I was 8.5 months pregnant and suddenly developed toxemia poisoning. This was my 5th pregnancy, but only second birth. I had lost 3 other babies. I had a 5 year-old-son of my own and a 2-year-old that we had adopted as a baby when I kept miscarrying. I was rushed to a hospital emergency room when my blood pressure went way out of control. My face was so swollen that I could hardly see out of my eyes. The rest of my body swelled to the point that the doctor on call, mistakenly thought I was an obese person and yet I only weighed 135 lbs! Everything happened so very fast, such that I suddenly could not breathe on my own. I lost consciousness at some point. That is when I experienced being outside of my body and was watching how frantically they were working to get me to breathe on my own.
My next realization was that I was no longer frightened about not being able to breathe on my own. I was at peace and very aware of the steps the doctors and nurses were taking to save my life. I understood all the terms they were using and could comprehend that I was not alive as far as they were concerned. I became aware of is the state of each person's relationship with others in the room. There were suddenly no secrets and yet, there was no judgment on my part, but rather an unconditional love. I felt very much loved at this time and I wanted to extend that to the others in the room. But they could not hear me. I could hear and see everything! It made me think of the scripture that says, we 'will fully know as we are fully known.' Oddly, this ability continues today in terms of knowing the truth about people's relationships with others.
I was not allowed to stay in God's presence, which was so full of light and love. I was told, not in words, but rather a thought that I had to come back and continue to be a mother to my sons.
I suddenly became aware of being rushed to the delivery room and being guided through the birth which was so fast! Then I was sent to the recovery room and I wanted my bible because I didn't want to lose that incredible sense of love and light that I had experienced. However, the recovery room nurse wouldn't let me have my bible! She said I needed to rest. I laughed and had the boldness to tell her that she had no idea what true rest was. I told her I had just been in God's presence and discovered a rest and peace, that no amount of sleep would ever bring. She didn't comprehend what I was saying but did acknowledge that I must have gone through a frightening experience since they 'lost me for a little while'. I tried to explain that I wasn't lost at all and that I felt more alive than I every had felt. I suddenly understood what 'living in the spirit' meant. I also came to see that we put so much effort into our physical being, when in fact life through the spirit is far more powerful and satisfying. Words cannot adequately describe the incredible life and power that I had experienced from being in God's presence. I feel at loss to help others understand that the reality we live in our physical lives is nothing compared to life in the spiritual realm. Words cannot describe adequately what it is like to be in God's tremendously loving presence. I did learn that I can give the same unconditional love to others as though it is flowing through me from God.
Date NDE Occurred: October 4, 1983
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No. Childbirth. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I heard everything the doctors and nurses were saying about trying to get me back and losing me. I understood the medical terminology, though I had not education that included it at that time. Then when I was in the recovery room, the nurse said they 'lost me for a little while'. That confirmed that I had indeed 'been somewhere other than in my body, as I had experienced.
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I suddenly understood everything that was happening medically and the awareness of others relationships swam into my understanding. I was conscious of others feelings and emotions as well as their secrets. This ability is diametrically opposed to how I normally was. I had a hard time recognizing emotions before this incident, since I myself was numb from childhood abuse.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Time didn't seem to matter. It stood still. There was no longer an urgency, but rather an incredible peace. About the middle of the experience, I suddenly realized the amazing ability to know what was going on with my body. My attention was removed from what was happening to me and somehow an assurance that I would be fine took over. Then I became acutely aware of what the relationships of everyone in the room were and I felt sadness for some of them, because they did not know the love that I was experiencing. Right after that glimpse, I was made to return just as they were moving me to the delivery room.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
There was no time. No urgency like the emergency room had. Everything was very peaceful and restful. Yet it was like a knowing of things all at once.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I do not have any type of vision problems in my everyday experience. I could not see into other's lives prior to this experience and I can't always do that now unless they are asking for my help. I knew intellectually about God's love but this experience gave me a spiritual sense of it that is as strong today as it was during this experience. I KNOW God and His love for others and myself rather than have read about it. It is very, very REALâ€¦more real than this physical world.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was quite acute. I lost it momentarily when I became unconscious. But suddenly I could hear everything that was happening in the room, even when they said, 'We are losing her.' Then it became incredible quiet and peaceful until I was in God's presence. Then I heard a beautiful sound like Water and seemed to understand many things that were being spoken through that sound. Only it was not communicated with words. It was as though I suddenly knew all about what was being communicated. It was an Awesome, beyond words, experience.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was bright, but not blinding, just warm and very full of love.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was not a place, but a way of being. It is very hard to describe. Everything was so beautiful and just a glimpse of it makes me want to return.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? When I was conscious, I was terribly frightened and remember begging my husband not to leave me alone, when they told him to leave the room. When I lost consciousness I suddenly felt peaceful and a joy and wasn't happy with that at first, because I was worried about leaving my sons without mother. But then I experienced the incredible comfort and love that communicated that it would be all right and that it was okay to feel the joy and peace I was feeling.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I suddenly understood what was happening medically. Even more amazing was the understanding of what was happening in the personal relationship with others. There were no secrets, I could suddenly see it all, but without judgment. I saw it all through the eyes of unconditional love.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Other Christian We were non-denominational Christians who attended church regularly at the time of this experience.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I KNOW God exists, not just know about Him. I do not attend church regularly, though I might occasionally. I am not legalistic like I used to be. I still regularly worship Him in my heart and practice an attitude of gratitude for all that He allows me to know of Him.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian I am still a Christian, but have not found any churches who share the experience of God that I do. They do not seem to know Him or have His heart towards others.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience The content was consistent with my belief that there is life after death. However, it was not consistent with being able to see into the lives of others. I did not know that would be possible. I also did not know the extent and depth of God's unconditional love in reality. I did not know I could feel it, not as an emotion but as a tremendous power for others. The depth of God's compassion is amazing!
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I no longer wondered about God's existence. He confirmed that He exists. I no longer wonder about life after death. We simply continue to live on in the spirit, minus the earth suit. I do not live for myself, but want to be a vessel of God's love to others that they may know Him and find the same freedom and love that I have.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin The being was full of love and I took it to be God. The voice was not a voice, as we know it, but a beautiful sound like water, only not quite that. Itâ€™s hard to describe. I just understood what the sound was communicating and that sound was coming from the light and the incredibly powerful being that was with me.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes Yes I became aware of medical knowledge I did not have prior to this incident. I also became aware of the details of others relationships and mixed with that an awareness of an profound sense of unconditional love and complete lack of judgment towards people.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I became incredibly aware of the 'realness' of God and life in the Spirit. It was like an all-encompassing power, love, and light.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Oh my, yes! God Himself is love and communicates this incredible all-encompassing love. He holds back nothing and wants us to tell everyone how very much He loves him or her. The warmth and the light are incredible. In His presence, you understand everything and feel no shame. An incredible compassion is communicated! I could not have begun to make something up like this in my physical mind. Everything I heard saw and learned changed my perspective of who God is and how I am to live in this physical earth suit. God definitely exists.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes As I said before, knowing what was going on in the lives of the nurses and doctors paired with a desire to love unconditionally gave me a purpose to help others with their problems and love them through the difficulties.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes One of the things I had been asking or praying about was what I was really supposed to be teaching in the Bible studies I led. I sensed a frustration from many of the women that they were not overcoming problems in their lives and or able to be consistent in their faith. In this experience, my questions were answered. I was only to teach others to seek God; He would be their teacher and teach them what they each needed. It was very simple and very humbling!
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I suddenly understood that we continue to exist in the spirit after death. We are known and loved very deeply and still have things to do after we die.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes I became aware of medical knowledge I did not have prior to this incident. I also became aware of the details of others relationships and mixed with that an awareness of a profound sense of unconditional love and complete lack of judgment towards people.
I finally understood that striving on earth to meet the needs of my physical body is not what life is about. I found that feeding life in the Spirit was much more powerful. All the selfish energy I put into trying to get enough sleep or worrying about why I had no strength was no longer necessary. I have never lacked energy or strength since that day as I found it pouring through me from my spirit. My friends and family constantly comment that I am a very busy person and want to know how I do all that I do. It is not me; it is the Spirit of the Lord in me. I learned the secret of yielding to Him and now I simply listen to what is healthy for my body, but no longer worry about it and exercise selfishness to get it.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I gained an awareness of the totality of unconditional love or rather that there was no end to it. It did not have to be earned, as it was already offered to all if they would just accept it.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Having experienced the reality of God's love and His tremendous compassion, I see myself as a conduit to others who doubt He exists. Perhaps through my unconditional love towards them, they will believe me when I share about God. I no longer attend church as I find it difficult to listen to what others suppose about God and I feel very sad about the burden that most churches put on people because they do not KNOW God. They suppose many things about Him that are not true. I now have a freedom from the fear of what others think, and will seek to do whatever I am supposed to do to help others. I know the body is my earth suit and take care of it the best I can, but I no longer think of it as much more than that. It does not need pampering and I do not need to be selfish.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am much kinder and not so harsh and judgmental. I care deeply about others, especially those who come to me for help. I don't need to fight and argue to prove I am right about anything. I just need to love others unconditionally and demonstrate that same compassion to others that I have been shown. Before I had my Master's degree, I worked as a teacher's aide in a class for troubled teens. One teen tried to undo me any way she could. She came right out and told me she had been intentionally trying to anger me. She wanted to know why I never got upset. I told her that 'someone loves me unconditionally so I thought I would try that on her.' She thought about that for a long while and then one day, became the one student to help keep all the other students in line. What an amazing affect God's love had on her! I share this because prior to that incident, I had very little patience for students like her. Afterwards, I gained insight daily into why the students behaved as they did, somehow understood what they needed and met that need in a way that I was totally blind to prior to that event. God gave insight I did not have as well as the compassion to see the students and others who may misbehave as hurting individuals.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I felt like I couldn't put it into words or that others would not believe my experience. There are no words to express the powerful presence and love of God towards us! The sudden knowing of information that I had not known before was difficult to describe and one I would hesitate to share with those who couldn't understand an NDE.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. I already know that I have a terrible episodic memory for events and have tied that to the childhood abuse. However, this event is more than a memory. It is an experience that is rooted so deeply in my spirit, that my life is forever changed. I teach about memory processes and I can safely say that there is a vast difference between exercising memory of an event and having a spiritual experience imprinted on one's soul. It may explain why people are able to remember such events when their brains are not doing the processing of the memories. My physical memories of the events of that day feel somewhat patchy due to loss of consciousness. But the memory of watching them work on me, understanding the medical issues involved, being in God's presence and feeling His tremendous love are as if they happened yesterday. I will never lose those precious moments.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I don't know if they are psychic or if it is just God's spirit revealing truth. I had a new student come in to my counseling office and told me that the reason she did not attend last semester was because she was sick. A thought passed through my brain that said, 'No you weren't sick, you were in jail!' Of course, I did not say it, but as soon as she left, I looked it up and sure enough, she had been in jail! In another example, a co-worker came to my office in tears and stated that she had ruined her life. I suddenly knew what she had done and with whom it was! Tremendous love and compassion flooded my heart for her. But again, I said nothing. I waited for her to pour out her story and was amazed at the accuracy of what she told me, compared to what I suddenly knew. I knew she needed someone to support and help her through the mess she had made. I should add that she is a very private person so there was no hint or any actions that I observed that would have given away any part of her story. As I observe what unfolded over the years since, I see that having that knowledge along with that tremendous love made a difference that I could never have guessed. I have been allowed to have a dream that saved my twin sister's life, but I do not know if this is because of that NDE. That just may be a twin thing. I do know that I ask for wisdom in all situations knowing that God is right here, and He ALWAYS shows me a way to resolve impossible and not so impossible situations. I just have to be patient and listen for the ideas to come.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The parts where God shows His love and compassion for every person. His gentleness is amazing. If He isn't going to judge people, I should not either.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to share it with the recovery nurse, but she was too busy. I shared it with my husband, but he couldn't comprehend what I had experienced. I shared it with ladies in my church, and they just stared at me. I soon learned that most people did not believe me, so I quit sharing about it, unless the topic comes up. Even then, people just cannot grasp it. I am not certain they were influenced, but some have asked me to help them understand how to seek the Lord and how to be yielded to Him in their spirit. It is not easy to put into words.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The peace and love did not leave meanings. It was the sudden knowing of things, that I had not known, made me understand that there was more to our life on earth than most of us pursue. I kept trying to hang on to that special knowledge of God and what it was like being in His presence. I have always had a quiet time reading Scriptures and keeping a journal before the incident. Now my journal writing became like my letters to God on thinking about or wanted to know. It became His instruction time for me and enabled me to keep that special NDE closer that I would have, had I not had this habit.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It has been almost 43 years since this experience and God is even more real to me now than that day, except I don't get to 'see' Him as I did that day. I cannot forget being in His presence. It is not a memory that will fade away as other memories of events do, when the path to that memory is pruned. Instead, the opposite is true. The more I see evidence of God's love and existence, the more cemented that event is, in my reality.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Seeking Him, led to Him revealing answers to questions I had been asking. The answers still come, not in the sound as I experienced before, but in the sudden knowing of information, I did not previously have. It is as if I have a certainty now that anytime I ask to understand or for help on something it happens. We had a flat tire today and my husband couldn't get one of the nuts off. Repeatedly and he was sure it was stripped. As soon as I asked for a chance to try the nut and ask the Lord to move the nut, it did. My husband just stared at me and wanted to know how I did that. He is twice my size and has a lot more muscle. I told him that I asked the Lord to move or loosen the nut and He did.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Just that God does not want us to struggle so much apart from Him. We have but to acknowledge that He exists and 'waits on High to have compassion on us' if we would only seek Him, to KNOW Him and be led by Him, His love will pour through each one that seeks Him with their whole heart.