I wrote this in my journal a few months later; because I was afraid I would 'lose it' as one loses a dream. Although it has been over six years since it happened, I know today as I knew when it happened, it was not a dream, and it was a miracle that was allowed me from God.
I was in bed, although I don't sleep well, I hadn't been diagnosed with sleep apnea yet (this would come four long sickly years later).
The short version is as I wrote it exactly:
Vision: Not a dream-saw it November 2003 half-way asleep. Saw the gates of heaven with huge bright lights in the sky bubbling out of it. I saw female angels' faces smiling at me, happy with me.
Felt - wanted to go into the light, felt love and forgiveness that is not humanly possible in this life. You never want to leave it. This lasted probably two seconds, but the longest two seconds ever. Felt like what is portrayed in 'out of body' experiences.
Question: why did I see this? Why was there an angel looking at me? She WAS female. She was very happy this day. I didn't want it to end. Can't wait to be there forever, felt NO pain in my body.
- end of journal -
To describe further, I was standing in space, but I did not see a horizon. There was no atmosphere as there is on earth, no limited vision or degradation of colors farther out. There was no sun. Light was emitted in everything and out of everything. The city looked something like pictures I have seen of Jerusalem, the city glowed, every molecule was lit, I felt this light in me, part of me, and I was part of it. In this light, I felt incredible, indescribable love and forgiveness that only God can give. I love my life, my children and husband. I do not wish to die or be 'done with life'. But once I have felt the peace and love of that place, if I HAD HAD A CHOICE, I would have not left. Matter of fact, I did not give my family on earth a second thought. (Which kind of disturbs me.)
The city was floating, not set in earth or clouds, I don't remember the 'space' nor could I describe it, but there was space between myself the angel and the city behind her.
The angel's face was all that I saw, it was smiling and I could tell she loved me and was happy for me and with me, but she was not letting me pass.
I didn't have a body, so I don't know how I would have 'walked' but I knew I was spiritual (somehow, in hindsight). The city was surrounded by a gate. There was a beautiful gate and all I can describe it as was a solid gold (?) gate to kept people out.
It didn't keep people in. I saw no one else, but I knew Jesus was there, but I was not going to get to see Him, it wasn't my 'time'.
The feeling of love was not an ebb and flow feeling it was solid, real, and filled every molecule of my spirit (non-body self). It was amazing, and no feeling this glorious has been experienced by myself in my living body on earth, and I'm not a miserable person, I'm pretty happy most of the time.
I was suddenly thrust into a nightmare of some type, I believe my brain was trying to make sense of what my body was doing (not breathing) and compensating for my spiritual being thrust back into my physical body. I was drowning (one of my worst fears thanks to Hollywood and my father almost letting me drown as a small child), and I was frantically swimming to the surface in very green heavy water, and I was gulping for breath. I of course, out of my dream, was holding my breath and my body was compensating and grasping to breath.
After this 'vision' or 'NDE,' I have never been the same.
Although I have considered myself a Christian since I was a small child. I have had evidences of His miracles, of His corrections, of His blessing throughout my life, THIS - thing, confirmed what I believed in, in faith, to what I KNOW from experience.
I told my husband and my children, a few people I have mentioned, just kind of look at me. I'm afraid they think it was just a wild dream. I know it wasn't. I do have 'wild dreams', and they are nothing like what I had that night.
I have two more experiences with sleep apnea that did not have the 'feelings of love' with them. But they were vivid, and I felt I was looking at the same city and in the same 'place' as my NDE.
I was standing high, (many miles high) on unearthly mountains, and looking down into the 'city' that I had seen on my NDE. I was looking into a city that was probably as big as the US is.
Again, there was no atmosphere or degradation of sight with addition of space.
NO SHADOWS from buildings, light came from every molecule of the building, no sunshine, no clouds, and a beautiful city. I thought and think that this was home. I could see no persons or beings, just beauty and peace.
I was allowed to see this twice. I have not seen it since; it was probably within the year I had my NDE that I saw the city again.
How do I know that the Lord has His eye and hands on me?
I'm going to tell you something that I have told no one, especially my husband.
I cheated on Him within the first year of my marriage. A marriage that was vowed in church, I was a baptized woman who knew better, but I was terribly selfish, childish and my husband was experimenting with drugs and never home. I had terrible influences through work that pushed and egged me into it.
The next day, after the day I cheated, my wedding ring broke. The gold band literally split and broke.
When I saw that, a fear of GOD literally almost loosened my bowels, I cried and felt more grief then I have ever felt in my life.
To say the least, I have never done that again, nor do I sorely test my Lord God because I know He watches and He warns.
Because of this and a few other things in my life like this, I know God is real, and He has His hands on us, we are here to glorify Him in all that we think, say and DO!
Date NDE Occurred: November 2003
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes I stopped breathing during sleep many times through the night (I was diagnosed with sleep apnea June 2009 with a sleep test and am currently sleeping with a breathing machine. 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening' undiagnosed (at the time) sleep apnea
I was holding my breath to the point I believe I died for a few seconds.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The moment I left my body, there was no going into a tunnel, or light at the end of the tunnel, I immediately went from closing my eyes in bed to BAM, the city standing before me.
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
No time, just space.
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. In this place (that I saw in all visions), there is no atmosphere. As an artist, if you paint a picture or take a photograph, you will see that everything is vivid in detail and color close up, and as you focus your eyes further out, things become less detail, and less saturated with color. In this place, I will call it heaven, there is no loss in detail or saturation, and there is no atmosphere to degrade it. There is 'space' though, because there was a beginning to the city, I did not see the 'end' of the city though, and it went backwards away from me, so I know there is space there.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I think I heard beautiful singing or music but I'm not sure if I actually heard it, or felt it, or honestly if I just believe it because I have read it in the Bible. I'm not sure.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Angel, not allowed to see her body, I perceived her female, female face, very large cheeky cheeks, she knew me, I didn't know her. She was keeping me from going in. She kept me from getting too close. She kept me approximately in earthly space about half a mile away from the gates of heaven. She talked to me not with her mouth but in my mind.
The experience included: 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 instant, and it came from nowhere, and is everywhere. It is not like a light bulb or the sun, it casts no shadows, for it to cast a shadow, it would have direction, there is no direction from light in heaven, the light comes from everywhere, and is in everything and is Jesus who is the light and is in every molecule of that place.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The city, heaven? Looked like a glorified Jerusalem to me, surrounded by 15 foot gates as far as the eye could see, because there is space there, I could not see past the front of the city, but I could see it kept going and going on.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt forgiveness. There was no guilt, no physical or emotional pain (all life's guilt GONE). I felt love that is not felt in our human bodies and believe me I LOVE MY HUSBAND AND KIDS. I felt joy and PEACE. There was a feeling of being settled and set straight. I also had a feeling of being given a gift in this experience and that I should be honored and thankful. (and I AM) I knew that God loves us and knows us. He is letting us be here on earth, if only for a moment. The angels let me know that I was the right road, keep going, keep the faith. They told me that we are always here, we are with you, we love you, now go back and keep loving HIM.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control That my faith in Jesus was absolutely spot on correct. My faith is real and in something that is absolutely real, not just a hope in my mind anymore. I know it is real.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The angel kept me from both getting too close and seeing too much. I believe my faith is precious to the Lord and we are to believe God by faith, not by knowledge, I believe that if I was allowed to see too much, my faith would be somehow not as precious to God. The angel was protecting my faith relationship with the Father of heaven.
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 was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist 'I have had a strong belief in Christ and have actually been led by Him in many circumstances, I have always felt His guidance and love, and sternness in my life.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I love church now, I found a good church which speaks in love and truth, and instead of going 'because you should' I go because I want to KNOW HIM BETTER, and I want to give HIM GLORY, and I want to be around other people who love Him like I do. When church used to be such drudgery, NOW I can't WAIT TO GO, I also go to two Bible studies, a woman's during the week, and a couple's every other week. I love going, I love to LEARN from the Bible. I love the history, the faith stories and what God wants us to LEARN about Him while we are on earth. It's more exciting than TV. I don't watch TV anymore; I hate the hatred towards God and goodness. I love people, even those who hate God, but they hurt me to be around them.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I love church now, I found a good church which speaks in love and truth, and instead of going 'because you should' I go because I want to KNOW HIM BETTER, and I want to give HIM GLORY, and I want to be around other people who love Him like I do. When church used to be such drudgery, NOW I can't WAIT TO GO, I also go to two Bible studies, a woman's during the week, and a couple's every other week. I love going, I love to LEARN from the Bible. I love the history, the faith stories and what God wants us to LEARN about Him while we are on earth. It's more exciting than TV. I don't watch TV anymore; I hate the hatred towards God and goodness. I love people, even those who hate God, but they hurt me to be around them.
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
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes God is real, Jesus is real, and heaven is real. Going to heaven is real, Jesus is light, and light is in everything. He holds us together, He sees every movement, every eye flutter, He knows our thoughts, He protects us, He punishes us, He allows us miracles, you know it is real if it proclaims Jesus is King, our purpose is to glorify Jesus the Son, per God the Father in all we do and say and think. The Bible is real, and for the most part what God wants us to know about Him while we live. There are rewards in heaven. God loves everyone. Abortion is wrong, because God puts every child in those women, and we 'play' God when we abort them. Jesus will be waiting when I did to take me 'in' the gates. God loves Jerusalem. That's pretty much what I have taken from this experience, the knowledge given me.
In three words 'HE IS REAL'.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I love and forgive more easily, I no longer covet things of others, worldly things don't matter much to me anymore. I still like this world, and think much of it that God creates is beautiful, but man is so messed up when they live without HIM, they make it ugly. I find myself wanting to be around Christians because they have the essence of love for God, that people who are spiritually dead to God DO NOT HAVE. I find people who HATE GOD, hard to be around, it actually makes me slightly sick physically.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Out of body, not feeling your body, there is no pain, I was not a 'sick' person, I had a thyroid missing, but I did not have diabetes (yet) or arthritis or anything wrong with me. Once I was 'rid' of my body, the STUNNING feeling of NOT being in it was almost, excuse my description, orgasmic in nature. I can't imagine how amazing it would feel to someone old, in pain from an accident, cancer person leaving the body, how much the difference would be then.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have a faith in Jesus that is hard to explain, it brings me to tears many times, I often cry in church when we sing His praises. I see Him not visually but almost spiritually in my life every day. I think about Him all the time, I can't function without Him. I realize I'm nothing without Him, I want to share this with others but people think I'm a raving lunatic so I tone it down and only try to 'be' as good as Him. When evil things are done or said around me (cursing, hurting of feelings) it is like being bruised or hit.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? That I was on the right road, that I was living my life as I should, and that there was a place especially for me when I die, and that it will be good.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared within days to my kids and husband, within a year with a few other people. It's hard to describe to people verbally they think you're insane.
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 I knew it was real, but I try not to think about it too much anymore, because I'm supposed to love my life and glorify HIM during my life, and thinking about that experience makes me want to die and be there, and that is not my place to want that or think that.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real More real than this life.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I do not believe that I am crazy.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? You seem to be asking all the right questions. I can't offer anything else.