1977 was not a good year. In the space of just two months and 11 days, the dog was stolen, my best friend died, I found I had glaucoma, my daughter Annette died and I broke my back.
My back was broken when I slipped on the floor resulting in separation at L5 and a separation at S1, the lumbar and sacral part of my back. The doctors decided to treat me with a spinal fusion.
Just prior to this, my daughter was hit by a truck and was killed. We had planned for her to have a party at a hotel, but somehow we felt it was not right to go forward with it. Annette was a lovely Christian girl, who loved Jesus so much. We prayed for all our worth that she would live. Many other people were also praying, and they would visit the hospital and lay hands on her but she did not recover. I now believe she died because she had a choice. One of the people who came to pray for her said, ‘She is in Heaven right now’, and I knew that was right, and that she had made her choice to stay.
Now I can understand, but at that time, I did not want her to leave us. She was our only child. We loved her, but she had a free will. I know how much she loved God, and she is with Him. Her daddy was devastated. He just pounded on the walls of the hospital until they vibrated, and cried and cried. He became angry with God until he eventually withdrew from Him, because he did not want to let go of his daughter. All this, of course, made the circumstances of my operation even more difficult for him.
When I went for surgery the operation took nine hours. During the operation my spirit left my body. The time it takes is a blink of an eye – that’s all. I was in Heaven and saw the light of Heaven, which is Jesus. There was such peace, and the light was so bright that if you were looking at Him in your normal body, you could not stand it because the light is so glorious. I can not really judge how tall He was. His hair was dark, sort of brownish, but the thing that is so overwhelming is the love that just permeates His whole being. This love and peace engulfed me so much that I did not want to come back, even after I had agreed I would. I related then to the fact that my daughter had chosen to stay.
I saw the gates of Heaven, made up of 12 gigantic pearls. The streets looked like solid gold. The walls are precious stones, and all the colours are so bright and vibrant. As well as all this, there is the music that is almost impossible to describe. It is glorious. It is worship and adoration of God; it is holy and pure. You could not try singing to keep up with the music in the natural way. There were musical notes I have never head on Earth. They were so clear and flawless, and the tone was so beautiful. It is the most wonderful place to be.
After a little while I saw my daughter. We were in a garden where the grass was so green and lush. The flowers were incredibly bright, and there were fruit trees. Someone picked an apple from one of the trees, and it immediately grew back again. Everyone there was totally whole, and my daughter was just wonderful. We talked about how much we loved each other, and how happy she was to see me. The feelings were mutual, but of a higher level than we understand on Earth.
My grandparents were also in Heaven, though in a different place to my daughter. Up there, you do not just float on a cloud. Everyone is an integral part of what God is doing, and they all have work to do. There were others of my family in Heaven, my great grandma for one, but there were not a lot, because God told me that other members of my family did not make Heaven. There were some I would have expected to see there, but they were not.
Jesus spoke to me and told me He loved me. We talked about many different things, and then He said He wanted me to come back. This did not please me, and I asked Him why I could not stay. He told me He had something different for me to do. When I had finished this, then I could come back home again. Jesus did not say what this would be, but that I would know each step of the way. It was then that I started to cry, but I had given my word and agreed to come back.
My return was somewhat slower than my journey to Heaven. On the way back I experienced no pain whatsoever. When I was fully back into my body again the pain was excruciating and not only that, my brain was in a complete fog. I could not think at all. I had no language. The only words I knew were, ‘yes’ and ‘OK’. I was told later that this was due to a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain during and after my operation.
After the four hours of surgery, six people worked on me for 5 hours non-stop! They know that a patient can hear you speaking even if apparently unconscious. (They were determined I would not die but I kept going unconscious on them.) I shook my head to try to indicate that I was not upset with them, but was crying because I was alive. I guess I really did not want to come back to Earth and leave my daughter behind. The pain was absolutely terrible, even though they had me medicated. When I was walking round in Heaven there was no pain, I had no brain damage, my head wasn’t foggy, I was alert, and I could communicate. Now it was very different!
After the surgery I had kidney failure; my lips peeled and bled for up to two months; I did not know my alphabet; I could not even eat properly, I kept hitting my face with the fork. I did not want to be a vegetable and my husband, already angry after the death of our daughter, became even angrier with God. Seeing the state I was in hurt him so badly, that he could not handle it.
When I first came back home, after a friend had taken care of me for three months, he took me out and bought me lots and lots of presents, even things I could not use at that time. Gradually, however, he realised how ill I still was. He became more distant, more hurt and angry to the point that he wanted to shoot me because he could not stand to see me suffer. He would not even pray because, after Annette died, he figured there was no point. Eventually he left me.
The State paid for me to have sessions to help me accept the fact that I was permanently damaged and that I would never be any better. They asked me how I felt about it and I said, ‘I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It must have been difficult for them, because at that time I did not even know how to take a bath or set the table. What I did know was that God was going to heal me, because Jesus had told me this. He had sent me back so that Jesus might be glorified.
In 1983, I arranged to go visit my sister for Thanksgiving. For the three weeks before that visit, I looked up every Scripture on healing and Acts 3:16 in particular became alive to my spirit. This is where Peter and John tell the beggar at the Gate Beautiful that his faith in the name of Jesus had made him whole. I meditated on that word, and spoke it out at least a hundred times a day. Then whilst visiting my sister I attended a church and went out for prayer from the Pastor. He came over to me and asked me what I needed. He just took things one at a time, and then asked if I had faith to believe for the healing of my back. The Scriptures say, ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ Whilst some of the miracles I have received have been a sovereign act of God, I knew that this was one for which my faith had to be active.
When he prayed, the intense pain in my lower back left instantly. Up to then it had hurt to sit and to lie down. In fact, many times I slept on the floor with my feet in a chair, but I could get no real relief. Now I was able to run, not real fast, because I was out of practice, but I did run round the back of the church that day. Not only was my back healed but my glaucoma also. I felt something lift from my eyes, and have never used the eye drops since. I have been examined and told that the glaucoma has gone.
I believe that God sent me back so that I could minister life to people as an example of one who had received many, many miracles, and help them build up their faith in a living God. When I was in Heaven, Jesus not only told me He loved me, but that He was coming back sooner than we think. People think they have a lot more time than they have. It is not the time to procrastinate, it is time to prepare for your future life.