Earlier I wrote about my grandmother’s (Grammy’s) first trip to heaven. The first trip was a vision. The second, a few years later, was a near death experience. I am only saying as much as she told me. I don’t understand all the details of what she told me, and I’m can’t be sure if what she saw was part of heaven, or was another place. To her, it felt like heaven.
Grammy was at her workplace when she had a severe allergic reaction to a cleaning chemical. She ran outside gasping for breath and fell on the ground. Someone called an ambulance, and when the paramedics arrived, her heart had stopped.
They injected epinephrine(adrenaline) into her to try to get her heart to start again, but she had an allergic reaction to it. Her heart started and then stopped again a second time. Somehow her heart started again and they got her to the emergency room.
We heard about the incident and we didn’t know how she was or if she would survive. However, the next day she was conscious and we went to visit her at the hospital.
It was now clear that she was going to live, but she had significant brain damage because her brain had been deprived of oxygen when her heart stopped. Her speech was slurred, and she was unable to speak certain words. However, she could speak enough to be able to tell us about her experience the day before.
The Near-Death Experience
When she was on the ground, she floated up and saw her body below her on the sidewalk. She found herself in a wide open place like a desert, and she saw blue mountains way off in the distance. There was an indescribable peace, and she thought “I’m finally here! I must be in heaven!”
Then she saw something coming across the desert toward her from the mountains. It was hard to describe, but she described it as like a cloud or a big tumbleweed rolling across the desert towards her. God’s voice spoke out of this thing and said “Donna, you need to fight to live! Your family needs you.”
She felt a little disappointed, because she never wanted to leave this wonderful place. But she thought of her family and decided “OK, I will fight for my life.” Then she was back in her body.
Grammy was only at the hospital for a little while longer, and then she was sent home. A little while later I visited her, because she still needed to be healed.
I held both of my hands over her head and said “In Jesus’ name, brain be restored and speech come back”. Her head got extremely hot. She was sweating, and I felt heat radiating off of her head even when I held my hands about 5 inches away. I just stayed standing there and thanking God for about 15 minuets or so.
Since there were certain words she could not say, I said “In Jesus’ name, say ___”. She said it. Then another one. She had significant improvement in speech and mental ability. Her speech was still not completely perfect when I left, but I kept thanking God for what He was doing.
That was several years ago. I just talked to her on the phone recently, and I did not notice any problems or difficulty with her speech. It took some time, but she continued to recover.
Some of the details of what Grammy described seemed a little strange to me. I don’t understand everything. Heaven was like a desert? Maybe what she saw was part of heaven, or maybe it was some other place. I don’t know. But there was a wonderful, overwhelming peace, and she never wanted to leave. It was interesting that she described God speaking out of a thing that looked like a tumbleweed or a cloud, because in the Bible we read of God speaking out of a cloud, and also out of a burning bush.
In any case, Grammy’s experience reminds us that God has a purpose for our lives on earth. Grammy did not know how much she was needed here. We are here to help and bless other people in some way. Just because something happens that may put our life in danger, does not mean it’s our time to go. We have promises of long life in scripture.
Psalm 91:6 (KJV) With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
In some ways this instance was a little humorous to me, because I had talked to Grammy about Jesus’ command not just to heal the sick, but to raise the dead (Matthew 10:8 and 11:5). Grammy always said “Well, if I die, leave me alone! I want to stay in heaven!” However, she did die, or nearly die, and the Lord told her to return!
We will have forever to enjoy ourselves in heaven. But there are a few wonderful things we can’t do in heaven. One is getting married! (Matthew 22:30) The others are things like healing the sick, casting out demons, and leading people to salvation. In heaven everyone will be healed, there will be no demons, and everyone will be saved! Here on earth we have the opportunity to do things that may make a difference for eternity.
Finally, if anyone has read this and a friend or family member is suffering loss of mobility/speech from a stroke or other brain injury, I encourage you to lay your hands on them and say, “In Jesus’ name, brain be restored.” God is full of compassion and he wants to restore the abilities that were lost.
For another story of restoration after a stroke, go here.