A Curious Ellie
I've held off sharing some personal details because they're, well, they're personal.
but . . .
Sometimes the personal stuff is the most important stuff.
I sometimes imagine that Heavenly Father and I were very close before I came to earth. I imagine that I waited a long time to come to earth because I did not want to be separated from my loved ones in heaven. I imagine it, and then I cry because I feel very strongly that this is true. There are people on earth that I have connected with instantly, and I know that we were very close in heaven and that our friendship is nothing short of eternal. You know who you are.
Ellie is autistic. Faces are often overwhelming because she sees so many details in a glance. When shown a photograph, she often pushes the face away. She loves the sensation of water, and finds joy in the tiniest details--mainly because she notices details others wouldn't observe.
The first time Chris showed Ellie my picture, she pointed at my face and then kissed the picture.
It was clear that she wasn't overwhelmed with new details at all. She knew me.
The first time I met her, I prepared to stand quietly in the background until she became accustomed to my presence. I would quietly observe and let her come to me. I stood behind Chris at the door as he knocked. Ellie came to the door, eager to see her daddy. She opened the door, walked past Chris, and put her hand in my hand. She dragged me around the house, showing me her world.
Whenever I doubt the existence of heaven, or more importantly, my place within heaven or earth--whenever I doubt my own intuition or my faith, I remember the concrete feeling of her hand in my hand. There was no introduction, no hello--she simply took my hand as though it was completely natural.
Like many tired children, Elijah fell asleep in my arms. Granted, it feels wonderful to have a little child fall asleep in your arms when you've just met, but there wasn't anything particularly unusual about that. Elijah is a little King. He has the ability to convert any room into a little bit of heaven--a throne room of sorts. Light follows him around. He infuses the energy of the room into a calm, peaceful buzz of love. He lays his head on your shoulder as though it is the easiest thing in the world to simply love another human being. The defenses that you've built with all other human beings crumble when you're near him. The security and comfort that we felt with our Heavenly Parents is personified in this little boy. He embodies the virtue of unconditional love.
This isn't to say that these kids are perfect. But for me, they are the perfect herald of heaven's existence. As I look at these pictures, and I remember the feeling I have when I'm with them, I feel more confident than ever that I have an eternal relationship with God and that I will return to live with him again.
It's easy to excuse immediate connections with people as being about common interests or simply being socially adaptable. But I can't explain the immediate relationship that I have with these kids. I don't think that it is evidence of things to come--I see it is evidence of things past. Our interactions testify of life before earth. And knowing my past enables me to face the future, whatever that may be.