Waiting for Heaven and A Giveaway!

Aug 25, 2015 | Faith, For Women

The following is a guest post by author Heather Gillis. She’s a new friend I met at the Speak Up Conference 2015. I’ve asked her to share about her beyond-the-storybook-image mom story, which is filled with hope. Comment on the story below to enter a giveaway of her book, Waiting for Heaven. I’ll be featuring give-aways on social media and on the blog as my book is released August 29-September 12. There will be a giveaway at a hosting blog almost every day. Join in the fun on Facebook, Instagram, or Periscope (download the app and join me for daily broadcasts on your phone with #balanceinbusyness tips!

How many kids do you have? 

This is the question everyone asks that seems simple to answer, but for me is very difficult.  I constantly struggle with this question.

I have three children, but only two are living.waiting for heaven

How’s that for a response?  No one really wants to hear that answer.  They want to hear how many living children I have.  Believe me, I have learned the hard way telling complete strangers my story only to receive blank stares.  How do I answer the question truthfully?

Do I feel fulfilled as a mother that I honors all of my children, or respectfully hide the truth from others so they don’t have to bare my hurt?

After losing our infant son to an incurable kidney disease four years ago, we thought we would only have to deal with the grief of losing him and not all the other things that came with it.

We didn’t realize that the life we lived before no longer existed and now had to live a new normal, a life without him.  Our new lives took on a whole new shape and form that we didn’t recognize and a whole world of pain we didn’t know what to do with.  I discovered how incapacitating grief could be.  I felt like the paralyzed man lying on his mat at the healing pool waiting to get in the pool to be healed (John 5).

Grief is very paralyzing, just like the paralyzed man.

It doesn’t allow you to do the things you used to do or be the person you used to be.  I knew I had to get up off of my mat in order to be healed, but was paralyzed by my grief.  There were many times I cried out to God, “Please take this pain from me!”  only to feel the invasion of grief envelope and overwhelm me.

Really God was pursuing me, trying to take my hand so he could lead me out of my grief, but grief can be so blinding that I couldn’t see what God was trying to do all along:  Save me.

It wasn’t until I used up all of my efforts to avoid, stay busy, run from, ignore my pain, that God made me choose.  When I couldn’t run away from it anymore, God asked “Do you want to be healed?” 1397325891

I did want to be healed, but I was scared.

I knew God was the only way to truly being healed whole-heartedly, but I was scared of experiencing more pain!  God said then “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”  (John 5:8 NIV).  God knew what I needed.  He knew I couldn’t stay on that mat any longer. God knew in order for me to heal, I had to get up and start walking!  I couldn’t stay there in that place anymore, nor could I go back to it.

I couldn’t imagine being paralyzed for 38 years and then one day Jesus approaches me to ask, “Do you want to be healed?”  Out of all the disabled people laying around the healing pool, Jesus approaches this one paralyzed man.  He pursued him, sought him out, just like he does us. 

There are going to be times that Jesus asks you to do things that you don’t want to do, that may be hard.  I promise you, that God will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born (Isaiah 66:9).


Our pain will never be wasted.  The same God that sent Jesus to conquer the grave for us and raised him from the dead is the same God that can deliver and raise us up also (1 Corinthians 6:14).  There are days I long to hold our son in my arms and the grief starts creeping in again.  But I know that one day I will see him again.  I know God is taking care of him and I can rejoice because of His promises.

We can trust our God who is a God of Hope. Hold on–pain ends in His promises.

How has this post encouraged you? Comment below before August 31, and I will enter your name in a drawing for Heather’s book, Waiting for Heaven. Then join us also on social media in the coming weeks for a giveaway of my new book and other fun things!

Heather received a master’s degree in Nursing at Villanova University in 2004 and her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at West Chester University in 1999. Heather works full time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a surgery center. Her husband, Mac, is an Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgeon serving in the United States Air force. Heather lives in Alaska with her husband and two living children. When she is not working, writing, or taking care of the house, you can find Heather running the trails, reading, taking the kids to gymnastics, crafting with her daughter, building legos with their son and camping with her family!


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Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


  1. Janice Hassett

    Our son died at age 52 and like you I have 3children. ..but one is now in heaven. Because of his salvation thru Christ I know this to be true. Your remarks have reminded me to rest in that fact. Bless you.

    • Heather Gillis

      Janice- I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I am so glad we have a God who loves us enough to have made a plan that one day there will be no more pain or sorrow. May we all find rest in his love for us. Many blessings to you and your family as well.

  2. Judy Haggarty

    I cannot begin to imagine your pain and hole in your heart. Can’t wait to read your book !!!

    • Heather Gillis

      Judy- I am so thankful that God is able to fill the hole in my heart with His love and heal me whole heartedly. I hope you enjoy the book!

  3. Mary DeMarco

    Hello, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your child. Your words are inspiring. My beautiful 28 yr old daughter Alicia and her newborn daughter Arianna both passed 11-20-14. Alicia suffered from mental illness and addiction. The pain is unbearable. Every morning I wake up to this nightmare. I have always and still do have faith in God. I would not survive if I didn’t . God gave me Alicias 1st daughter Alexa we have had her since birth she just turned 5. My husband and love this child so much she is what we live for?

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      I am so sorry, Mary. What unimaginable heartache. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Heather

      Mary- I am so sorry for your tremendous loss of your daughter and granddaughter. I can’t even imagine. One thing I know is true, is the love you have for them still exists in your heart. Just because they are no longer here with us physically, they are still with very much with us in our hearts. Creating new positive memories in honor of them is so healing. May the God of hope provide you with peace and while hearted healing.

  4. Lora

    Awesome! I would love to get this book for my brother and family. We just passed the 2 year mark of their son getting his angel wings. Days are pretty tough for them sometimes

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thanks Lora! What a great help to them.

    • Heather

      Hi Lora- I am so sorry for their loss. Child loss is a long hard road. I pray that they will find hope, comfort and peace in God’s promises. Their pain will not be wasted. Praying for brighter days that will be filled with hope!

  5. Cindy Neuenschwander

    Our daughter passed away a year ago… we are raising her sweet boy.. who just turned 3. Your book looks very interesting

    Blessings… Cindy

    • Heather

      Cindy- I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. Losing a child is so devastating. Waiting for Heaven is a journey of our struggle of learning how to live this life without our son and still find the joys in life. Our son’s life was too precious not to share the love we have for him with others. Even though he is not with us here, a little piece of heaven is brought down when we share his love, making everyday one day closer that we will see him again. May the God of hope comfort you and fill you with joy.

  6. Laura

    Thank you for the encouragement! I so needed to read this today!

  7. Kate Motaung

    Thank you for this post. What an encouragement that there is purpose in the pain, and there is always hope.

    I can relate much to the sentiments shared above, and even wrote an e-book called, Letters to Grief. I join you, Heather, in the wait for and anticipation of heaven.

    Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your story here. I pray that your book is a blessing to many.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thank you so much, Kate. Your book sound similarly helpful. I have not lost a child but many friends and family members have. Grief of a child is like none other. Thank you!

    • Heather

      Hi Kate- I will have to look for your e-book Letters to grief. I have written similar letters. Writing letters to grief can be so healing. I pray that your book will bring hope and healing to many.

      • Kate Motaung

        Hi Heather,

        Thank you for your kind words. Here is a link to my e-book, if you’re interested. It’s only $0.99 and is a very quick read. I pray that it will be an encouragement to you.


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