“Go back. It’s not your time. I’m not finished with you yet. Go back.”
Most of my friends that know me know about the accident I was in on November 16, 1985. But few know about this aspect of it all. As we approach the Thanksgiving season, which I think should be more everyday, I thank God that He chose to spare me on that day, and gave me another chance at life. He looked ahead in time and saw those who would need to hear this testimony. I will go so far as to also say, recently, I was given a calling by God to share this testimony to a young lady before she passed away. I took time to reach out to her in her time of need, as well as several others whose paths He placed her in as her time drew near. Not long before she died, it all paid off. I sat on her living room couch with her and that day, she took my hands and said the prayer of salvation with me and gave her heart to Christ. She was only one out of many reasons that God said to me that day to go back, that He wasn’t finished with me.
So, I have decided that on this anniversary of the day I almost went home, I am going to share this with you. The following is an excerpt from my book that I am working on, which hopefully, I will finish one of these days, “CPR For Your Faith, Resuscitating the Christian Heart: Yes, Your Ship is Coming In”. In the book, I talk about my journey to healing through the years, and things that I have learned, wisdom I feel the Lord has given me along the long road of my life since that day. I felt that in order for you to better relate to the “good stuff” in the book, it would be helpful to give you my testimony of my early years, and my journey from where I was then, to where I am now. Every day is a learning experience, and we are ever learning. It is my sincere hope that my experience will help someone. If you would like to read more, you can click here to read the excerpt from the book I previously posted. For those of my dear friends who were there for me, from those who worked on the rescue squad to those who were my dear nursing classmates, I can only express my deepest gratitude to you and say, thank you. You all know who you are, and you have a part of my heart always. Now, for the first time, here is the part I have rarely shared.
From Chapter 3:
The physical scars have long since healed, to the best they can. Although I see the scars on my scalp every time I look in the mirror, it is no longer an omen of something dark, as it was for years, but it is a testimony of the healing power and grace of a God who never fails, and will never leave us, nor forsake us. It is a chance for me to share His awesome power every time I tell my story to someone, every time I have a chance to use my experience to help someone else who has suffered a similar traumatic event in their lives.
Although I healed quickly physically, as I said earlier, it is the emotional and psychological scars that endured for years, long after the physical ones had healed. But I will talk about this more in the next chapter, along with how God’s grace carried me through. What I want to share with you now focuses on the spiritual aspect—my journey through death’s door and back.
While I was seeing my psychiatrist after the accident, I continued to express to her a need I was feeling to “return” to it. It felt as though something was somehow pulling me back. I knew there was a reason I needed to go back. I knew that I would be unable to move forward until I found out whatever it was that was not complete within me.
She explained to me that even when a person is unconscious, as I was in the accident, there is a part of the brain that is able to act as a camcorder and “record”, or remember what happened. On the day I told her I was ready, she then “took me back”. It was while under this hypnotic state that something happened that I never expected.
I can only explain it by saying that it could have only been by a higher power, indeed, through God Himself, that I was able to experience what had happened to me on that November Saturday morning. I was little prepared for what I found out. There is no longer any doubt in my mind. There are some things you just know. On the morning of November 16, 1985, I died. I was sent back because God wasn’t finished with me yet. You became one of the reasons He wasn’t finished with me when you picked up this book. Here, as best as I can recall it, I will now share with you…
My Journey Through Death’s Door
I am floating about twenty feet above the scene of the accident. I am looking down at the car, although at this point, completely detached. I feel no pain, no fear, only peace. I am aware of God’s presence there with me.
“I want to look in the car,” I think to myself.
“You don’t need to worry about what’s in that car,” comes His quick but kind response.
My next thought is, “Well, I don’t have but a few minutes left. I’ll go see the folks before I go.”
That’s it. You simply think it, and you are there. I find myself floating above the door, just inside the house we had just left minutes before. I am hovering near the ceiling in the kitchen. I can see my mother, my dad, and my brother. I can even recall what they were wearing. Remembering a book I had read of the near death experiences of others, I remembered that when they tried to call to their loved ones once they had left their bodies, they were unable to hear them. My experience was no different.
“Mama! I’m up here! Mama!!”
No response. I can only watch them going about their daily activities, unaware that I am even there, unaware that they are about to find out what has happened. I feel no negative or fearful emotions, only a compassion for them because they don’t know yet. To me, it is as though nothing has happened.
Then I see it. I hear His voice again: “Alright, come on, it’s time to go!”
I immediately look up and see the tunnel with a light at the end. At the speed of lightening, I am suddenly moving through it. Yet, by a fraction of a second before I can get out the end of it, I am stopped.
Was it a prayer someone said that stopped me? Only the Lord knows the answer to that question. What I know for sure in my heart, and what I have always known is this. It is by a fraction of a second that I am here now. I have always had a knowing deep inside my being, that if I had made it all the way out the end of that tunnel, I could not have come back.
The next thing I know, I am once again floating above the scene of the accident. There is an angel on either side of me. They have taken hold of my arms and started off with me to take me home.
Then, there He is. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, there before me, His presence stretching across the whole sky.
“Go back. It’s not your time. I’m not finished with you yet. Go back.”
His voice is kind, yet strong; compassionate, yet firm. I can only assume that at this point, at His command, I re-entered my body and thus, opened my eyes as I regained consciousness. I had returned to life.
I think I know who it was who said that prayer that was answered by an almighty God, who decided He wasn’t finished with me yet, and that there were people who would need to read these words.
The kind woman who lived in the house on the corner, who stayed with me that morning, holding my head together with her towel and comforting me with her soothing words, had seen more than her share of accidents at that intersection. Ours wasn’t the first, and it wasn’t the last. Sometime later, I went back and took her a nice, new towel set I had bought, as a gift of my appreciation for the one she had ruined for me. I thanked her sincerely for the way she had been there for me.
She is gone now, but there is a reason for everything. There really are no accidents, you see. Perhaps, God put her there when He did, to be an angel for others in their time of need. Who knows? Perhaps she was an angel.
What I can tell you is, I know now that God had a reason for me to get as far as I did through that door, through which we pass from this life. Now, I have a special kind of compassion for those who have been through traumatic events like I have. I also have that same compassion for those about to leave this life. I have held the hands of people I have known and prayed with them and comforted them as their time drew near. I held their hands and told them, just as I will tell you now, that if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then you have nothing to fear. I know. I have been through that door.