Cold. Black and Cold; with a silence that’s deafening. Time seemed to drag on much more slowly here; like walking through waist deep water that is churning up and becoming a rip tide. I know that I am speaking a weird metaphor here, but my purpose is not to be pretentious; but to answer the question that I get so often: “What does it feel like to have death meet you at your door?” Hmm…”What does it feel like???…”
My experience was so foreign, so different from other “escaped from death” tales I have read and heard. For me, there was not a bright light. I was not able to see heaven and no choirs of angels entered into song. If fact, there was a very good reason the Lord didn’t let me see these glimpses of heaven, or have me meet Him in person…. I would have run to his arms, making it difficult(or maybe impossible) to leave that glorious place. For this was not His plan; to have me enter into the rest of heaven at this time. His intention is exactly what is unfolding in front of me right now; victorious living.
When one has been with the Lord for a while, you begin to understand who you are in Christ and that makes one sure of their future. Another way you could put it is this: “My bags are packed. I’ve tied a Chartreuse ribbon to my suitcase’s handle to distinguish it from the numerous others that will be there. The clothes inside, my Sunday best, are neatly pressed and folded just so; and my boarding pass is clutched tightly in my hand as I look skyward listening for the trumpet’s blast.” Therefore, if heaven would have been revealed to me, you would literally have had to pry my clenched fingers off of the pearly gates while knocking my feet from under me, as I am being dragged along the sea of glass; to get me out of heaven and back down to earth again. Alas though, I have work to finish down here; so, here I am.
Alright, now that I have explained why I think I didn’t get to view heaven or Jesus, let me get back to answering the question of how it felt to have death knock on my door.
I was blacked out for about roughly 35 minutes when the accident happened while my 8-year-old son was calmly getting me help. Then there was a lot of confusion while I popped in and out of consciousness. All senses were dulled and my perception and reaction to them was very hindered. It reminded me of the sensation I have when my blood sugar is really low; except much more intense. That feeling is horrible because you know what you have to do to correct the problem; you just can’t seem to get things done due to the blurry vision, confusion, and diminished capacity to reason through your situation. You feel utterly helpless. But on the day of my accident, this sensation was much worse, and a lot more serious.
My eyes would open for brief instantaneous moments and I would realize I was being dragged inside a building. Then, suddenly I would drift back into the confusing, mud-like sluggishness, and ice-cold blackness. Flash…I am now vomiting profusely into a trash can. Blackness…The dark has encompassed my mind again. Gripping fear… the worst anxiety I have ever felt as I bolted straight up in the ambulance yelling: “Where is my son? I can’t find my son!” At that point, I didn’t even care if I lived or died, just that my son was safe and Ok; as my heart sped out of control hoping my worst fears as a parent had not come true. Heavy Curtain Falls… I then drearily open my eyes to a picture of a lady wearing blue scrubs. Yep, I’m in the hospital.
Later on, I would find out that at the point I had awakened, I had actually been moved to 2 different areas of the hospital. Shortly after realizing I was in the care of nurses, through the nausea and the worst headache I have ever had, God spoke two very specific things to me: “You are going to live and you are going to be Ok.”
What a change from the experiences I have had in the past. Usually, when I wake up in the hospital( this was NOT the first time) I am angry the moment I realize I am there. I feel annoyed at my circumstances, mad that I am going to have to pay for medical bills again; and angry that God would allow such a thing to happen. Not this time.
In the middle of all this swirling disorientation, with all the nurses and doctors buzzing around me like bees, there was PEACE. Huh? Are you serious Chris? Am I saying that during an event that almost claimed my life and still would try to claim it later on as well, there was a PEACE? Yes, I am saying just that. This time I did not snap to anger. I felt the comfort of the Almighty God all around me in that small hospital room.
You see, it was at that point, that no matter what these doctors were going to tell me, and they went into great detail about what I was going to go through medically now and in the coming months and years, that God was there and His plan was in effect.
Oh what relief I felt after that moment! I knew right then and there that all would be well. Even though I teetered on the brink of death for about 3 months, and I hit my head again( at church mind you) making my conditions worse, I knew in my heart this life-changing experience would have purpose and not be for nothing.
There are many struggles since then that I deal with daily and without a total healing from the Lord, I will never be the same physically. The curious fact that I learned from all of this, still to this day; I would never be the same spiritually again either. I know this will sound shocking but, I am glad I got the opportunity to go through this; although, it took a few months to get to that point. God chose me to endure this to make me stronger in Him and to have a ministry that relates to others out there who live with disease states and are in chronic pain. Because, I have found hope, peace, joy and strength in the midst of a tragedy; but most of all, I found a savior waiting for me when death met me at the door.
Here is a verse God gave me in the hospital room which lifted me up and gave my heart protection and peace. Psalm 52:8 “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” Folks, when you are planted in God’s house, you are not only protected but you start to flourish as you allow God to reveal more of his unfailing love to you.
Oh, what a Savior; to take what the devil meant for evil and destruction and turn it into hope and peace.
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The Great Plains Poet, changed forever physically, but most of all, forever changed spiritually.
God bless you all. If you have any questions please email me.