flowerpots.
It’s a creek in the back, where the horses and dogs love to cool down during the warm summer months.
It’s an old white barn that smells like home and fills my heart whenever I walk in.
I wish you could picture my first moments there as clearly as I do.
I imagine myself, mid 30’s. Long black hair and bright green eyes- just as he remembers. I’m wearing all white and walking down the drive- not really sure what to expect but feeling drawn to the property.
And then, our eyes meet.
He leaps up from the bench on the porch where he’s been sitting and waiting. For years, maybe even decades.
He starts running down the lane as fast as he can. He’s just as tall and strong as I remember, and even more handsome. He’s kicking up dust in his old boots as he comes for me.
And then, after so many years apart. We finally touch. I feel his hands on my face and his hot tears on my cheeks. He tells me how much he loves me. How proud he is of me. And how much he’s missed me.
Before I can even get a word in, the dogs catch up to him. Whining and barking and jumping for joy at my feet. Oh, how I’ve missed my dogs.
He picks me up and holds me close. We hug and can’t believe we’re finally reunited after such long journeys apart.
We make our way towards the house where I know they’re waiting.
Maybe they’re inside playing. But knowing their parents, they’re probably in a tree somewhere or out in the barn getting lost in a daydream.
He knows how special this moment will be for me. How my heart has longed for this, my whole entire life.
And then I see them. All 3 of them. My son and my 2 daughters. Looking back at me. They’re so familiar, but also unknown.
I’ve wondered for so long what they look like. What they sound like. What they would feel like on my lap. And today I get to find out.
I’ve wondered if their hair would be black like mine or brown like his. And today I get to run my fingers through it.
Would they remind me of Hayes? Oh, how he will be so happy to meet them someday. His siblings. His father. Finally.
They all run up to me and grab onto me so tightly. I feel bad for having not been there for them. For having been so far apart from my family, while being on Earth with the rest of our family. But that’s where I was needed. Where I carried out the plans God had for me while they were up here waiting.
But now I’m here. And my heart is beating to a tune I’ve never known. My family isn’t all here yet. But they will be someday.
And when that day comes, our home will be full. It will be noisy. It will be busy. It will be happy. My eyes will be wet with happy tears, as Jesus has wiped every single one of my sad tears away.
And in between suppers and horseback rides and fishing in the creek, I’ll sit on the porch and wait.
Wait for Hayes and wait for whomever else my heart learns to love over the rest of my life.
Maybe Jesus will come over from time to time for chili and cornbread and strawberry pie. Maybe it doesn’t work like that. But I like to think it does.
Everyone I’ve ever known and loved is within walking distance of our home, living in their own personal heaven.
We share life together. Forever.
This is my heaven, friends. This is what keeps me comforted at night when my eyes are burning with tears of loss, loneliness and grief. This vision.
And if you believe in Heaven too, I sure hope you’ll come by and sit on our porch with me, someday. There will be kids and dogs and horses and donkeys and pigs running around, but I promise we’ll find some time to drink a glass of sweet tea together and talk about the old days.
Thank you, Jesus for the hope of Heaven.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV).
Sarah S. lives on a farm in Oklahoma with her rescue animals. She is a teacher, a young widow, and is working on building her family through IVF and adoption. You can listen to any of our Bible studies by tuning in to your favorite radio station, listening to our podcasts on our website or iTunes, or listening through TuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify online radio.