Years after graduating high school, I have had dreams of showing up on the first day of junior high school, not knowing where my classrooms were, and wandering the maze of halls of the old three-story Vinita High School trying to find my classroom.

In my dream, I opened door after door to find class in progress, students and teachers staring blankly at me as my face flushed a bright red in embarrassment. By the time, I found my class and slipped into the last chair, the bell would ring to indicate the end of class.

We pre-enrolled in the spring, then went to the school a few days before school started to pick up our schedule. I lingered over it, memorizing every class, down to the last detail—time, room number, teacher. I spent hours with my friends, comparing schedules and wishing we could change it so we could all have the same classes together. We wanted to all be the same, same hair, same clothes, same classes, same friends. Junior high is all about fitting in.

 Things changed when Vinita High School Graduation Day came. One day we were all alike, but the day after graduation, we were each one of a kind. I was on my own, off to college, and then too soon, I dropped out and got married. When things were rough, a sick baby, bills to be paid and not enough money to pay them all, my dream recurred. 

Sometimes I dream of heaven. I walked through my Victorian mansion, with dark woods, a massive fireplace surrounded by walls and walls of books. I walked up the broad wooden staircase, into an open room with windows all around, looking out over a lovely park, where children run and play, and a window seat where I could sit and read for hours.

We can’t return to childhood, even if we want to, but we can go to a place where we are accepted and love and valued.

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there you may be also.” John14:2-3. NKJV

Heaven is not a dream, it is real.