Hallelujah. I love to tell this story, and it gives me physical strength in my body to tell it. When I was still sick and after I was home from the hospital, I couldn't keep this back. I would run up to people in town and excitedly try to tell them. Of course, they saw me as the demented person I was at that time. My husband of thirty years left during the time. He found himself a new woman while I was in the hospital three months in Memphis, Tennessee. Since he was really the only person I could remember much about at that time, that hurt worse than the sickness. My four daughters were caring for me. I am now remarried and much better. Now that I have written all that, I will tell about my trip to heaven.
You must understand there are only a few things on the earthly side, which I remember about the three months of being in the hospital. I also would like to tell this. I did not know who I was or where I was then, but scripture I had memorized as a child came to my spirit on many occasions. It comforted my spirit although I had no awareness of my identity. That is important for me to tell, because in Psalms we are instructed to hide the word of God in our hearts that we might not sin against God. The eternal word of God never leaves. I always believed that, but now I know it.
One of the times I died, I remember I was lying in a hospital bed. I was tied to many cords, and I guess life support equipment, monitors, etc. At any rate, I suddenly saw darkness pass briefly by my bed. I remember thinking, 'Darkness, the devil. I'm supposed to flee from him.' I was not afraid, but I turned to my left side, probably pulling off my life support machines, because instantly after I turned to my left I was no longer in my bed. I did not see lights, tunnels, or anything like that. I was instantly in another place, a place I did not recognize. I was walking down a dirt road. I felt completely free, full of life, and health. I could move so freely. I could have raced down the road, but I was so curious as to where I was. I was in amazement at the wonderful things I was seeing. On each side of the narrow road were wonderful trees, of the most wonderful greens. The most beautiful trees I have seen in earth cannot compare to the great beauty. The air smelt all clean and pure with just a hint of sweetness. My senses were more sensitive and alive than ever here.
The bright beautiful light did not hurt my eyes at all. It appeared to be dripping beautifully between the trees, almost like it was tangible. I remember saying, 'Lord, where am I?' I was in wonderful amazement, but not fearful at all. I kept walking along the road perhaps about a hundred feet where I found a break in the trees, and a dirt bank. Still not knowing where I was I walked freely down the steep bank and onto the most beautiful substance I've ever walked upon. The sand by the ocean is pretty white, but this substance I was walking on was so pure it would have probably blinded my natural eyes. It was like walking on the purest crystal. New snow is so white, but it was purer and whiter than the whitest snow. Again, I asked, Lord where am I? I walked out on this white substance and I remember being fully clothed, but barefoot. The white substance felt so cool and refreshing to my feet. In fact, it almost tingles like menthol or something.
I walked about hundred feet where I approached a body of water. This body of water was not very wide, the water was the clearest I've ever seen. I remember picking some of the water up with my hand. It did not feel like water. It came into my hand and I could feel great strength and health enter my body. I had a body, strong from the beginning of this trip, but after the water touched it, I felt much stronger. (I did not think this then, but now I believe I went to the river which flows from the throne of God where saints go for healing (Rev. 22:1).)
Standing by this body of water, I looked across it where I saw the same lovely trees and light and also I saw my maternal grandparents. At that time, I decided I was visiting them at their farm in Alabama. They looked exactly as they did when they were alive. I did not remember at that time, their death in the 70's.They looked so extremely happy and so healthy and strong. They were sitting on a log together in this wonderful forest. That seems funny to me now, but it was perfectly natural there. When I was a little girl and went to visit my grandparents, my grandmother would come to the screen door, clapping her hands and saying 'Oh come in, come in.' She was doing that in heaven. My grandfather was motioning me to come where they were with his hands. He also was extremely happy to see me. Being extremely excited and happy to see them, I got into the water and started to them. Oddly, there was no resistance as I walked through the water. That seemed strange to me even then, because I swim and know how difficult it is to just walk through chest deep water here. But this was easy with no hindrance. That wonderful substance under my feet lined the body of water. This was a flowing stream, not just a pool of still water. This water was alive and offered life. I don't know how I know that, but I do. When I reached the middle of the stream of water, I suddenly was not interested in my grandparents at all. There was no magic or anything like that. This was real. My interest suddenly left them.
I turned to my right in the midst of that stream and looked straight into the eyes of Jesus. My Savior was standing on the side of the water where my grandparents had been on a level just a little above me. I shall never forget his eyes. They were dark and so full of love. I knew he knew everything about me from inside, out. I knew he instantly knew every thought I had ever had, every act I had ever done, everything, totally everything about me. I felt no fear at all. Just the strongest love I have ever felt from anyone anywhere in my entire existence. That love was real and sort of wrapped me up and cuddled me. Not Jesus, but the love, which poured from Him to me, was almost tangible. I wanted to go to Him. I wanted to fall at His feet and worship Him with everything in me. I started toward Him. When I was almost close enough to touch Him, He lifted His Hands like a stop sign. I could see the scars in His hands, or his wrists I should say. I knew that if no one else had ever lived those scars would have been there for me. I felt He had suffered and died just for me. My love for Him became a more personal relationship with Him than ever before. I still have that oneness with Him. I don't believe He is with me every minute of every day, I KNOW it. When He lifted His hands to me, I knew He wanted me to come back. I did not want to do that, but I was compelled by His wordless instructions to do so.
I turned and fought literally to get back to the shore of that body of water. It was so easy going in, but I had to fight to get back out, probably because I plainly did not want to do it, but at the same time, I was so compelled to obey through the great love He showed me I could not stay at that time.
When my feet touched that white substance again, I was instantly back in my hospital bed with all the heaviness of life on me again and weak and sick. As I recovered this experience was in my very being. I could not speak it or tell it, but I knew it in every detail. After I was out of the hospital and at home, my children had me walk outside to get my strength up. I remember walking along a fence in our front yard, holding it I was so weak. A voice strong and intense literally spoke in my ear that day and told me I was to tell this experience to people. I remember saying, I can't say all that Lord. He answered, 'You will.' He was right. As soon as I could tell it, I did - until people got tired of hearing it completely. My husband of thirty years left me right after I was discharged from the hospital. As I already said, my children took care of me and nursed me back to a sort of health. After only a few months past the hospital, I met my present husband. He helped me learn to live again and supported me in giving my testimony in churches, and other places. I will never be a nurse again, and I am not under the pressure I was under before my heart attack. Strange things from the earth side have happened to me several times since my adventure in heaven.
Date NDE Occurred: 'June, 1996'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No No previous heart disease. Total Cardiac arrest. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Cardiac Arrest
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? I don't remember being not at a high level of consciousness or alertness. I was extremely conscious and alert throughout the entire experience.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I didn't think about time. It made no difference there. Time is an earthly thing - man made. The place I went was not bothered by time.
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. This was not a vision. I made a real trip to a real place - more real than anything this world has to offer.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing like everything else was wonderful, although I was the only person actually speaking at time.
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 I was instantly there.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 My maternal grandparents, and Jesus Christ.
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? No Only as I have described in my testimony.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Oh yes. I visited what I believe to be the river of life where the saints go for healing.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Joy, love, wonder, comfort, curiosity.
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 I learned that things I had studied in the Bible were definitely true, I learned that the strongest and best force in this world is the Love of God. Love is so much more important than anything else. Not physical love of course, but that deep spiritual oneness we can have with some people in life and with Christ.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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 was born again Christian and had a great relationship with God before my illness, but the relationship is much richer and different now.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have a totally different relationship with my best friend Jesus and our Daddy God. I am freer to have fun. I feel freedom in everything I do really. I rarely go to church. My oldest daughter finds that really odd since church was always one of my main activities. She and her husband pastor a church, but she has learned that mama is different than before, still love Jesus, and will do things her own way. We have a fine relationship with it that way.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'My faith has not changed. I just rarely go to the conventional Church services. I feel out of place there now, but my relationship with Jesus is so much fun and so rich and pure. I am very anxious to go back to see Him there again. I live more by true love of God now than the rules I learned in church. I have freedom in Him now. It is exciting to see what each day will bring for me to do that day.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have a totally different relationship with my best friend Jesus and our Daddy God. I am freer to have fun. I feel freedom in everything I do really. I rarely go to church. My oldest daughter finds that really odd since church was always one of my main activities. She and her husband pastor a church, but she has learned that mama is different than before, still love Jesus, and will do things her own way. We have a fine relationship with it that way.
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? Uncertain I don't really know how to answer this. I have, since this event had several spiritual encounters and was never surprised about them. Those experiences have simply become an accepted thing in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My husbands left me, my children see me more as a friend. Most of my relationships are actually new since the heart attack - my new husband and his family. We have a great relationship, but my sister-in-law and one of my stepdaughters give me the 'poor thing' feeling, I hate it, but I don't know how to break it. I am not a poor thing. I am the most blessed person on this earth.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The reason it's hard to describe is that I don't believe there are words to describe the way I felt, the colors I saw, the joy I felt, the comfort and peace I experienced.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I know sometimes I just know some things are going to happen or not happen as planned. I hardly ever mention it, but I do seem to know some things.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Of course it was good to see my grandparents so happy, but of course the high point of this event was actually seeing my savior and heavenly father, Jesus. Now he is my best friend when I have fun or when I am serious He is there. He laughs with me, cries with me, walking with me everywhere all the time.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to tell it right away, but it took a while for me to be mentally able to relate it correctly although it has never changed in my spirit and mind. I guess probably people started really listening more about a year later, and often not now. Sometimes my husband gets frustrated with me telling it so much. He became a bit jealous when he (a preacher) would be ignored by people and I would be listened to. I can't help it. I believe the Holy Spirits anoints this story so some people receive that readily. My adult children vary in their reactions to it. My youngest daughter believes me one hundred percent and I think they all believe me because they say I called angels by name in their presence in the hospital, and such, but they don't want to remember my being so ill. My oldest daughter says she has spent her life since my sickness trying to rebuild the family's life. My children not only lost their mother, as they always knew her, their father left them too. They were very young when this happened, and were just out of high school trying to start their life on their own. The family breakup and my sickness are still very sad from them, although they all have finally found their paths in life and are basically happy. God has given me more wisdom, about telling it. I only tell it now when He clearly opens a door. Then it is effective.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Being a nurse I had read a little about them, but not much. I had actually read part of one book, but nothing else.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real How could I think anything else? It was and is and always will be the most real thing I have ever experienced in my entire life - and the best.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I cannot explain it actually, but I know I really went there and saw Jesus I know. I know, I know. Period. I know.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No But I know once my grandparents put their arms around me while I was praying since then. Actually, my prayers are just spontaneous talking with my best friend now, but I was really feeling low one day and was talking to Jesus. Their hug was so real it moved my clothing. Believe it or not. It happened and felt great.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Just that this has been the best thing that ever happened to me in my entire life. I am happier, feel more freedom, and know my life has purpose more than ever.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It is really thorough.