My neighbor, Melissa, and I have recently started talking about the real stuff in life – family and faith. She and I are both audio book junkies and so we began swapping this week. I just started listening to this one and cannot recommend it highly enough!
Don Piper is a Baptist preacher and in 1989 was returning from a conference when he was hit head on by a semi truck and declared dead on the scene. He spends 90 minutes in heaven but then is brought back to life and has to endure the very real and very painful process of healing – physically, emotional, and spiritually.
As someone who has spent quite a bit of time in the hospital on various occasions for different injuries and health problems including the current challenging disease of ulcerative colitis, I found his thoughts right on the money. There is such an emotional roller coaster a person goes through when fighting a disease or to recover from a traumatic experience. There is inevitable depression and despair when the fight is hard, when you become tired of the fight yet everyone you love is pulling for you. It was great to read about his very honest thought process over the years and how it has ultimately become the best growing experience for him, his family, and all those their lives touch.
The description of heaven given is so beautiful and just what I imagine it to be. It had me in tears. It was just what I envisioned when my Papa passed away. I miss him and wish Ryan and my kids could have known him here. But I have felt his smiling approval of me and my choices on a couple occasions, once while feeling sad he wouldn't be there to see me get married to Ryan.
This man wanted to die to return to heaven and his glorious welcoming committee, but knew God wanted him here on earth and that there was a purpose for him being here. The ordeal of dealing with the pathetic condition of his mortal body was often too much to handle. His account also includes what his family members dealt with and felt through the ordeal.
Read it! Read it for yourself and/or for those you know going through hard things. It will help you know how to get through it and perhaps give you ideas of how to help someone else. When someone else is going through something hard and you want to help, it's great to know what is not actually helpful. Right? It took this man over a decade to write this book because of the complexity all the emotions and how the trauma so affected him. I love how this book shows the healing process.