Where is She?

In the two months since my mother died, I’ve wondered many times exactly where she is. I know—the answer is, generically, heaven. But where is heaven? What is it like? While there is comfort in knowing that she is there, it doesn’t really take away the pain of loss experienced on earth. And for me, it’s raised a lot of questions and thoughts that have, quite honestly, disturbed me at times.


That’s why I started reading Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven—a thick and wonderful tome studying everything the Bible says about the place followers of Jesus go when we die, as well as the place we will live eternally after the resurrection from the dead. Reading it fills my hunger to know, nourishes my soul that languishes.


But I still need the comfort of the revelation that the Spirit gives me Himself as I read the Word. One day last week I was in desperate need of that comfort. I opened to the words of Jesus in John 14: “Do not let your hearts be troubled….in My Father’s house there are many dwelling places…I am going away to prepare a place for you.”


Then comes this huge little interchange. Jesus said, “And to the place where I am going, you know the way.” Thomas responded, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”


Jesus had just described the place where He was going. Yet, Thomas felt uneasy. Where was this place exactly? Perhaps he was picturing nebulous castles in the sky. How would he know how to get there if he didn’t really know where it was?


For the first time, I truly stood in Thomas’ shoes. I hear what Jesus has said, but I don’t fully understand, and I even feel a little troubled.


Peace filled me that morning in Jesus’ answer: “I am the Way.” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by me.


Where exactly is my mom? It’s not a location I can find on a GPS or on Google Maps. But suddenly it doesn’t really matter, because I know, in a fresh way, what really does matter. I doubt that she worried about where she was going during her final hours of consciousness. In fact, I think she was only thinking about the Way she would get there. Here is an excerpt from the tribute my dad wrote the morning after she died:


On the evening of February 15, I leaned over her and said, “You will be seeing Jesus before we do.” With her quivering lips she said JESUS. This would be her last word. At 5:35 a.m. on February 16, 2010, she peacefully took her last breath and moved out of this earthly shell to be present with the LORD.


Where is she now? I still don’t really know—but I know without a doubt that she knew, intimately and unquestioningly, the Way to get there.



One Response to “ “Where is She?”

  1. wisdomvirtueandrubies says:

    This was beautiful, Joanne. I'm sure many have felt the same way you do, yet hesitated to say so. Sometimes as followers of Christ we think we should "know it all" and are ashamed if/when we have questions. Your transparency will bless many.

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