24 April 2012
Heaven is Here
I recently read "Heaven is Here" by Stephanie Nielsen of the Nie Nie Dialogues.
Dang. That book will do a number on you.
It seems everyone by now knows of Stephanie Nielsen, but in case you don't, she is a Mormon woman & mother of four from Utah who survived a plane crash, but was burned on 80% of her body.
I didn't know of Stephanie until her plane crash story surfaced on many blogs. It turns out her plane went down in August of 2008. That was the exact month (nearly the exact week) that my first husband left the country on a trip and then never returned. At that time, my husband's exit was already becoming a sanctifying experience for me. By then I had already become at peace with my infertility as well as the years of pain I experienced in my first marriage. And so I was just applying all that I had learned to my upcoming divorce, too. And it was working. Even as I was alone in New York, being left to pay the mortgage & bills, working my butt of at my job by day and packing my husband's stuff by night, feeling further away than ever from becoming a mother, & not knowing at all what my future held, I was still at peace & feeling more fullness, consciousness, and joy than I had ever felt in my life. I felt like I was truly living.
And, so, when I started reading Stephanie's words of deliverance & peace as she went through her healing process, I felt amazed and excited that the principles that were working in my life were working in hers, too - yes, even in such a horrible human experience as a plane crash and disfigurement. Our trials and emotions could not have been more different, but the source of our deliverance and peace was the same. And it is available to every single person in every single circumstance.
Now, I'll warn you - a lot of this book is not necessarily an uplifting read (how could it be?) It's heavy. I just couldn't believe the story as it unfolded. She shared the raw reality of going through that near death experience (and the aftermath) and of course that included many of her darkest times. I often felt kind of awful after reading it. BUT, I kept coming back for more. Because I knew that things got better for her. While her doctors helped her to survive physically, her faith and family helped her to survive spiritually & emotionally. And so I was rooting along as I read - "It will get better! It will get better!" I'm glad she shared the dark times, because it just gives power to what her message is today........That life is beautiful - - even though really horrible things happen to us. That faith and hope and love for this life can trump any trial we could ever face and that "it's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life."
Have you guys read the book? What did you think?
P.S. April 24th has arrived. Tonight at 8:00 pm Eastern Time (5:00 pm PT) we will host our very first ever (!) on-line class called "Choosing Happiness. The Basics. 101." And I guess this means I need to shower and tidy up my work space. :) Cause you'll get to really see us and hear from us. You guys, it's going to be so good. I can say that because Danny happens to be a really, really great teacher and will cover for me if I choke while looking at the computer camera instead of your beautiful faces. :) We wish you could all be in our living room for this, but doing it this way will be the next best thing. We hope that it will be uplifting, moving and inspiring to all of you. (Note: You need to sign up and register in advance and you can do so here. See you tonight!)
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