At the age of 16, Terri knew she would be a writer, but life and all its different paths took over as she devoted the next 30 years to building a career and raising a family. In 1991 when her son was killed in an accident, her focus changed and the need to write again resurfaced as she journaled through her time of grief and great confusion as to the purpose of life. Terri and her husband, Glenn, live in Christiansburg, Virginia.
“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
Continue the Burpos story in Heaven Changes Everything: The Rest of Our Story. Heaven Is for Real also is available in Spanish, El cielo es real.
Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter.
While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know the grace that transforms it.
A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of our sorrows, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life.