"Three months after a cesarean section, I entered Kansas University Medical Center because I had a serious infection in my reproductive organs. Just before leaving for the hospital, I began thinking I was going to die, though there wasn't any fear connected with it. As I looked at my relatives, a strange feeling came over me, as though I were seeing them for the last time.
"While at the hospital, doctors tried antibiotics for several days to see if they could avoid major surgery, but they could not. I underwent a hysterectomy and all seemed well. Recuperating in the hospital three days later, I began feeling strange. Something was very wrong, so I called a nurse. Doctors discovered that I had double pneumonia, a blood clot, internal bleeding, and kidney failure.
Fighting for Life: "Doctors rushed me to X ray, and during the test I drifted in and out of consciousness. At one point I heard the doctor in a loud voice asking the nurse to check my blood pressure. I heard the nurse answer, "Zero. Zilch." I realized they were fighting for my life. [I remember taking my last breath and then I was clinically dead]
Met by Jesus: "Feeling so peaceful and free, I started moving upward. I realized my body was below me, and I vaguely remember observing efforts by the medical team to revive it. My main interest was that I was above the room. I was not even in the room but in the first sky. I say first sky in the heavens, because it seemed as though there were three heavens that I passed through.
"As I recall, he [Jesus] had dark brown wavy hair and an olive complexion. I looked into his eyes. They were piercing but loving, and as clear as blue water. You could almost see yourself mirrored in his eyes. When he looked at you, he looked straight through you and into you. You realized immediately that he knew all there was to know about you.
Before God the Father: "In a matter of seconds I found myself before the Most High. The Most High is the term I use because I recognized the presence of God the Father. In looking at Him, I couldn't really see Him, but there was an awesome glory, an awesome presence. You could feel it everywhere, and I realized that He was on the throne. Stunned by it all, I felt as small as a little ant, so insignificant. Trembling, I found myself prostrate. While I was lying there on my face, He spoke to me. I wondered how anyone could feel worthy in God's presence. I wasn't condemned, but I didn't feel worthy. It's hard to explain.
Jesus the Advocate: "Then I heard the Father and Son communing about my case. Jesus said, "My blood is sufficient. She's mine!" When He said that, all the doubts about my unworthiness disappeared. I jumped up and down, shouting and rejoicing. I have never been so happy in all my life! The kind of love I felt is beyond explanation. I kept saying, "Oh my God. Oh, my God. This is my Mediator. This is my Advocate." Just as I read in the Bible. I never wanted to leave his side. I told him so, but a look in his eyes said I had to return. I asked, 'Must I really leave?'
"He looked at me with tenderness and said, 'Yes, because there is work I have for you to do.' Coming back into my body in intensive care was as quick as my journey out had been. It seemed like the speed of light. Christ brought me back.
Caring for the Homeless: "Following my recovery, I took an art class in oil painting. But my obsession with painting Jesus was a mild change compared to other areas of my life. Perhaps the biggest turnabout was my point of view. Before my NDE I used to fuss and bicker with Walter my husband about petty concerns. I had wanted many things for myself. When I came back, I had a different appreciation for human relationships. They are so important. Much of what we think of as important isn't important at all.
"Then, I felt the Lord telling me, 'Feed my sheep.' This was at a time when Walter and I began a shelter for the homeless. We were called to that work for several years. I guess there are different ways we can feed his sheep or his lambs. Care of children is another way, and currently I'm a foster parent. We care for five children in our home.
"After having this fantastic near-death experience, I thought I should be doing big, wonderful projects for God. He has shown me that life is not about doing big things, but about doing whatever I do for Him. While I was in heaven, God did not give me a specific commission that I know of, but my strongest sense is that my purpose is to love."
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