(Continued from last week…)
DEBBIE from Illinois
“Before I joined the Air Force, I had braces on my teeth. In order to be allowed in boot-camp I had to remove the braces….however…after basic training the Air Force [said they] would continue my treatment.
“After my first duty…[a] military dentist on the base…examined me….he scheduled me for cosmetic surgery…to correct a severe overbite problem.
“They flew me to Texas, where the surgery was to take place….
“The doctors were nice to me, and they gave me a complete physical before the operation, which they said would take six hours….
“A number of complications arose during the surgery. They put a tube down me, and that apparently caused severe bleeding in an ulcer in my esophagus. The worst problem, though, was from the anesthetic. It turned out that I was allergic to it, and I went into cardiac arrest during the operation. They were able to restart my heart using resuscitation techniques, but in the process they ruptured my diaphragm.
“While the doctors were having these problems I suddenly felt warmth all around me, and I knew that somebody was holding me. The area I was in was surrounded by light.
“It felt as though I was being cradled by someone, and when I saw all this light, I looked around to see what was happening. As I lifted my head I found myself looking into the eyes of Christ. He was carrying me, as a child would be carried, in a cradling fashion.
“There was no fear and no pain, just a feeling of lightness and security—and I kept staring at Him. He was walking with me; then, strangely, He carried me through a wall, or something, and we went from the light into darkness.
“Christ’s lips never moved, but He communicated with me, and He asked: ‘Do you know where you are? Look around the room.’
“Looking around, as He directed, I saw that we were in the hospital room and He was carrying me toward my body. The darkness frightened me, and I looked back at Christ’s face where there was light. Looking at Him calmed me, and then I noticed that we were again moving toward my body.
“Having a sense that I would have to return to my body, I asked Him repeatedly, ‘Why? Why?’
“In a soothing way He told me that it was not my time yet. While He stood there holding me, I could see my body plainly. But at the same time, I knew I had a semblance of a body, or a spirit body, that Christ was holding. And I could feel His strength while He held me.
“When He went to lay me down into my body, I tried to resist by grabbing at Him. Crying desperately, I kept repeating: ‘Please don’t. I don’t want to go back.’
“Struggling with my emotions, and crying continuously, I asked Him what I must do. He smiled at me and responded: ‘Shhh, everything will be all right.’ My gaze was riveted on Him, and He began backing away.
“Christ was moving slowly in a gentle manner, but, as I cried, I wanted Him to stay and talk to me. He addressed me again, saying: ‘Keep focused—stay focused!’
“Then the light sort of followed Him out of my room. He was gone….
“His hair was long…with a nice wave in it. He was bearded with a smooth face, and His eyes…His eyes were the bluest blue I had ever seen; they were a clear see-through blue. There was warmth, there was love, there was compassion in His eyes. I couldn’t look away from Him….
“There was light all around Him; it actually stood off of Him. It was an energy….
“He understood me, and He loved me—it was a love that I had not felt previously nor have I felt it since, anyplace on earth….
“With Christ, I finally found peace.
“What was [my] other body like? That’s hard to explain, because I was in full body. There were limbs, and I knew Christ was carrying me. But it was without the bulk I had normally felt in my earthly body. I felt light, and I also felt as though I had light around me. When He placed me back in my body, it was as if this light, transparent something was entering a bulky body.
“When [I] saw [my] body….I didn’t want it….
“I didn’t want to leave….
“I was deliriously happy while I was there. I never wanted to return here. Later, when I was back, I was ashamed at the way I clung to Christ and cried while He brought me to my body. It must have been hard on Him to have to return me under those circumstances.
“…In that environment of love, and in my innocence at the time, I was fed up with the world and its mixture of hypocrisy, hate, envy and pain. I still feel that way. My anger at returning to this cruel world spills over at times, and the only relief I get is from prayer. Praying long and hard is my solution” (Journeys Beyond Life, compiled by Arvin S. Gibson, [Horizon Publishers, 1994], pp. 176-181).
(to be continued…)