Every morning it is like Easter at my house. It has not always been this way though. I had to die to learn how to live. I died for 28 minutes, and it was during this death experience that I learned how to live. I had never been sick before this time. I was on vacation. I was having a great time with my mother and dad, my kid brother Gary, my husband, and my six- year- old Brenda. The first night I experienced a pain in my right side. For someone who had never even had a headache up to that time, I began to suffer excruciating and uncontrollable pain.
After I began to vomit and hemorrhage they rushed me to a little beach hospital. I was transferred to another hospital and had an operation on my abdomen. The doctors discovered that I had developed peritonitis. After the operation I lapsed into a coma which lasted for the greater part of 44 days. I had two further operations.
During this comatose period I went through a wonderful learning process. I prayed most of the time, although I was unconscious and could not speak or respond. I still prayed in my heart, and I understood everything that was going on around me. I remembered all of the conversations that were spoken in my room, and I have written them in my book My Glimpse of Eternity. Another wonderful thing happened in this room. I heard music all the time as I lingered near death. I shall always remember two of the songs that I heard constantly echoing in my mind, and in the chambers of my heart. I heard singing 'The old account was settled long ago'. How thankful I was that at the age of 13, I had settled my account with sin. I had decided to invite Jesus be the Lord of my life, forgiving me of my sins, and experienced the new birth. Another song that I heard constantly was the same man singing 'I have been born again'.
God used very ordinary people to bring about some extraordinary experiences in my life. I was a proud, haughty young woman whom God could not use up to this time. Through this suffering, and 44 days of unconsciousness, I underwent a complete overhaul of personality. Ordinary people came into the room. I always remember Aunt Gertrude coming. She did not know that unconscious people hear, but she took me by the hand and very positively prayed for me. She talked with me about the flowers at home, read my cards, and the little notes that were on my flowers that had been sent to my room. She brought a little bit of the outside world into that hospital room.
Another wonderful person who ministered to me was Uncle Jesse. He was a brake man on the railroad. One day coming home from work he said he felt a very firm desire to come to the hospital to see how I was doing. He initially thought he should go home and shower first. He then felt God impressed him not to delay, but to go to the hospital right then. On arrival he learned that I desperately needed B-negative blood. When they tested Uncle Jesse and typed him, he had B-negative blood. I received a direct transfusion, which I urgently needed.
Another person who ministered to me was a man in our neighborhood who used pitiful English, and I whom considered ugly. I did not like him. I did not like his looks, and he did not know how to dress. He had a radio broadcast that I never cared for. I used to turn the broadcast off whenever it came on. This man violated the 'No Visitors' sign and came into my hospital room, not knowing that I could hear in this unconscious state. He came to the foot of my bed. Hearing a man's footsteps I thought it was my husband, John, who came several times a day. Or perhaps it was my father coming to sit beside me in the squeaky leather chair to pray for me, or just to whisper praises of worship, and bless the name of Jesus. But it was not my father. Suddenly I recognized the voice of Art, the man that I had never liked. My immediate reaction was to try to regain consciousness, to use the call button, and to call a nurse through to ask him out. After all I could not stand the man when I was well, let alone when I was sick. But Art did not leave because God was working on my pride. God had me in a corner where I could not manipulate the situation. Art began to read, and I began to listen. He read Psalm 107:20 to me, 'He sent His word and healed them '. Suddenly I realized that this ugly man had been a wonderful instrument, and played sweet music to my dying soul. I latched on to the hope of this word that he had read me, 'He sent His word and healed them'. I began to have faith that I might be healed. Art left, and I determined that, if I did live, I would apologize and tell him how much I loved him for bringing that word of life and hope.
In the days that followed I almost gave up. On two occasions I had to be resuscitated. Then I developed pneumonia with a high fever. At the end of this forty-four day period, when pneumonia raged, the outlook seemed very poor to my husband, my father and my mother. So they all went home to prepare themselves for my funeral and burial.
After they all left I felt as if I had suddenly got on a roller-coaster. When you hit that peak, that topmost point on the ride, I felt as though this was what had happened to me. When that sudden lurch came I realized that this was death. It was not frightening, and if it was death, it was very sudden. There was no fear, for death was just changing locations from this place to the other.
I had always been very tall, and it had become a phobia that haunted me all my life. Suddenly that was gone. I began to stand tall and erect, realizing that, in the place to which I had come, there were no complexes. I stood to my full height realizing that, in spite of three operations and forty-four days of tubes into my stomach, that I was well and strong. I was walking through a beautiful meadow of waving grass, the strands of which were like green velvet. As I walked in my bare feet, life, health and vigor began to come into my body. It was outdoors, and the climate was like forever spring. What a joy to learn that Heaven was not sitting on a damp cloud playing a harp. It was not wall to wall church, because there was no need for the church here. I realized I was in the living presence of the Son of God, and we would worship Him forever.
As I walked up a hill I became aware that I was not alone. To the left, and a little behind me, was a tall angel clad in a transparent garment of white. I saw his very capable masculine hands, and a masculine face with a knowing look. I realized that the angel had always been there from the day that I had found Jesus. I had never known it, because I had never needed him until now. Walking along we talked with our 'think'. There was no need for conversation because, just by wishing, we understood each other. We could go from Earth to the galaxies of space, and to the gates of Heaven where, as we approached, I heard the most beautiful singing. As we reached the gates there was melodious and harmonious sounds of music coming over the wall. Suddenly I heard voices whose singing I cannot describe, and I began to sing with them in a way I have never been able to do before or since. Standing there I understood all of the languages of the world. The Scripture verse in I John 3 became alive to me, 'When we see Him, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is'. He understands all of the languages being spoken all the time around the world. In His presence, I was like Him, and I understood the other languages.
Approaching a most majestic gate of solid pearl, the angel touched it. It severed in the center. When it opened and I stepped inside I saw and felt light such as I cannot describe. Vivid yellow light, so dazzling and bright that I could not look into it. I began to strain to see where it was coming from. I believe I looked directly into the throne room of God the Father, for seated on His right hand was Jesus, the Son of the living God. I was trying to see His face, which caused a brilliant light to be reflected onto a golden boulevard. When I did, the light and the warmth of His face went directly through me, and I was healed. My past whirled rapidly before me. The present became very wonderful and real, and the things of the future unfolded. In that 28 minute period I learned so much that it will take many books to write it.
I began to look around. In that light I began to see shafts of direct light ascending from the Earth, directly joining that great light in the throne room. The light in the throne room is the source of all energy, all creativity and all power. It occurred to me that I had seen the other end of prayer. I cannot describe what followed except in great detail, and so have written a book, Prayers that are answered in which I describe this. As I saw the direct shafts of light ascending from the Earth, the reality occurred to me that they were the prayers of people on Earth ascending to the great light in the throne room. God could answer, either by the powers of almighty Heaven, or by angels, or the armies of God. We have to realize that in the midst of battle we need not be dismayed, for the powers of the armies of Heaven are at our command when we pray. What made me realize this was that, on one shaft of light, I saw my father's voice being registered. In my book I describe this as a 'The One Word Prayer'. My mother and father had been summoned to the hospital room by the head nurse to tell them that I had died. My father arrived there first. He walked over to my body, with the equipment removed, and the sheet covering me. He said that all he could think of to say was to breathe one word of prayer for himself, asking God through this prayer to give him strength to break the news to my husband. He also prayed for my daughter, Brenda, who would be very distressed when she heard the news that her mother had died. The only word that my father could speak was 'Jesus'. I saw it, and I heard it. There is power in the name of Jesus. It is sufficient. In that one word prayer was a wish that I had not died. I saw it and felt it. I thought I would never want to leave that place, but the power of my father's prayer breathed in the form of a wish, 'Jesus,' healed me and changed my mind. Now I desired to follow his prayer and to come back.
As I came back down the hill I had walked up, I looked through the roof of the hospital and saw down through the floors and into the room where my body was covered with a sheet. As I came closer I saw a direct shaft of the sunrays coming through the glass into my room. The sun was shining on my body, and suddenly I felt as though I had gone in an elevator and had hit the bottom floor. There was a sudden lurch sensation of inertia and I felt my body begin to warm and I touched the sheet. In the center of that shaft of light, I saw ivory letters about two inches coming towards me. I remembered what Art had read, 'He sent His word and healed them'. When I looked closer I saw these ivory letters were the printed word of God from the Bible, John 11:25, the words of Jesus, 'I am the resurrection and the life and He that believes on me though he were dead, yet shall he live.' I knew as that word was coming towards me it would heal me, and Art's prayer became reality. I touched the word, pushing the sheet off my face and, reaching out, I grasped those letters pulling them into my arms and then sat up. Within two days I went home from the hospital.
The doctor coming into my room was overwhelmed. The nurse ran down the corridors saying, 'It's a ghost!', she was so frightened. My first thought was that I wanted to call my grandmother who had been dying for the past year. When I called her I did not know that my mother had already called her to tell her I had died. So when I called I shocked her, because she thought that if I was dead then she must have died too. Finally my father got on to her and said, 'Betty is back, we don't know what has happened, but she is very much alive and sitting up'. In the following moments I begged for a drink and for food. I was given some 7 Up on crushed ice, and tray on which were two pork chops and a full meal. I ate it all.
I have perfect vision, and have suffered no depression. Since then I have had a perfect baby daughter, no drug withdrawal problems, no colostomy, all of my plumbing works perfectly well, and I have no brain damage. I have written books that have helped many people. I went home in two days happy for a second chance to live again. A second chance to love people again.
My healing was a great miracle, but even greater was the miracle that I returned with a different attitude, and with a great love for people. Through the telling of this story many people have experienced the love of Jesus and experienced the greatest miracle of all, that of sins forgiven.