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Scared to go to heaven….

on January 10, 2013

this post contains a subject that may be sensitive and controversial to some readers. I apologize in advance for anything that may offend. This post is not meant to spark debate or discriminate against those who believe otherwise

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This weekend we had the pleasure to have a sleepover with a child of friends of ours. A few years ago our friends mother had passed away and during the time with this child , she mentioned this several times.
My children have only lost one person who was close to them and they were fairly young when it happened . They have never had to deal with death, heaven or hell or anything else to do with this after we are done in this life.
The little girl then proceeded to talk about death with my children and discuss heaven . I did intervene telling her that it was time to talk about something else. It became quite apparent as the weekend went on that this little girl was obsessed with death and heaven . At one point she proceeded to tell my children we were all going to die but only if we were good would we go to heaven.
I have to say I had to stop the conversation in its tracks a few times. I was quite disturbed at some of the things she was saying and how she was obsessed with talking about It.
Then after the sleep over N started having night terrors again . When I asked her what she was dreaming about she started talking about how she was afraid to die, how she didn’t want to go to heaven and how she was afraid that I was going to die. Pretty heavy thoughts for a six year old .
During the week this topic kept coming up and N’s anxiety over it is growing continually to the point where she doesn’t want to sleep because she is afraid that she will die ( this is how the grandmother had passed away )
As a mother I feel helpless to comfort my child. The truth is we are all going to die one day and we don’t know when that is . I can’t promise my daughter that I won’t die because that’s a lie. Heaven is not suppose to be a scary place, it is somewhere that we want to go when we die .
All these questions are popping into my head. How do I explain to her what our family believes about heaven? How do I tell her that we all have to die but it isn’t scary if she is afraid of heaven ? I can’t use heaven as a comfort what else do I tell her? How do I simply explain things to her ? She is only six and don’t want to scare her even more.
I have tried to calmly explain that mommy isn’t going anywhere yet. I tried explaining that heaven is a wonderful place where we will always be happy , that we will get to be with Jesus and that we will be there together. This doesn’t calm her and her anxiety hits the roof.
I have prayed and have sought the opinions of others on how I can calm her fears. All have come back and said that it is the fear of being parted from me . I can see how this would be scary and terrifying for her. They have reassured me that there is nothing more that I can say or do but gently keep repeating to her what I have already said and to pray with her .
I also feel angry and robbed. This was not a discussion that I wanted to have until I had to have it . I wanted to be able to gently present death and heaven in a manner that would not have scared her.
I wanted to be able to tell her all the good things before she clued into the bad.
Now I feel like I have to undo what someone else has told her. In no way do I blame the child who slept over for I know that this what her parents have decided to tell her . I just wish that it had been me.
I hurt for the anxiety that this is causing my little girl. With her autism the more obsessed she becomes about it the more it raises her anxiety. I know that this is something she has been thinking about ever since the sleep over. She worries about being good enough to go to heaven .
How do you explain to a six year old its not about good behaviour it’s about faith , grace and serving the LORD with your whole heart. The answer is with N you can’t . She doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand this yet .
How do you explain that you have to be good because that’s what Jesus wants you to do . You can’t explain salvation with all it’s in and outs to her.
So here I am presented with a dilemma and one thing I know for sure , is that God will see me through this trial . He will give me the answers in his time and will help to heal what has been hurt.

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