A lesson I have learned from visiting Heaven is that there is so much more of God’s provision than what we access. (1)
Jesus taught us to pray for the heavenly will of God to be a reality here on earth. (2)
I want to give you a little bit of backstory about this particular time I went to Heaven.
I’m from Upper Michigan, and ten of us ladies traveled in two cars to the International House of Prayer of Kansas City on a retreat. I was the group leader, and as such I had one rule: no complaining. (4) This rule is important because when I start to complain, it is certain that everything goes downhill.
It was about a fourteen-hour trip to Kansas City. I had made the trip many previous weekends, and I never dreaded the drive because I love the International House of Prayer! During this trip, my husband, Mike, was on a missionary trip to Africa. Normally Mike helps me pack and prepare for our trips, but this time I did it on my own. I was much more stressed than normal because Mike wasn’t around and I really wasn’t confident in my ability to travel without him.
On the way down we had many problems. The check engine lights came on in both cars, we got caught in an ice storm, I was almost side-swiped by a semi-truck who didn’t see me in the blind spot, and I discovered that the float in my car didn’t work when I ran out of gas. We stopped over and over to deal with these issues and determine if we should keep going. I felt the strength from my spirit that we should keep going, but I was new to leaning into God, so I found myself stuck in the mental gymnastics of uncertainty. As the leader, I pressed on hoping my nervousness would somehow disappear, all the while presenting a confident front to the ladies.
As the miles wore on, frustrations mounted inside each car and the ladies started arguing with one another. If we had started out in unity, we had certainly lost it along the way. The normal fourteen-hour trip had taken twenty long and stressful hours. I just wanted to go to bed. It started as the worst trip ever.
Upon arrival, we checked into our housing and found that we needed to visit the grocery store. The ladies needed to de-stress and I needed some time alone, so I offered to handle the shopping for our necessities. The frustrations of our trip continued when I found that the recommended grocery store was closed by the time I arrived. I headed to a local gas station and received directions to another store. The directions were complicated and aggravated me further. To make matters worse, the store didn’t have many of the items we needed. To make matters even worse, the directions back to our housing were impossible. I got very lost.
When I finally returned, I was met with a roaring argument. Instead of de-stressing, they had ramped things up. Being the leader, they looked to me. Unfortunately, I had no patience and yelled at everyone to stop being so petty. I unloaded all of my frustrations and everything that the group had done to bother me and sent them all to bed! This was definitely not the best way to begin a retreat. I had broken my own rule of not complaining. And now I was reaping the devastating results.
I didn’t sleep well that night. One of the ladies was crying. Another let me know that she wished she had not come. I was filled with so much negativity. I wanted to do exactly what these ladies were doing, but as the leader I couldn’t show them. Instead, I hid and cried in the shower realizing I had behaved exactly as they had.
The next morning, I got up extra early to walk over to the International House of Prayer. I was still upset, cranky, and now hungry. I wished that someone else were the leader. I was embarrassed by my actions the night before. My plan was to “hide” in the Prayer Room. Maybe God could download a plan to fix everything.
I tell you all of this backstory because people ask what I was doing when Jesus took me to Heaven. I believe that God can take anyone to Heaven at any time regardless of the state of our body, mind, will, or emotions. (5) The Bible says, “Blessed is he who is pure in heart, for you shall see God.” (6) This came to my mind, and I started praying it.
“God, make me pure in heart, because I want to see You. I необходимость to see You!” I pray this often when I am in a really negative mood. It helps me plumb line to the reality of how off-course I am and how to get back into alignment.
Some of the ladies from our group came into the prayer room. They were still upset and wanted to tell me about it. I had no idea how to help them so I recommended that we each pray for an hour and then gather the whole group to talk.
I was stressed. Didn’t they know that I had my own problems? I needed to disappear. I wasn’t sure where to hide until I had a great idea. I went to the very front row and laid down across the chairs. This way, unless someone walked up to the front row they wouldn’t know I was there. But God knew exactly where I was.
I lay down with my knees and my face toward the back of the chairs, and I began complaining to God. You know you can complain to God, and it’s called prayer, right? So I was dumping all kinds of stuff on Him. Stuff from the ladies, the cars, from home, from my fear of Mike being gone, and a hundred other worries. I was complaining to Him about everything including my own inadequacies.
“I don’t know how to fix all these problems, God!” is probably my most common prayer. I am sure I must have used it then too. I started crying for myself, feeling sad and full of self-pity. I wanted to be a good leader, good mom, and good wife. A leader should know what to do, and I certainly didn’t. I couldn’t fix anything—not for me, my children, my family, or this group. I really worked myself up into a crying fit. When I am in one of those pity parties, I can go really low, quickly. Then, suddenly, my mind went to sleep. While my mind was sleeping, God began talking to me, telling me things.
I thought, “Wow, I would have never thought of that!” And more answers came to me. “I would never have believed You could do that, Jesus.” And I recall thinking, “I’m never going to forget this.” But somehow I can’t remember now what the Lord told me during that time. Although I cannot remember His words, I know that He spoke them to my spirit, and they are mine to keep. My spirit is the keeper of His truths, so they are safer than if I could remember them. (7) At that point, I was no longer complaining, but I was in a nice mental place.
In an instant, I was in Heaven, and I was there because Jesus wanted to help me. I thought He was going to give me answers for the ladies, a plan to get us back on track. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Bible says that His ways are not our ways, which is true, but I believe that they can be. (8)
Suddenly I was in the most beautiful park-like garden imaginable. It was huge and went on for as far as I could see. Two angels were escorting me to the Lord. The grass under my feet was perfect, so thick that not one more blade could fit. As I stepped on it, the grass pushed me upward, helping me walk, because it was alive and had supernatural strength. It was so beautiful and rolling. It didn’t roll because the land was sloped, but because the grass wanted to roll. Incredible!
Around me there were many people enjoying the grass, because it massaged our feet with its movement. The people of Heaven were amazing and perfect! They only thought good things, they were filled with hope, they enjoyed everything, and they were excessively joyful. (9) Each person dressed in the clothes from their time period. So seeing one woman with a bustled dress laughing with one in a toga was “normal.” There were men in kilts talking to others wearing long robes. But each person was perfect! I loved looking at the beautiful heavenly people. They made my eyes happy to watch. The most impressive thing to look at were the eyes of the heavenly people. It was much like when you look into the sparkle in the eyes of a baby and how it brings you peace. We see Jesus in the innocence in that child’s eyes. In Heaven, we get lost looking into each other’s eyes, which are alive in God.
Not only did the huge park have stunning grass and exceptional people, there were amazing trees, beautiful flowers, water fountains, pools, and statues. I saw gates into special garden areas and walkways that meandered through lovely sitting areas. The most amazing flowers and shrubs surrounded the garden, filled with a beauty as stunning as the heavenly people and intoxicating fragrances.