Amanda is now in perfect peace
From day one, anytime someone would talk about those last 45 minutes, it was too much for me to handle. In fact, I think the Lord knew it was too much for me to handle. So I believe He gave me this one truth to hang my heart on until He could show me other truths. Similar to titrating yourself into enjoying coffee, God heals your heart a little at a time. I wasn’t ready to handle the “dark roast" truths yet so He started me off with the “caramel mocha latte” one. Don’t get me wrong, this truth is no less true than others. It’s not more watered-down. It was just more palatable early on in my grieving process:
Davey, everything done on earth was immediately undone when Amanda stepped into My presence.
The Bible teaches us that if you’re a Christian (if you have believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and trusted Him as your savior), as soon as you die you are immediately in His presence in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). I believe whole-heartedly the moment Amanda stepped into Jesus’ presence all of her pain was alleviated and she immediately felt more euphoric than she has ever felt. I believe every one of her tears were wiped away and she immediately felt more happiness and joy than she has ever felt. I believe all of her wounds were healed and she immediately felt freer than she has ever felt. I believe all of her memories of that incident were erased and she immediately felt a rush of relief, forgiveness, satisfaction, and protection.
C.S. Lewis writes in The Great Divorce of "everything sad [in this world] becoming untrue” in Heaven. He doesn't say “healed” or "all better” or “relieved." Untrue. As if sadness never even existed on earth. As if what we saw as sad through our earthly eyes, we’ll soon see as poetic, redemptive, triumphant, and (for lack of a better adjective) "awe-some" through our heavenly eyes.
Each year since living in Indy, Amanda and I had decided on a theme Bible verse for our family. She always wrote the verse on a chalkboard window frame Amanda had made. The theme verse for our family in 2015 was Isaiah 26:3.
"He will keep in perfect peace him whose heart is steadfast because he trusts in you.”
This verse always reminded Amanda and I to trust Jesus even in the most difficult of times of church-planting. The window frame hung just around the corner from where I found Amanda that fateful morning.
When I went back into the house for the first time I saw this window still in tact on the wall around the corner. In that moment it was as if the Lord was showing me that "just around the corner" from our earthly sufferings and pain is perfect peace. That one day, on the other side of eternity, those of us in Christ will have every wound healed, every tear wiped away, and every question answered. Amanda is now basking in the rays of perfect peace and I know she’s loving every second of it, and certainly not longing to be back here on Earth. No one has ever gone to Heaven, been in the presence of Jesus, and longed to go back to Earth!
Maybe Amanda sees what’s going on with Weston, me, and the rest of her family. Maybe she’s cheering us on as we walk this thing out and point people to hope and healing in Jesus. Maybe Jesus has showed her the end of this story. Maybe she is getting to see years in advance the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people that are being impacted by her life and legacy.
Above all else I believe if she could communicate anything to us right now it would be this:
Hey guys, God’s promises are true. “He will keep in perfect peace him whose heart is steadfast because he trusts in You."