As a young girl, the book of Revelation had always fascinated me. As a fantasy reader, the dragon in it had me hooked. The God of the universe actually used a "dragon" in His book? Cool! So what was Revelation all about? I didn't know and for years I didn't even know a biblical commentary existed. Then came 9-11. I sat on my kitchen counter as the second plane hit the twin towers and sobbed. That was the first time in my life I knew I needed to turn to God for answers
I started researching Revelation with a vengeance. Between 2001 and 2006 I read the Bible backward and forward multiple times, but I always had a commentary by my side, telling me what was "right" to believe. I never really knew God had made the bible for people like me to understand.
When the solders told me the news of my husband's death, I knew no commentary could help me. I knew what the Christian community believed - there was no marriage in heaven. Pastors would tell me my life with my husband was over. And believe me, they did.
This did not bring me hope. And wasn't Heaven supposed to bring me hope? Was the "life" we have here truly over when we died? Doug died at the age of 30. I didn't want to let him go.
I prayed about my feelings. I wanted to know the truth, no matter how painful. I closed the commentaries and began reading the bible for myself, letting the spirit guide me and praying for God to help me understand "Heaven." I thought God would tell me to get over my husband's death and grow up; I thought he would tell me to find happiness here with someone else.
He did not.
Time and again, God directed me to scripture that contradicted the "no marriage" mentality. I even found scripture that insinuated "life" was not over when we died. After years of research, I now have a firm grasp on the Millennial Kingdom of Christ and eternity. The image many Christian's have about Heaven is wrong. Heaven isn't sitting on a cloud, playing a harp and singing praises all day long.
Before I met Doug in December 1999, I worked as a financial planner but quickly discovered it wasn't my passion. As a young girl I enjoyed writing poems and songs, so one day after work I sat down and started writing. I wrote before I went to work, when I came home, and on the weekends. I probably logged more hours of writing than I did at my full-time job. Before long I had created an entire fantasy world: druids, oracles, knights, magic, and yes - dragons.
I had found my passion. I went to my employer and told him I wanted to trim back 5 hours of my job - only work 35 hours a week - sacrifice over 12 percent of my pay, to have an hour more a day to write. I was so poor! I ate Ramen noodles every day for lunch. No joke!
Then I married Doug and we went to Alaska, then Georgia, and then Germany. I still wrote every day and then came the news - your husband isn't coming home. My dreams of being a fantasy writer were on hold. I had to breathe and only breathe for years. During this time, I wrote down my true-life story with all its pain and devastation and hope and miracles: Revelations: A Survivor's Story of Faith, Hope, and the Coming Kingdom.
Death is not the end. It is only the beginning. Heaven is not some place we will be playing a harp and wearing a halo. Heaven is Earth. It is swimming with the dolphins; it is diving in a clear mountain stream; it is riding on a back of a lion. And you know what? There will be dragons. Oh yes, there will be dragons. Heaven is coming and I am going to fly off on "Toothless." (if you haven't seen How to Train Your Dragon, you may need to look up why I say this).
I now teach about the coming of Christ in different churches in the Columbus, Georgia area, where I live with my seven-year old son Dak (he was only 16 months old when his father was killed). I am working on a biblical commentary of Revelation and on my fantasy books Dragon Tamer and Kiss of Fate. Look for a new dragon to grace the literary world soon. And when you see me and my son in Heaven, you can bet your life Doug will be right there with us, and we will be on a dragon! Glory!
Amen and Amen, come quickly Lord Jesus!