Today’s Reading: Psalm 116:1-9
Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth. – Psalm 116: 7-9
In September of 2015, my mother was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia. Her stomach, pancreas and part of her intestines had passed through the tear into her lung cavity making it difficult for her to breathe. The surgery was risky and the surgeon warned her that she might not survive. After much prayer, a peace settled over my parents and the surgery was scheduled for April 6, 2016.
On the way to the hospital that morning, my parents turned on the radio as KLOVE played Lauren Daigle’s song “Trust in You”. They knew in that moment that they would trust in God even if He didn’t move the mountain they were asking Him to move.
Initially it seemed as if the surgery had gone well, although the surgeon found more damage than he expected to find. The next few days, my mother continued to decline. Early on the morning of April 10th, we received the call that she was unresponsive. We rushed to her side and spent the day watching her condition worsen. My father, sister and I said our goodbyes as they rushed her back into surgery on that Sunday afternoon.
Here is my mother’s story in her own words of what happened over the next few days:
I remember getting on the surgical table on April 6th but I do not remember the days following. The doctors and my family say it is best that way. I will tell you that the surgeons have heard my testimony and did not dispute any of my experience. On April 10th, I was rushed back into surgery. I was bleeding internally. And that is where my story begins.
I saw a veil come down that separated me from everyone. I could hear my family and friends talking but I could not respond. The veil had a small ring at the top and a larger one that held the veil from touching me. I could feel my body shutting down. My skin seemed to draw tight and my joints felt stiff. Suddenly I was being spun very fast – first one way and then another. There were loud, horrible screeching sounds, high-pitched like metal on metal, and the heat was so intense.
After what seemed like a long time, the “others” with me went to the right and I was sent to the left alone. I could not see the faces of the others and I don’t know where they went. The fast movement slowed to a “normal” pace. It was still very hot and loud. I came to what appeared to be a red wall. It melted and became orange, which also melted. The things I saw on and between these walls were so horrible that I have not told to many.
The walls held the image of faces. There was only one that I could identify even though I feel like they represented people from my past who had rejected God. The look on each face was terrifying and still haunt me.
Once past the walls I was in an area of pure white. Everything was so bright – not like any light we have on earth and the white was more white. It amazes me that the light didn’t hurt my eyes as I looked right at it. There appeared something that looked like shiny porcelain. Could it have been the gates of pearl? I don’t know. I was led to an area filled with white fabric. It was beautiful, soft, flowing. Again, not like anything I had ever seen.
Next I was led to 6 figures. They were clothed in the same fabric I had just seen. The fabric covered the back of each head and draped over everything except the face. Even though i couldn’t see their faces I knew who they were. I was with my mother who died in 1957, my father who died in 2003, my brother who died in 1991, and there were three grandchildren who were lost before birth. There was no communication with any of them. It was here that Jesus became clear to me in the form of a great glowing light. He said, “Not yet. I’m not done with you yet. There is still work I want you to do.”
At some point while I was still under the veil, I was aware of a presence on my left side. A voice said, “We have to do it now.” The hand of that presence pierced my left side. The pain was so intense. That hand went between my ribs into my inner being. It was so real that even yet I look for a scar. There isn’t one.
Time is totally lost to me. Some time later, still in the hospital, there was an image before me that said, “In the beginning I created the heaven and the earth.” Suddenly a great deal of clear refreshing water washed over me. It was so realistic that I felt my clothes and bed for moisture. There were dry.
The intense heat had been with me all this time. A wet cloth and fan did not help. After this encounter with the water, the heat was gone and has not returned. I feel like God knew I needed to be baptized again because I had literally been in or through hell and needed to be cleansed.
As I began to get better, I noticed that my right hand was no longer misshaped. I could open it all the way until it was straight and I could almost make a fist. I have had high blood pressure since 2010. Now I am off the medication.
God, I don’t know what it is You want me to dom- the “work” I need to be doing. I don’t know why You choose to heal me and send me back to life with my family. All I know is that I’m telling my story to anyone who will listen. And I know when You tell me what I am to do, I will do it and ask no questions.
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the world.” – Romans 9:15-17
God was speaking to Moses but He is also speaking to me. I keep thinking, “I don’t know why He chose to let me live after my surgeries.” God is saying to me, “Don’t question God.” It was His choice to make. Rejoice and do whatever He directs. It isn’t for me to understand but to use this experience to glorify God. I’ve been home for over a year now but these experiences are just as real as can be. I love the Lord and I will serve Him until my work here is done.
“Praise His Holy Name! My heart is full and even overflowing with love for You. You have brought us through so much since April 6th. There are no words to adequately express my feeling of gratitude.” [words from her journal on 9.13.16]