”Because Life is for Eternity and Mortality is a vital component of everything that comes after this life,” is why you will hear JoAnna Weekes Oblander say she is eager to share the lessons she learned from her near death experience. JoAnna was the rare recipient of a meeting with God himself during her near-death experience. Come grab a Glimpse of who you are, where you’ve been and where you are meant to go! Find out how JoAnna, who was once a depressed, headache-ridden woman (determined to end it all) became a woman who works tirelessly as an author, motivational speaker, and a life & health coach. JoAnna has become an impassioned advocate for Living Lives of Meaning, Families, and placing God the Father and His son Jesus Christ at the center of our lives. Be sure to read her book. A Glimpse of Heaven, to find out why your life is meant to be significant, why your family & relationships deserve the best of what you have to give, and how you can know that God loves you and has a divine purpose for you! Find out more…
I used to have a whole different idea of what humility is. I used to believe that humility was believing that you had less worth than dust (Picked that up from King Benjamin). However, though heaven was full of humility, I don’t remember seeing anyone at all who did not believe in and honor their worth. No one thought they had no worth. In fact, one of the most astounding parts of my experience in heaven was how we all honored each other and OURSELVES. We freely acknowledged our gifts and talents but we did not see them as anything that provided superiority if we had more or inferiority if we had less. Instead, each gift and talent was an incredible blessing and a way that we could more fully serve our Creator. Perhaps we should all be better at acknowledging the gifts we have been given – not with ego but with a spirit of gratitude. I am a witness that all that we are and all that we can become is a gift from God. Now, if I can just do a better job of using that gift to better serve the ONE who gave it to me, I will be one step closer to recreating what I witnessed in heaven.
One of the interesting things that I learned in heaven is that we are so much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Another interesting thing I learned is that in this life we are expected to put our best foot forward – to do the best we are capable of doing; not the best that our neighbor, friend, or family member can do. That means that God expects us to do what we are capable of doing. We live in a world of Entitlement. So many expect everything that they want to be given to them. All the hand outs in the world will not create of us what we are meant to become nor will they bless us with deep, inner happiness. In order to do that, we must believe in ourselves, our abilities, and in the ability of God to increase our results as we put our best efforts forward. The truth is that what we become is generated by what is inside of us and not what we surround ourselves with (materially speaking). For example, if a man (or woman) is to become more loving – their heart must become receptive to vulnerability and they must be willing to place the needs of others’ before their own. No one would think that surrounding ourselves with heart shaped pillows would do the trick. However, when we try to address personal growth, we often use the same type of heart pillow logic to try to solve our problems. Things and more things are never the answer. The answer lies in making God our most important partner in all that we do and listening to our hearts. Then, with our God by our side, we need to put our BEST FOOT FORWARD!
Faith, we throw the term around a little recklessly for all of the importance that it has. Life did not begin here on earth and it will not end here either but the time we spend here will be critical for most of us. (Babies and young children who die don’t get grouped with us here) We know sooo much and we feel sooo much and too often we sweep what we know and what we feel into an emotional dust pan where we convince ourselves that we aren’t going to have to deal with it. It is not by accident that we are emotional beings! As I witnessed in heaven the events that had been a part of my existence, it became so overwhelmingly clear that I needed to give more credence to the impressions I felt in my mortal life. For example, when I first started dating my husband, it felt like I had known him forever. It was as though we were having a reunion – not just getting to know each other. As I saw us together in that sphere of existence that we were a part of prior to this earth life, it made so much sense. We had been close there and prior to our births it had been decided that we would be together on earth. When we started dating, I could not, of course, remember our relationship prior to this life. However, my spirit knew and those feelings I had in my heart were telling me things that were important for me to pay attention to. I didn’t really need to know that I already “knew” him but I did need to know that our relationship would be important to me and that he needed to be an important part of my life. [At this point, I feel inclined to throw out a bit of caution here...since we feel so much in our hearts, we need to be sure that what we are feeling is from God. When we are being prompted in our hearts by God - those promptings will always promote feelings and behavior that we would be proud to display if God were in the same room with us. Feelings that promote any kind of behavior contrary to God's commandments is not from God and will not be a blessing to us if we act on them.] The exercise of faith is a vital experience for us in this life. The whole idea behind faith is that as we develop it and learn to exercise it, we will continue to grow, improve, and move beyond our current limitations. Utilizing faith is usually hard because we have to trust in the final outcome without having the whole blueprint in front of us. Yet, as we continue to utilize faith, our relationship with God becomes profoundly stronger, more vital, and our ability to trust Him grows exponentially. Then, just as the meme above demonstrates, we can grow into someone who is profound and beautiful – even if we must start from a bed of ashes.
Today’s post is not necessarily part of what I learned in heaven – though part of it is. Today’s post is a little bitter sweet. Quite often, our days have both a combination of bitter and of sweet. What I share today comes on the heels of the news received last week that the fourth baby we were expecting to add to our family this year will not be arriving. That news was received just ahead of the birth of this year’s baby #1. I know if I talked to a scientist he/she would give me some detailed explanation of exactly how and of what a heart is constructed of. Though my spiritual heart resides right next to my physical heart – they are definitely two interrelated yet separate operations. Somehow, my physical heart just keeps on beating while my spiritual heart wants to both shout with joy and crumble with grief. Our tally now comes to 15 sweet mortal angels (called grandchildren) and 5 heavenly angels that came and whispered their arrivals but who left before they took their first mortal breath. Those five heavenly angels have not disappeared – they are very real; they just did not need the same mortal experience that we did. For them, the perspective is much different. They love us and care for us and from their time perspective (which is different than ours), they know in no time at all we will be joining them. In the meantime, we mourn those angels we will have to wait to hold and we celebrate those angels who remain in our presence. It is at times like these that I hold on tightly to those amazing things that I learned in heaven. I hold onto the knowledge that my Father in Heaven is perfect and only wants what is best for me and those I love – even when we don’t understand why some things need to be the way they are. I will hold dear my knowledge of just how much we are loved by the Father of our souls. I will trust in that plan for my life that was prepared well before my first breath and I will know that I don’t have to understand everything – I just have to have faith and rely on that perfect, loving Being that I call my Father in Heaven.
I learned so many wonderful and profound things in heaven but I am reminded of this lesson every single day. That lesson is that the most important and most meaningful things we can do with our lives are those small, simple things that so many take for granted. Sharing a smile, a compliment, a hug, holding a child, holding the hand of our sweetheart, or just lending a listening ear are vital and essential to the well being of the world in which we live. The world will forget the man whose daily activities only embraced seeking fame and fortune and will forever remember the man who opened his heart to his friends and loved ones. The loving man’s name may not be written in the annals of history but his positive influence will be felt forever.
Today I offer a simple prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool that enables us to draw upon the Lord’s power. In heaven, I don’t remember seeing anyone pray but ever since my Near Death experience I have understood, in ways that defy description with words, the incredible power and lifeline that prayer can be in our lives. I know that God hears and answers every sincere prayer. And, although those prayers are not always answered with the answer we want or in the time frame we desire – they ARE ALWAYS answered in a way that is best for our personal growth. God’s throne may be billions of light years away but His love and awareness of us is with us every breath that we take. Every heart felt prayer opens our Creator’s door and makes possible His assistance.