Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Preparing A Place

Preparing a Place

*As a note, this was originally drafted last year.  I mention that because there's a reference to how many months since my daughter's death.

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1-2)

Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for those who trust in Him. 

As a mother, I can relate to that.  I began preparing a place for my children long before they were even born—before they were ever conceived, truth be told.  When I started buying things for my children (including their first Bible) I was far from becoming a mother.  I wasn't seriously dating anyone, let alone talking marriage!  But I knew how much I already loved those children that God was going to give me someday, and so I started preparing for them.  You'll be glad to know I refrained from mentioning that on first dates.

Since they came into this world, not a day has gone by in which I haven't prepared a place for my children.  I have tenderly cared for them when they have been ill.  I have made sure they had a home to live in, not just a house.  I have loved them, disciplined them, and, yes, sometimes completely lost my temper with them.  The latter might not exactly qualify as preparing a place, but it's true nonetheless.

I bought material so they could have curtains they liked in their bedrooms.  I painted a beautiful dresser set of bright pink and purple for my daughter so her room could reflect her personality.  Every day of my children's lives, I have tried to make sure they eat healthy, get exercise, learn about Christ.  The list goes on forever, and even a forever list would only scratch the surface of what I have poured into preparing a place for my children in this world.

Jesus loves my daughter so much more than I do.  The depth of His love for her is, I know, beyond my mortal comprehension.  And he tells me in His own words that He went ahead of her to prepare a place for her in heaven.

It has been about three and a half months since my baby girl passed away.  Not a day has gone by yet that I haven't shed tears at some point.  The pain of my loss is deep.  In the midst of that pain, though, if I choose to see it (which I almost always do), is such great joy.

Why am I able to find that joy?  Because I know I can trust Jesus with my daughter.  I know with absolute certainty that she is in heaven and that He has prepared an amazing place for her.  And I know, from being a Mom, that preparing a's not a one-time thing.  It's ongoing care and tender attention.  It's seeing that the needs are met and the soul is fed.  That means everything to me.

I cling to the promises of heaven.  My little ladybug has a beautiful mansion now, and when I picture it in my mind, it's the same bright pink and purple as her dressers.  Whether or not that's true, I don't know.  It makes my heart smile, though, to think of it that way.  The reality is probably far better.

The Bible tells us that there is no pain in heaven, no sadness.  I hold on tight to that promise as well.  She is not sick; she is not suffering.  You have no idea how much that means to me.  That beautiful child, who I nurtured, cradled and cared for here on this earth for more than nine years suffered so greatly in the last six months of her life.  The promise of no pain and no sickness – it matters to this mother's wounded heart.

I gave a lot of thought to heaven during the last months of my daughter's life.  People don't always agree what heaven is like.  (Are the streets really gold or are they simply so radiant that those were the only words John could find to describe what he saw?) It is little wonder, then, that there's even more contention about what we will do when we are there in the presence of our Creator and our Savior.  I'm not aiming for a theological debate about heaven.  For me, everything I read, everything I look at, everything that speaks to me on the subject in scripture comes back to this one main point:

Jesus went to heaven before my baby girl.  He promised to prepare a place for her.

I understand what that means way deep down in my heart, in that place where pain could overwhelm, overtake, and poison the rest of my life if I let it.  And because I understand, I can know joy, peace, and love in the midst of my heartache.  I can have certainty that my daughter is in the best possible hands.  Hard working hands.  Loving hands.  Tenderly caring hands.  Self-sacrificing hands.  Strong and comforting hands.  Nail-scarred hands.

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You're inspiring Heather. I think your writing is a means to help change peoples lives. I truly believe this is your calling. Even if you inspire just one person, you will have done great. I know she's looking down on you, proud of what you've accomplished. I am so very proud of you sis. God bless you!

Hi Heather, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. Here's the link:

Thank you for sharing, Heather! Beautifully written as always, and so sweet. You WILL see her again! :)

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how I'd feel if I lost one of my boys. My heart goes out to you.

Heather my dear you write from the heart and soul Molly is so very proud of her mommy we all feel your pain, loss and sweet memories of our precious Molly and yes she is in the 2nd best hands you my girl were the first.