I know a dear family going through something terrible right now. As I asked the Lord what to write about this week, He brought this past post to mind. I know why.
My friend, the only reason it was possible for me to see what I saw that night in March of 2011 was because my daughter had already received the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
So when I tell you that Jesus is real, that He really loves you, and that He died for you, you can believe it.
I am re-posting this so that you too will have hope. Your loved ones are not gone. They are home.
Julie Keels (1982-2011)
[Written 4/14/11] Once I got home from the hospital the night Julie died, I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I was back in ICU watching her die. I still couldn’t believe it was real. How could she be gone? What was I going to do now?
Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, I drifted off out of exhaustion (or more likely, God’s mercy on me) and I had a dream.
This makes the sixth dream from God in my life. I know they’re from Him because they are, well, spiritual. They are so different from other dreams that there’s no doubt they are from Him. I can still feel what I felt when I dreamed each one. I can still tell you every detail of those dreams – those night visions.
That night, I dreamed that Julie came back. She was standing right in front of me and she was more beautiful than can be described. My baby was alive! But not just alive – she was radiant!
Her face shone with a warm light, and her eyes were even more vividly blue than I’ve ever seen them. Here eyes were a blue that doesn’t exist on this earth. Her hair was shining and auburn, like the color she was born with.
And she smiled at me!
Her smile was completely joyful. I’ve never seen a smile like that before or since. There was no trace of pain or sadness – past or present. Nothing but pure, undiluted joy was in her.
I can’t even find the words to tell you how happy I was at that moment. I can still feel it. My baby was alive! In my dream, I shouted, “Look what God did! Look at the miracle God did!”
But when I tried to show Julie to anyone, she was gone. They could not see her. So I searched for her, and found her again. Three times I tried to get others to see her, but each time she was gone.
When I woke up, I still had that same wonderful joy and relief I’d had in my dream. I realized very quickly that God had given me a precious gift. I’ll never be able to thank Him enough for that sweet image of Julie, for His loving kindness, and for His mercy on me.
I knew that what He had shown me is how Julie is right now. In that brief moment, I saw completeness in Julie. She was finished, like a breathtaking masterpiece that needs no other stroke of the brush. She was fully radiant, completely at peace and filled with great joy. My baby is home.
Sometime later I realized something. Many times in the Bible, people who were visited by angels tried to worship them. The Comforter showed me why. Not that I wanted to worship Julie in my dream, but I know now why people tried to worship angels.
Julie’s face radiated because she had been in the presence of the Living God. She glowed with the light that comes from His holiness and glory. My daughter is standing before the Lord of Hosts and the Lamb of God!
It reminded me of Moses’ face glowing when he came down from the mountain, because he had been in the presence of God.
When my heart is breaking (as it does daily) and I feel the terrifying thought that I won’t ever hear my daughter’s footsteps in the house, the gentle Comforter brings my dream before my eyes.
Every time He shows me, I feel the same swell of joy in my soul. It is a soothing ointment and a clean bandage to a terrible wound. And I know the dream will be there, no matter how long I need it.