My depression hit me especially hard today. Luckily I was at my Grandma’s house and she took wonderful care of me. It was painful eating her delicious cookies and finding no pleasure in it, trying to watch a movie but being distracted by the wall, and trying to play card games but feeling nothing. The most touching moment was when we sat together and shared our favorite hymns and instrumental pieces that brought us peace. We listened to several and I felt peace begin to trickle. As I wrote in my journal, I cried out to God and begged for peace that leaked beyond my soul. My soul was dancing around with joy; it felt wonderful but I was trapped inside my body. I felt like one of those Kinder chocolate eggs with a prize inside that are now illegal in the US. They were my favorite candies growing up! There wasn’t much chocolate since the inside had to be hollow in order to fit the prize inside but the prizes were usually cute toys that I loved more than the chocolate anyway. I remember eating my first one and dropping it. The chocolate crumbled and the prize rolled away, gently stopping a couple inches away from me. I was so upset losing my chocolate but the colorful egg shaped prize caught my eye. Underneath the fragile, thin surface was a little toy dinosaur I got to put together. My four year old mind was blown away that I got to make a little dinosaur all by myself! I forgot about the chocolate immediately and am pretty sure I left the mess for my mother to clean when I ran off to play with my brand new toy. The chocolate was temporary but the dinosaur inside would last forever if only I took care of it. My soul is like that dinosaur, trapped in this thin shell of chocolate just waiting to burst out. I can’t help but giggle at how childish my analogy is. 🙂 The chocolate isn’t bad in itself, it’s easily the best chocolate I’ve ever had. I am always so thankful when my European friends smuggle some into the country for me! It’s great, but the prize inside is so much greater. The chocolate melts, crumbles, has to be handled with care and doesn’t last long. The toy however doesn’t melt, doesn’t crumble, and even when it’s dropped and falls apart, it’s easy to put it back together. Obviously my soul is stronger than a little toy but compared to the chocolate, that toy is invincible.
Anyway, now that I’m craving illegal chocolate…
After my quiet time with God and praying for peace that leaked beyond my soul and permeated my heart, I felt it begin to seep. It felt like I was slowly being immersed in a warm tub and the rest of me was eager to slip all the way under. Once the smile appeared on my face involuntarily, I knew He was sitting right there holding my heart close. The joy is bursting from my finger tips right now! I want to put a thousand exclamation points and laugh until I cry for absolutely no reason! If I can feel depressed all day for no reason, then I can laugh my butt off all day for no reason too. Take that, depression.
I started reflecting on the word “dream”. All I could dream about was being in heaven, home where my soul belongs with my loving Father. My dream is to be free from this body. I love my body and appreciate the beautiful home God has made for my soul but oh how I long to be free of it. I dream of being home, I dream of walking beside my God, I dream of being in my home with no tears, fear or pain. I dream. My soul fantasizes with me all day long and we escape from this body together for a bit. When we come back from our dream, it feels like we bring back hope from our home and apply it to the most broken parts of my body. Today, all of it went to my heart and gut where I felt like I had been punched. As I kept thinking and dreaming, I realized I couldn’t describe heaven in words. I tried and tried. I can see it beautifully in my mind, well as much as my human brain can comprehend sort of not really, but the words were completely absent. All I hear is the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”. I was struck by inspiration and decided to try and describe heaven now while it’s clear in my mind. Stay with me, we’ll see how well this goes. It will probably make no sense to anyone but God and I but that’s totally cool.
Heaven. Home. It’s been a long day and you’re tired. Walk up to a beautiful green meadow with the grass reaching with all its might to brush the sky, the flowers laughing with delight into the brilliant sun, the rays of light peeking through the branches of the tall trees, the branches swaying with every sigh of the wind’s breath, the leaves floating gently only to be caught by the soft grass, the birds singing their most precious song reserved only for your ears and tranquility covers the entire place like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. The grass tickles your feet briefly but not enough to make you squirm, it’s soft enough to make you smile, maybe giggle a bit, but it’s not painful. The breeze runs its fingers through your hair, a leaf floats by and brushes your arm hello, the birds cock their eyes at you and it looks like they paused just to smile at how beautiful you are. Up ahead on the small slope, there’s a blanket. It’s red and purple striped, made from the softest material in the world waiting to embrace you. The hill rolls softly into a valley. The mountains up ahead reach sharply towards the bluest sky you’ve ever seen, the contrast in their colors fit perfectly and doesn’t pain your eyes. The rays of the sun are so gentle you don’t have to squint, yet warm enough to keep the goosebumps from poking their heads up. A river softly dances through the middle of the valley, dividing it into two equal halves of perfection, disappearing behind one of the majestic mountains in a curve like a smile. Flowers bloom along both sides, the colors in perfect with harmony with each other, no one competing for attention but each sharing the stage. Old, giant trees grow and stretch their long arms towards you and almost appear to dance with the river. In the distance, you see a shimmering blue ocean perfectly reflecting the sky yet adding its own shades of glimmer to the surface. The rays hover above the waves and maneuver gracefully with each toss and turn onto the sandy beach. The cream color of the sand ends the blue of the water. Each time the waves kiss the shore, the cream blushes a deeper cream until the waves retreat and the cream regains itself. Every part of creation is in love with each other and dance to the same melody. You can almost hear the melody but only when you aren’t listening. It’s like looking up into the night sky and seeing a tiny twinkling out of the corner of your eye. The minute you turn to look directly at it, the star becomes shy and retreats. When you look away, only then is the star brave enough to shine for you. The melody is the same way. When you try and listen to it directly, you hear nothing, only the whispers of the breeze. When you close your eyes, you hear the soft melody rising and lowering, fluctuating with affection, love and adoration with each note played by an instrument you can’t name. The music dances into your ears and kisses you softly with its tones. This is the sound of perfect beauty. This is the sound of harmony in a place where tears don’t exist, fears are quelled, and pain is only a distant memory. Death has no sting and signs of victory are all around you. Even if you were to jump off the edge of the hill, the river would rise to envelop you in its warm embrace and swirl around you, lowering you slowly onto the sandy bottom. You don’t drown. You can simply lay under the water, looking up at the sky through the surface of the waves that stop their dancing momentarily just so you can look at the sky through their eyes. It’s beautiful the way the river opens itself up to you and lays with you, sharing the intimate view of the sky with you. Then the desire to fly comes creeping into your heart that has been made completely whole. The river laughs and tosses you gently into the air, your arms come out beside you and you soar into the clouds. They take you by the hand and gently twirl you around and around, the birds flap their wings and sing a song just for you to dance to. The other clouds watch enviously, waiting to dance with you, the most beautiful thing in the sky with your blinding smile, smooth hair and glowing eyes. They morph into shapes you’ve never seen before and captivate you and you twirl with each one, never getting dizzy, only feeling the breeze brush with each spin. You can dance on your own, flip in every direction, sing every song, tap your feet on a cloud, clap your hands to your own beat or lay still and watch creation perform for you. Smile as each cloud takes its turn to impress you and make you laugh. Float back down and let the branches of the tallest tree catch you, cradle you and hold you. Listen to its stories of long ago, of creation, of others who have sat here before you. Let the breeze brush the hair from your eyes. The bark doesn’t scratch you, it doesn’t leave a mark, the embrace is gentle yet strong. You are confident that you won’t fall yet even if you do, the meadow will delightfully catch you and share the stories its been told. The world is your oyster only it’s not the world you remember. No. Come back to the blanket and lay with Jesus.Enjoy this new world, this new home, your home. Talk about your dreams, talk about your hopes, listen to Him talk about how much He loves you, all the things He wants to do with you, and all of the beautiful ideas He has to further show you love. Watch Him create just for you. Watch Him take your hand and dance with you. Watch Him hold you close as you look out onto the creation together. Watch Him listen to your heart and make it whole once again. Listen to His whispers. Listen to His laugh. Listen to His voice. Hold His hand. Hold His gaze. Hold His love near and dear to your heart for the rest of eternity. Eternity is whatever you want it to be. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted. It’s never ending. It’s heaven. It’s home. Home is where the heart is and in paradise, your heart is with Jesus always. Perfect beauty all around you. Colors your eyes can’t fathom. Music you can’t stop listening to. Beauty you can’t stop looking at. Peace that silences your lips and makes you smile. Home. I never want to leave.
Come and dream with me.