I have always had a strong faith in God; however, I wouldn't consider myself to be "religious." Recently, I underwent a two and half to three hour operation of on my spine. Before the surgery, I prayed and asked God to guide the surgeon's hands and to give me a sense of calm. I went into the surgery with a total confidence that the outcome would be positive. The only "hitch" during the procedure was that the medical staff had difficulty in bringing me out unconsciousness, the anesthesia. As a result, it took two and a half hours rather than thirty minutes to an hour to rouse me into consciousness.
Sometime during all of this, I found myself standing among beautiful, gently rolling green hills, a pasture of sorts. The grass was natural yet perfect. Across the pasture were large oak trees, the most perfect and inviting shade trees found in a storybook. The sky was a lovely, absolutely clear shade of blue--somewhere between robin's egg blue and Crayola blue. The air was perfectly crisp with no hint of humidity or dust; a gentle breeze touched my skin. I could hear an extremely pleasant and soothing natural chorus of insects and birds. I thought, "This is perfect. I want to stay here forever. I have never felt this wonderful!" I felt absolute clarity, peace, and love. Thank God because that scene and feeling are imprinted so strongly in me that I can recall the experience at will.
I heard someone say "Take a few deep breaths for us" and felt someone touching my head and arm. Immediately I said, "I had great dreams." The anesthetist or nurse standing beside me said, "Good, we like for you to have great dreams." I said, "It was wonderful; I want to go back." He replied, "No, no you can't go back!" and grabbed my arm and put the oxygen mask back over my face saying, "Take some more deep breaths for us."
Eventually, after many orders to "take deep breaths," I was moved into a hospital room. My three grown children and my husband were waiting for me. I couldn't wait to tell them about my glimpse of heaven. I said "Don't ever worry about me when I die; I've seen heaven, and it's perfect and wonderful." Then, I described my experience to them.
I have recalled my glimpse of heaven in my mind's eye over and over again. I have told my sisters and my closest friends. One asked if I would hesitate to tell others about the experience. I just know that I'll know for certain who needs to hear and when to tell of my experience. I'll just know.
In my case, the experience hasn't been life altering. I already had a profound belief in God's love and knowledge that this life is a series of lessons and challenges to strengthen our spirits and expand our capacity to love. However, it has cemented the peace that I feel that God is in control, listening, and ever-present to give us support in this life and the next. I literally have no fear as I go about my life now. It’s not that I'll dare fate and expect the angels to intercede. I just have the knowledge that, regardless of the challenges we face in this life, they are temporary, fleeting, and can't begin to approach the power of God's love.