A lot has transpired since my last blog entry. My wife and I have moved in the United States from Delaware to Texas. I no longer work in a hospital setting as a chaplain. Today, I am serving as a hospice chaplain driving to the homes of those whose lives are nearing the time when they will transition from earth to what is next.
As a chaplain for over thirty years, I have ministered to lots of people on their way to that point of transition. I have shared in other blog entries some of my observations related to their journey away from earth after their body dies. Because of my experiences it probably would not come as a surprise to anyone of my interest in the testimonies of near death experiencers. I have either read books about their near death experience or listened to numbers of YouTube videos particularly from the IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies) Talk Zone of these experiencers telling their own story.
What I want to share with you comes from an experience I had while driving from Delaware to Texas on my final trip after leaving the children’s hospital to begin my new hospice chaplain position in Texas. I had already driven the fifteen-hundred miles during December of 2021 moving my wife and most of our belongings to our rented apartment. The Penske truck I drove took me two and a half days to make the journey. Now it was the end of January 2022 after giving the hospital a thirty-day notice and I am driving my pickup truck pulling a u-haul trailer.
My route took me along several interstate highways. One of those paths was interstate 59. It led me through the upper portion of the state of Georgia before crossing into Alabama. After coming into Georgia, it was time to re-fuel, take a short break and get a snack. I stopped at an Exxon station and what happened there I will never forget.
After re-fueling, I entered the service station where snacks and various soft drinks were for sale. There was a middle-aged woman who evidently was employed there and she helped me find the additional hand sanitizing dispenser for the one in the restroom was empty. She came across as being very kind and helpful. As I was paying for the snacks and soda she began to tell me a story about an aspect of her past.
The fact that she was telling me her story seemed a bit unusual. We had never met before but that didn’t seem to interfere with her storytelling. I recall one other customer in the service station but his presence did not detour what she shared with me. She indicated that she had been sick with lupus. She said that her mother had lupus and had passed it on to her. Then she said that her condition had gotten so bad that she was admitted to the hospital.
As she continued her story, her condition caused her to go into a coma. Now for those who are unfamiliar with near death experience stories, people often talk about having near death experiences while their body is in a coma. Because I am familiar with these stories, I asked this woman what she remembered about her coma. This is where her story becomes quite interesting to say the least.
The next thing she said was, “I died three times.” I couldn’t help myself so I asked her what she remembers about her death while in her coma experience. She told me that the first time she died she heard a lot of noise but couldn’t make out what the noise was about. The second time she died, she said the noise was much less but still not making much sense. The third time she died she said the following, “I recognized my deceased grandmother sitting next to me. I remember holding a baby girl. I did not know who she was but I remember it was a female. Then she remembers waking up in the hospital.
As we were finishing our conversation I thanked her for sharing her story with me. I told her that I was a hospital chaplain and that I was overwhelmed that I could have chosen any number of service stations to re-fuel but I came to this one. Then she began smiling at me as if she had something else to share. Then she said, “that baby girl I was holding next to my grandmother is now a member of our family.” So I said, “let me get this straight, you got to hold your now daughter on the other side of the veil before she was born into your present physical family?” She said, “That’s right!” All I could say was “wow!”
Stories are sacred and when they surface within situations that you did not orchestrate then paying attention to them so they can be written down and retold blesses the reader and the writer. Because of the number of stories I have had the privilege of hearing, I heard a voice in my spirit as I was preparing to begin my new position as a hospice chaplain. What I heard plays into this entry. The Voice said,“… you’re going to need these stories where you’re going!”