CHRISTMAS 2002

Today is the day my three daughters’ lives came to an end on this earth. They were killed in a car accident on the way to participate in and celebrate their brother Joey’s wedding. They were so excited to become” sisters” to Bree, who they so adored.

KRISTA, JESSICA, NIKKI, and BREE

Of course, this day stirs up many emotions for both my husband and me, as well as Joey and Bree. We are reminded of the many occasions, opportunities, and new memories we will not experience with the girls here on earth. But my overall thoughts of this day took on A New Perspective a few years after they died.

When we left Willmar, where the accident occurred, I said I would never drive on that road again. I was not interested in setting up crosses on the side of the road. It was okay if I never visited that place again. However, a necessity brought us to travel that very road to visit a very special friend one day. I learned two critical things that day.
1. Never say “never” and …
2. Things are not always as they seem.

With nerves on edge, we set out on the 2-hour drive. With the anticipation of sad emotions, our car rounded the curve at the very place the accident occurred. Remembering the pictures of the accordion looking wrecked car, we approached the spot where the accident occurred. I was surprised by the scene I envisioned and the emotions I experienced.

Upon arriving at the scene of the accident peace enveloped not only my mind but also my heart. I saw (in a vision,) the girls greeted by Jesus, wrapped in His arms of love, three brides in Heaven, healed and whole. As quickly as the car passed over that spot on the road, my entire perspective of the accident changed from that of a tragic ENDING to that of a beautiful and blessed BEGINNING.

Instead of driving by the spot my girls were killed–it became the sacred portal where they met Jesus face to face and were escorted to their Eternal home! Any fear they encountered or pain they likely experienced was instantly forgotten when they BEHELD and were HELD in the arms of perfect love itself. They were now three brides in Heaven.

THREE BRIDES IN HEAVEN

My spiritual eyes were opened, and an entirely opposite reality unfolded than my previous thoughts about the accident. This is often the case as scripture reminds us to focus on the unseen realities of Heaven. As this REALITY  took a hold of me, it reminded me that death does not swallow up life, but that in death what is mortal is swallowed up by life. Their human bodies put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:54). 2 Cor. 5:8 tells us that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” … because death is swallowed up in victory for the believer.

I love how A. W. Tozer defines reality from his book, The Pursuit of God.

“What do I mean by reality? I mean that which has an existence apart from any idea any mind may have of it, and which would exist if there were no mind anywhere to entertain a thought of it. That which is REAL has being in itself. It does not depend upon the observer for its validity.”

To accept and then know this REALITY is what enables us to embrace LIFE both for now AND eternity. The TRUTH always sets us free!  This does NOT mean we will not grieve or experience pain and sorrow. But it means we can do so with a hope that does not disappoint—because it propels us into a future that is eternal. It is from that REALITY that we can say along with the apostle Paul, “For me to live is CHRIST—and to die is GAIN” (Phil. 1;21).