My Story

My Story . . .

June 19, 2009

I am writing this story more than 5 years after I experienced it.  I have thought many times about sharing this, yet have at this point probably told it to only a dozen or so people.  This is my first time putting it into written words.  Please read this as an inspirational testimony of a "life" experience ...

This is my record of events that occurred in the early morning hours of what started as a very uneventful night when I was 36 years old.  Let me first tell you a little about my situation so that this story will make more sense.  I have had some medical issues since my youth.  At this point in my life, I did not believe that these medical issues were of terminal concern  --- this would change.

Let us further understand my line of work in order to see the setting of this night.  I am a truck driver.  More specifically, I haul cars.  I drive a truck that has a sleeper behind the cab which is where I spend most of my nights.  On this particular night I had a delivery for a car dealership in Fort Meyers,  FL.  As I often do, I drove to this dealership late at night and crawled into the sleeper birth for a good night's sleep.  I left the blinds open so that the morning sunlight would wake me up so that I could walk inside to deliver the keys and paperwork for the cars that I had just unloaded.

It is what was about to occur that makes this night memorable . . .

After a restful sleep I awoke to complete darkness. I felt very calm and peaceful although it seemed odd that there was such darkness as in there had been streetlights in the dealer parking lot and furthermore this was a well illuminated area of town.  After a brief period of this darkness, I saw a bright round light appear. At about the same time I heard a loud roaring sound.  I cannot explain the sound except it was not scary.  As the light became brighter and larger, it began to look like it was circling and sort of like it was an opening sort of like a passageway.  As it got closer, it seemed as though it was going to envelope me.  At about this time, the light burst into what seemed like a hundred teardrop shaped lights that continued around me until they dispersed into a grayish white light that enveloped the entire area around me.   As the light burst into the smaller lights, it made a melodious sound that I can best describe as sort of like wind blowing through a wind chime made of high quality lead glass.  It was a very nice melody.

It was around this time that I was made aware of where I was at and what was going on.  I realized that I was no longer in control of my body and possibly not even in my body.  I came to the striking realization that I was "dead".  I had the realization that my life had run full circle and that I was returning to where I was sent from.  I had a VERY strong memory of having seen this when I was sent to earth.  I know this point may vary from some theology, but this is my story as I "lived" it.  It was almost as though a veil shielding me from this knowledge was lifted when I entered this level of light.  Momentarily,  as I was becoming aware of where I was, I became curious as to why I was going there as in I did not recall being this sick or having an accident or ?

I attempted to turn and look for my body behind me to see if I had been shot or what had happened to my body, but when I attempted to turn back I realized that I couldn't do such, I could not move my body or turn or anything.  I was floating towards the light and the peace and joy that was not too far from me.  I was now feeling the greatest feelings I have ever felt.  I was not sad or hurting or in pain or anything bad.  Then I thought about my dad whom I had lost about 18 months before.  Then my dear friend Jenna whom I had given the eulogy at her funeral. Then my friend Nate and then my thoughts changed .  . . .

Oh my goodness . . .  My pregnant wife !!!  We were expecting our 5th child.  My kids !!!  My daughter --- she is a "daddy's girl".  They were not ready for me to be gone.  I thought about how good things felt as I floated further.  I felt as if I did not turn around soon that the ever increasing good feeling would be so great that there was no way I could convince myself to come back.  It was feeling VERY good.  I attempted to take control of my body but could not. I then realized that the only way to return was through God's Will.  I cried out to God, "Please let me stay with my family."

Nothing changed.

I was still moving closer to ultimate peace and joy.  I thought for a few moments . . . Please God!  I just followed Scripture and prayed the most intense prayer of my life and there was no answer.  Why hasn't God kept His Word and answered my prayer?  Only God can stop what is happening!  My family needs me and they are not ready to be without me.  My life insurance is not enough. I do not want them to cry today.  Please, what am I doing wrong?  As these thoughts went through my head I remembered . . .

We are supposed to pray "in Jesus' name".  I then quickly stumbled over trying to get these three words out as quickly as I could.  I did not repeat the prayer. I just simply said, "in Jesus' name" . . .

Momentarily I opened my eyes and could see the inside of my truck !!!  Praise the Lord !!!  The most fervent prayer I could possibly say was answered instantly.  I was alive! I could see my truck and the lights outside.  I was breathing and my heart was pumping and I could see my body lying on my side in my bed  . . . Wait a minute . . . I realized I was not breathing.  It was like a swimmer just coming up out of water and needing a breath.  I took a deep breath and my chest hurt as though I had held my breath too long.  Awesome I could feel pain.  This meant I was alive.  As I took several breaths, I looked at my left hand and saw something that looked wrong about it.  I will tell you more about the hand soon. 

After laying there a few minutes or so I realized that I needed to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the life that God had given back to me. I felt I had been given a huge gift of another chance at life.  Given by the Grace of God.  I had nothing to worry about.  God had conquered more than any human could ever conquer.  As I lay there awhile, I decided to sit up and enjoy this new life. When I sat up, I was VERY excited about this life and thought . . . Hey let's call my wife and share this most awesome joy with her.  But then I looked up to the clock.  It was 5:08 AM.  Perhaps I would not bother her as in her alarm would not have rung yet and when it would, she would need to get kids ready for school and I should wait until she dropped them off before calling and telling her my awesome story.

As the morning progressed, I went about my business getting breakfast and delivering cars.  The gentleman receiving cars at the Ft Myers, FL dealership may have thought I was a bit strange as in I woke up in an exceptionally good mood.  I did not share my story with him . .  .  He might have called the "paddy wagon" for me.  However, over the next few hours I tried to call several folks to share this story, but most everyone was a little too busy to hear the story. I spoke to my wife a couple of times to which she was in the middle of other things called "life" and said something about taking time to talk later.  Later came by around 11 AM.  By then I felt about ready to burst, wanting to share this joy with my best friend and awesome mother of our children. I told my wife about half of the story to which I could hear her start crying.  At this point I had to ask why she was crying as in my joy was bounding over and I could not understand why she was crying.  She pointed out that she had almost lost her husband and father of her kids and her baby she was carrying would have never known me.  It was not until this time that I realized how scary and sad this story could be to another person.  I was still filled with extreme joy as my wife asked if I would be home that night.  I decided when I got my truck empty that I needed to go home to spend time with the folks I had pleaded to God to stay with.

Later that day, I found 2 other people to share the story with.  They did not have my same level of excitement to which I started to realize that this was my experience and not theirs.  At some point late in the afternoon, I had gradually come off of my "high" of excitement and I started to explain to myself what had happened and briefly attempted to find a more earthly explanation for the event.  I considered the possibility that this was just a very inspirational dream. Then I remembered the hand . . .

Only twice in my life had I seen a hand that looked that way.  It was the two times that I have seen a person shortly after they had died and before they had been embalmed.  This was the way the human body looks at an upper extremity when the blood has pooled to lower levels.  From a brief Internet search, I found the term for this is "pallor mortis" which occurs several minutes or longer after death.  It can sometimes occur after cardiac arrest in a person who may still be "alive" but has lost heartbeat.   Either way  ---  my heart was stopped and it is beating today.  What occurred is a miracle.  Who do you know whose heart restarted by itself following a plea to God for life?

God gave me life in 1973 and He gave me life again in 2009.  Furthermore, when my heart restarted after perhaps several minutes or so, somehow I did not have any noticeable brain damage. Further testimony that when God performs a miracle that He does it right.  Since this time I have had a somewhat "normal" life and when I have down times I revert to this event to remind myself that God sent me back following fervent prayer asking for life for one purpose.  Since that time I was able to share this testimony to someone very close to me as she was fighting her last battle with cancer and had the awesome opportunity to share the sinner's prayer with her.  I look forward to seeing her again.  I hope this story can bring inspiration to those who share in reading it . . .

That is my story  . . .

Jodi