Jesus stretched out His arms to welcome her, and she jumped up into His embrace. His arms enfolded her small body and held her tightly, closing his eyes and smiling as if He had just welcomed home a beloved friend after a long absence.
The next vision I had of Hannah was of her dancing. She twirled in circles with arms raised high, laughing wholeheartedly with delight. Hannah’s sick body no longer kept her from fully enjoying life. Physical limitations did not hinder her from dancing with the grace of a ballerina. Watching my daughter move in this way made me smile. Hannah was happy, and it pleased me to see her dancing with such joy.
Cutting through the beauty of this image like a knife, I heard in my mind, Look at your watch.
I didn’t find this thought to be strange or untimely. For some reason, I was meant to recall the exact point when I visualized Hannah running to Jesus. I stared at my watch intently, then closed my eyes to remember the time. It was precisely in the early morning of February 8.
No more than a minute passed before there was a soft knock at the door. Entering the room were Tiffany and the cardiologist, who had monitored Hannah’s care since yesterday morning. Their sober, downcast faces already told us what they had come to say.
“We have bad news,” the cardiologist began. “Hannah’s heart arrested. We did everything possible, but we lost her. I am so sorry.”
There was a long pause as the cardiologist waited for this news to sink in. As much as we had pondered the possibility of death those last hours, Phil and I were in shock. Nothing could adequately prepare us for losing our child. Even the gradual decline of Hannah’s health had not caused us to be more accepting. One never thinks “it” will happen to them. Other people’s children die; certainly not ours.
Remembering the vision of Hannah with Jesus, I broke the silence and asked, “What time did she die?”
“Her time of death was pronounced three-thirty.”
I nodded my head in affirmation of the vision that God had given me just a minute before. This was the assurance I needed to know that Hannah was safe with Him in heaven. A child that the Lord graciously gave us to raise for four short years had been taken away to an eternal home prepared just for her. An unexpected incident from our perspective, but planned by God before the foundation of the world.