Went for a "ride."At the time I had a near death experience, I did not recognize it as an actual NDE...not immediately anyway. Here's what happened:
Sometimes while sleeping I occasionally experience sleep apnea. It usually happens when I have been snoring. My breathing temporarily stops and when my subconcious realizes this (I guess), I end up taking a huge desperate breath. This usually wakes me up. Ever since I started swimming laps (2 years ago) at our community pool twice a week, I had not had a problem with snoring or sleep apnea. After a visit with relatives back east (Oct. 1997), I stopped my lap swimming habit for over 4 months. My habit of snoring returned.
One night in January 1998, I experienced what I thought (at first) was an unusual dream. I am the kind of person who usually doesn't even remember most dreams, and I usually never can recall them in any great detail. This was totally different. I felt myself being drawn upward, through a light gray cloud-like tunnel. I remember feeling the complete absence and elimination of fear. My arm felt like it was outstretched, reaching upward for something...but there was no arm there for me to see. I vividly remember feeling an overwhelming longing to get to where I was going. I felt peace and surrounded by love in this journey. I felt compelled to get to my destination because of the extreme longing I had, but at the same time, I also felt totally loved and comforted right where I was. I was traveling at an immense speed, and it felt like it was taking me a long time to get to the destination. Although I never did see my destination, I knew with every part of my being that I belonged there...I was on my way - going home.
Suddenly, I experienced the feeling of being in a film on speed re-wind, I woke myself up while taking a huge deep breath into my lungs.
I remember thinking that this must have been just a dream. It was the most comforting dream I had ever had. I could recall each detail vividly...and I wanted to. As time went by, I felt like I was being "told", somehow, that this experience was not just a dream, but something far more exciting. For weeks I did not tell anyone about this experience, but something inside me was telling me to share it. Initially, I was afraid to because I thought others would think I was crazy.
Being a born again Christian, I did not want to claim that my experience was something more than what God intended it to be for me. Then, one day while posting Christian messages on a message board, one of my e-mail friends sent me a message that astonished me. He said that my posts were "right on" in my witnessing efforts to the unsaved on that particular board. He asked me if "something special had happened to me" to cause this growth in my sharing of the Gospel. I prayed about it, then sent him an e-mail describing what I had experienced. He said that God had "taken me for a ride." He cited Bible verses to back up the view that Christians can (and often do) have these experiences. Perhaps it is not so much a NDE as a "glimpse" of what it is like (and what I will feel) when I leave my body and head for my true home...heaven.
Over three years ago, my father died from lung cancer. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior just 4 months before he died. I was so thankful to God for answering my prayer for my father's salvation. Ever since I was a little child, I had worried about my dad (he was agnostic most of his life). The only way my grieving was comforted was through the promises Jesus gave us concerning eternal life and the assurance that I would one day see my father again in heaven. I had strong faith in believing that his soul was safe, happy and loved in the arms of Jesus, but I often prayed to God to give me an unshakable assurance of that fact. I do believe that my "ride" was an answer to that very prayer... C.