Ok guys….if you read any blog that I ever write, let it be this one. Because it’s a good one. A REALLY REALLY good one. I know it’s long, but try to make it through.
About a week ago, my father in law told me about this book Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. He told me it was about a little boy that had a near death experience and actually went to Heaven for a brief period of time and the book is about after his experience when he began telling his family about the things he saw. It seemed really interesting to me because I read a similar book 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper about a few years back and I fell in love with it. So when I was in LaGuardia airport waiting on our flight back to Birmingham I saw it in a bookstore and bought it. I started reading it at 10am EST and finished it before we even landed in Birmingham at 1pm CST. It was THAT amazing.
I loved this book so much. There were two parts in particular that I got so emotional that I had to put the book down and think of something else because I was about to lose it and cry like a baby on a plane where everyone would have been looking at me. Let me give some background on the book in general. Colton Burpo was 3 years old at the time of his incident. He was horribly sick for 5 days straight and was throwing up like clockwork and when his parents took him to the doctor, they thought it was a flu and said he’d get over it, but he never did. After going to another doctor and have a CT scan, they found out that his appendix burst and was leaking poison into his body…for 5 days. The doctors even told the nurses not to give the family encouragement because they didn’t think Colton was going to make it through his emergency appendectomy. While in surgery was when Colton had his experience.
So on to the first part where I had to put the book down. When Colton got wheeled away for surgery, he was so confused and was screaming for his daddy. He kept saying “Daddy don’t let them take me…daddy I’m scared!”. Imagine being his dad (who by the way is a pastor). He had to watch his son throw up every 30 minutes for 5 days straight and now he’s being taken back for a scary surgery with people he’s never seen before. His dad wanted to go through all that pain for him but he couldn’t and to see it all happen to a helpless little three year old was too much for him. Since he’s a pastor, he is very careful about when he gets angry or loses it. He doesn’t want anyone to see him like that. So Todd literally went through the hospital and found a room that was completely empty and closed the door. He prayed, but prayed furiously. He was angry with God and was wondering what a 3 year old could have possibly done to deserve this and begged God to not take his son from him. Finally the nurse came to the Burpo’s to say that Colton made it through but that he was screaming for his dad and they couldn’t calm him down and wanted his dad to come back and see him.
Fast forward several months after the surgery happened. Colton was talking to his dad one day and he said to him “Daddy do you remember when I was screaming for you after the doctor was done working on me?”. His dad said that yes he remembered (at this time Colton had finally told his parents about his experience, but it was several months before he said anything about it at all). Then Colton said “Well, that was when Jesus came to get me in Heaven and said I had to go back because he was answering your prayers”.
WOW. That’s all I can say. Now keep in mind that I just summarized a whole lot into that one example. If you read the book you’ll get more details on the situation and it will be that more special. I seriously about lost it when I read that. It goes to show you that God hears us all the time. Even when we pray angry prayers. God hears us. It was such a special moment for me to read that because it just made me realize all the times I’ve prayed and not felt like anyone heard me. He always hears us. Always.
Now the second example, and probably MUCH more emotional one. One day Colton’s parents were sitting in the kitchen working on things and Colton comes in and says “Mommy I have two sisters”. Colton’s mom, Sonja, never even looked up. So he said it again “Mommy, I have two sisters”. Finally she looked at him and told him he was confused, he only had one sister, Cassie, and asked him if he was thinking of his cousin Traci. Colton replied “no mom, I have two sisters. You had one die in your tummy didn’t you?”. Sonja and Todd were both floored. See, before Colton was even born they got pregnant, but lost the baby in the second month. They were very selective of who they told this information to and there was no way Colton had been told. She grilled him for who it was that told him that information and his response was “she did mommy. I met her in Heaven.”.
Oh it gets better….but you may already be teary. I am and I’ve read it already. Just thinking about it makes me teary again.
His mom repeated what he said and Colton responded “Yes mommy, I met her. She came running up to me and gave me a really big hug" (Colton was giving that ‘girls have coodies vibe like he wasn’t happy about the hugging). “She looks a lot like Cassie, but has brown hair. Don’t worry mom, God adopted her and is taking care of her till you or Daddy get there. She can’t wait for y’all to get there so she can meet you.” His mom asked what her name was and he said “she doesn’t have one…you guys never named her”. His mom replied “that’s right Colton. We never named her. We didn’t even know she was a she.” Colton finally left the room and Sonja and Todd had a moment together and realized that their baby was ok and waiting for them. They immediately starting thinking of names for her so that she could have a name when God chooses to bring one of them to Heaven. At the time of all this, it was just Colton and Cassie, but afterwards, they got pregnant again and had Colby, however to this day, when people ask how many kids they have, they say four.
Y’all….there are so many moments like this in the book. You seriously must go read it. This kid knew things at age 3 that were impossible for him to know then. I absolutely believe that what this kid went through actually happened. I don’t believe he was lying and I don’t believe his family is using him for publicity. I 100% believe that this little boy went to Heaven and met Jesus and met family members he never knew existed. Remember back when I did my Bible Study on the book Plan B by Pete Wilson, my former pastor at my church in Nashville? Well, he went to Nebraska and interviewed the little boy and his dad (the little boy is now 12). See below for that interview. So intense. I highly suggest this book!!!