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Steven A Experience

Experience description:   

December 2011

This is my experience.  I have my own thoughts as to what and why these things happened to me.  I am going to bite my lip and just share the experience.  Each person who reads this can interpret what happended.  It is a story of pain, illness, and a remarkable touch by a living awesome God.  Was it a dream, a psychosis, Did God pull the curtain pulled back for a moment and I experienced a taste of heaven, or something else? 

At age 48 and after 6 months of spiraling health issues, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable blood disease called Amyloidosis on April 26, 2011 based on a kidney biopsy I had in Bellevue, WA.  During this six month period, I had lost 50 pounds and had a very difficult time eating anything. Following my diagnosis, my wife and I spent our days research treatment facilities and learning about this blood disease.  That quickly led us to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, WA since it had the most experience treating Amyloidosis.  During my first few weeks after diagnosis, I was put through dozens and  dozens of medical tests.  These included daily blood draws, bone marrow biopsies (don’t ask!), a never ending process of x-rays and CT scans, and so on.  I also had to meet with several specialists regularly because of the damage to all of my organs.  I began chemotherapy immediately to stop the progression of the disease.  My health continued to spiral.  I had terrible orthostatic hypotension such that every time I sat up or stood up, I would get close to blacking out.  I was very weak. Within a few weeks of starting treatment, I also ballooned out in water weight because of my kidneys moving towards failure and my albumin level in my blood dropping under 1 g/dL.  My feet filled up with so much fluid that I could hardly wear shoes.  I was forced to wear compression stockings during the daytime to address the fluid in my legs and feet.  I had to elevate my feet for several hours during the day.  I also was nauseated around the clock, continually fighting vomiting which I did several times per day.  I attempted to work for a few weeks, but I just didn’t have the strength. 

For the next six months, I spend a good portion of my days in bed, and the rest going back and forth to doctor appointments in Seattle.  My angel of a wife, Mary, quit her job teaching 4th grade and became my 24 hour per day caregiver.  I was a very needy patient and she worked very, very hard supporting me.  We had to travel the 30 to 40 minutes into Seattle almost every day.  At home, Mary had to help me even moving up and down the stairs, bathing, dressing, and especially eating since I had no appetite.  We were very concerned about me having a Stem Cell Transplant at my low weight, knowing I would lose more weight after words.   Most doctors we met with gave me three to five years to live…five if I were fortunate.  I had so many organs involved and my heart was not in good shape.

At the end of June, I went into cardiac failure and was admitted to University of Washington Medical Center with fluid around my heart and a collapsed right lung. That wasn’t the only thing I was battling.  I am left handed.  My left arm stopped working.  My Deltoid, Trapezius, and Infraspinatus muscles had completely shut down in my left shoulder.  It felt like a bomb went off in my shoulder.  It was so painful that I was taking the hardest opioid drugs offered to manage the pain. It would not be until 8 months later that these muscles would slowly start to work again.  During that period of time, I could not lift my left arm from my side.  

The doctors were concerned that the cardiac issues may have been caused by the Velcade (Bortizamib) chemotherapy that I was having injected in me weekly.  They pulled me off of that chemo and I took a month break before I started another chemo drug, Revlimid. As far as the muscle and nerve damage of my left arm, they did not know what was causing the issues.  It may have been caused by localized amyloid in the nerves and muscles, but they did not know.  I was also taking very high doses of Dexamethasone with both of those chemo drugs.  Dex, as we call it, is a steroid 10 times stronger than Prednisone.  I did not react well to the steroid.  I took huge doses of it the first 4 days of each chemotherapy cycle.  I would initially be hyper and could not sleep, then I would spiral and it would put me be bed for several days. For me, it literally shut down my digestive system.  My food simply would just sit in my stomach and not digest.  It resulted in horrific pain in my stomach that would last for about five days with each cycle.  My wife also said that it turned me into a monster.  I would get very aggressive and not be a very nice person to be around as a result of the steroid.  When I moved to Revlimid, it resulted in such fatigue that I could not function more than an hour or two per day for the first week of each cycle.  It also increased my nausea significantly.  I spend a good portion of each cycle dry heaving uncontrollably.  Along with all of that, the doctors were throwing all kinds of medications at me for constipation, insomnia, heart medications, and so on.  At one point, I was taking over 25 pills per day, often throwing them up after taking them.

After a few more months of chemo treatment, I grew stable enough to have a Stem Cell Transplant.  It was scheduled for the beginning of December 2011.  I was a high risk patient because I had cardiac involvement with my disease, so I was told I was going to be in the hospital for several weeks. University of Washington Medical Center(UWMC) has a special floor for Stem Cell Transplants.  It was to be my home for almost a month.

In early November, the doctors installed a Central Line (Hickman Line) into my chest that has two connectors they use for cycling blood and other fluids through my body.  I would have this line active for five months.   I went into the UWMC daily for several days for Neupogin injections that is a drug that stimulates stem cell production.  I also underwent a full week of medical tests at that time that covered every square inch of my body.  I then was admitted to UWMC for a process called apheresis where they connected me to a machine and harvest my own stem cells.  My blood ran through this machine that filters the stem cells and returns the filtered blood back to my body.  After my stem cells were harvested, they were frozen and stored for transplant.  I recovered for a few days in the hospital then returned home for a few weeks to recover from the process.  The experience left me with bone pain and feeling like I had a bad flu. 

After a few weeks, when I was feeling better, I was readmitted to UWMC for the Stem Cell Transplant.  Before the transplant, the doctors inject enough chemotherapy drug called Maphalan to kill me, 100mg on the first day, then another 100mg on the second day.  All of the blood cells in my body died.  This shock process is supposed to reset your body so that your blood plasma cells stop producing the rogue amyloid proteins that were being deposited in my tissues and organs.  These proteins are starchy and insoluble.  They were collecting in significant numbers throughout my body causing serious damage to my heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, digestive system, and nerves.  Life expectancy of not treating this disease is measured in a few years because of the damage and destruction to your vital organs.  Best case scenario was that I stopped depositing the proteins and stop the progression of the disease…temporarily.  The amyloid that existed in my body already would remain and the organ damage was done.  The hope was that if they could stop the progression, my damaged organs would slowly heal to some improved degree over a period of years. 

The chemo drug tears up your body from mouth sores all the way through to your digestive system.  There were several nights in the hospital where I would be awake for hours and hours in misery. For the first few days after my transplant, I could not focus my thoughts.  The pain was horrific.  If that wasn’t enough my lifeless left arm had gone into adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).  They install a morphine button that I could push a certain number of times per hour to get some relief from it all.  My eyes would just wonder wildly in between my dry heaving and my dozens of trips per day to the bathroom because of the Clostridium difficile (C-DIF) infection that kept me in a diaper and tied to the toilet.  Yes, I was infected with C-DIF almost immediately. 

C-DIF is a bacterium in your gut that is dangerous.  Once infected, it is very, very difficult to get rid of.  I believe it has colonized in mine since I had two more bouts of it years later.  They had put me in a 'marked' room and were gowning up the very first day I was there because the person before me obviously had contracted C-DIF. They just hadn’t taken the indicator down yet.  The medical staff is required to put on yellow gowns for patients who have contracted C-DIF and other contagious medical conditions….and that never stops.  Even now, I am marked with C-Diff all these years later.   Later in my stay, I had a discussion with the doctors and nurses on issues I had witnessed in the cleaning of my room that I believe caused the infection.  They were shocked and embarrassed.  As for me, I have to live with it for the rest of my life.  The C-DIF was as bad as the Stem Cell Transplant.  Together, they were beyond unbearable. 

After a week in my stay, I could slowly start gathering my thoughts.  I couldn’t watch TV or read a book, but I could once again begin to 'think'.   When I could, I spent my time in prayer. Since my diagnosis in April 2011, I had been spending hours per day in prayer and in the Bible, so it was important to me to get back to it.

One particular day, I had prayed for the whole day.  I kept in dialog with God the whole day.  I gave God all I had, everything I had to offer at that time.  I emptied myself completely.  No Earthly things mattered to me.  All of my thoughts were with Jesus.  I felt His presence as if He were sitting next to me.  I talked about everything in my life with him.  My wife, kids, job, faith everything.  Having separated my thoughts from worldly things for quite a while, those earthly anchors, those things, materialistic things that cause temptation and stumbling had completely dissipated from my thoughts.  What is left?  Spiritual things.  That is what I dwelt on when I was in the hospital.  Things I used to think about or worry about seemed silly to me.

In the afternoon, I wept and wept as I lay alone in that hospital bed.  Looking at me, you would have seen all of the tubes and lines that were going into my body to feed me, deliver medication, and fluids.  You would have seen my frail body and bald head from losing all of my hair.  I looked like a frail, bald, mess of a man.  However, inside there was something else happening.   Separated from my physical state, I was in bliss.  You see I wasn’t crying in pain, and not because I was sad, but because I was as happy as I had ever been.  The presence of God was overwhelming to me at that time.  I was being cradled by my God and the pain for that period was completely removed from me. No morphine required.  I didn’t feel ANY pain at all.  

I told God that my only regret was that I could not read because I so desired to open His Word so that He could administer to me.  I really craved it.  The Holy Spirit at that moment overwhelmed me!  I felt in thrust into my very being. The love that filled me was indescribable with words. God’s Holy Scriptures were opened to me and through the Word I was shown the 'secrets' of God.  His Word is living.  It is complete.  It no longer took the form of words on a page but instead it was alive.  Instead of chapter and verse, as I moved through it I could see the contents of whole books and of whole thoughts.  For example, holiness was no longer a verse from this book and a verse from that book, but instead it was the fullness of scripture addressing holiness and it was alive!  Same thing with His love for me.  Same thing with his awesome power.  And so on.  He is so much more holy than I have ever imagined.  He is so much more powerful than I ever imagined.  He expects so much more from me than I have ever imagined.  He loves me more than I could possibly understand, and His grace is so much deeper than I could possibly imagine.  I was so humbled, so unworthy of the love from this awesome God.

I could not help but contrast this experience with my life.  With what I have done or haven’t done.  With how I have lived.  With my relationships. I felt like I have NEVER really known God as He really is.  I didn’t get it.  I felt that if everyone experienced God like I was experiencing Him at that moment, it would change everything!  I didn’t get it, not too many people get close to understanding what He really is. We see him as words on a page, an answer to prayer, but not very often do we experience the living, breathing, pure love of God.  Ever hear the expression 'God is Love'?  Well, he actually is….love.  Pure love.  Just look at His greatest command for us.

Matthew 22:36-40New International Version (NIV)

36 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?'

37 Jesus replied: '‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'

I have come to believe that we will not be measured by God by what we have done but how we have loved.

After I was done praying, this vision just unfolded before me and lasted for several hours.  I was awake, or at least before or after I don't remember ever going to sleep or waking up.   

This was the second time I came face to face with Jesus.  The first time was when I was thirteen years old and I didn’t believe in God at all.  I actually mocked Him after teasing my girlfriend who was going to a Christian camp in the summer.  I found myself standing before him in judgment.  At that time, he was literally 50 feet tall, glowed as if he were pure light, and sat on a huge white throne.  When He spoke, his voice was like thunder and the ground literally shook.  That was His introduction to me when I didn’t believe in Him.  It was shortly after that dream that I got down on my hands and knees and asked him to be my Lord and Savior.  The Jesus I met in this Vision wasn’t 50 feet tall.  His voice was not like thunder either.  He was a happy, joyous Jesus, and He was in charge!  I REALLY love him. Being around Him is all I wanted to do.  He was like a huge magnet attracting me to Him.  There aren’t any words in the English language that does Him justice.  I am so thankful he cared enough about me to reveal Himself to me, not once but twice!

My vision:

I initially found myself among a very large crowd in a square.  I was sitting on a curve on the edge of the square.  The whole environment was so bright and vibrant. In front of me was a cobblestone square made of pure gold.  Surrounding the square were grassy lawns, trees and vibrant flowers.  It was bright out, but there was no sun shining.  It seemed like almost everything there was light.  The colors were indescribable.  They were all enhanced more than anything I have ever seen before.  Reds were redder and greens were greener.  Everything had a glow to it.  I could see cobblestone shaped paths weaving through the landscape in every direction, all made of pure gold.  Each stone was polished and flawless with no dirt, no scratches. Young people in their 20s and 30s were moving around throughout the streets, and there were children too.  I could see structures off in the distance.  They were all so pleasant.  I couldn’t tell what they were, other than they were all beautiful.  To the left of me in the distance was a larger cobblestone shaped road of gold that led for several miles towards the most spectacular structures I have ever seen.  They were pretty far away but it was an emerald color city of very tall luminescent structures, each hundreds and hundreds of feet tall.

Here I sat down on a curb next to a large group of men, who were engaged in discussion. They were all speaking different languages, but I could understand them.  Through the course of their discussions, it was clear.   They had been very prominent men for God in their lives. They were pastors, church elders, great leaders, and so on.  These men had done great things for God.  I felt unworthy being around them.  How did my lowly life compare with the great things these men did?  I did not engage with them.  I listened, but I did not talk.

Off in the distance along the road from the great emerald city, I heard a very unique and dominant voice. It commanded your attention instantly!    As the voice drew near, all of the crowds in the square grew silent.  As this person came into view, I knew He was Jesus.  He wasn’t the Jesus I had read about in the gospels, nor the one I had experienced in my dream as a 13 year old.  He was so joyous, so radiant, and so full of energy.  He was magnetic.  He wore a white robe and His clothes and skin glowed very brightly.  No speaking in parables.  His language was very clear and easy to understand.   Everyone gathered around him.  He was happy and cheerful as he talked.  'It is time to assign your heavenly roles.  Each one of you has a role that is right for you in the kingdom.  Let us get started!'

My first role is for a foot washer before meals in the Kingdom.  Who has a calling for this role?

I immediately jumped to my feet and raised my hand.  'I can do that job'.  Jesus walked up to me and asked me to sit down with Him.  'Steven' he said as he smiled' Why would you choose this role?  Do you think this is the role that best suits you?'  I answered. 'I can do this job.   When I look around at the great men of God that surround me it seems to be an appropriate job for me.' 

'I see'.  But you see, these particular men you refer to have all served my Father well in their lives, but these men have not suffered as you have suffered.  These men did not have their fortunes taken away from them.   They were not inflicted with disease and did not have to endure suffering like you did.   And yet Steven, you stood firm in your love and faith in Me.  You put your trust in Me.  You praised Me in your despair; you thanked Me in your adversity.  You cried out to Me when you were in great pain begging for my comfort and mercy.  I wept for you, Steven.  And I answered your prayers because of your faith.  Even when you were too sick to pray and call out to Me, I felt your heart drawing near to Me.  When you cried out to Me, I sent my angels to watch over you.  [folks, twice I visually saw them!  That is another story!]  You turned to Me in prayer and you trusted I would not forsake you.  You kept your eyes on heaven, being concerned about your family and friend’s salvation instead of your own circumstances.  You also touched the lives of many in My name through your ministries.  What you did was not easy.  You have been blessed, Steven, and you will be rewarded in my Father’s Kingdom for your love and faithfulness. 

I was speechless.

Jesus stood up and offered me His hand.   'I have already chosen a job for you.' He said as he gave me a big smile.

We walked along the golden cobblestone street as it led away from the square in the opposite direction from the great city in the distance.  After a few twists in the road, the scenery opened to the most beautiful mountains and valleys I have ever seen. 'I have given you charge of these great lands before you'.    There were large rivers, lakes, meadows, mountains, and the whole area smelled, well like 'heaven'.

We turned one more corner, and there was a large cobblestone home off of the left.  At the top of the home it read' 'House of A'  It was like those spectacular country homes depicted in a Thomas Kincade painting.  It had three levels, several windows with wood trim, a large water wheel in front with a beautiful garden.   Jesus put both of his hands on my shoulders. ' Enjoy these lands and tend to them, Steven.'  We look forward to the magnificent food that you will serve at my Fathers table.  He walked a few steps, and turned around.  'Starting today' He said with a big smile.   Please prepare a great fish from the great river (don’ t remember the name he called it, but I so wish I did!) and serve it at my Father’s table.  Jesus continued walking towards town.   I couldn't think of any other job that I would quite possibly want to do in heaven.  It was my perfect job. 

I turned towards the House of A.  As I approached, a very young Nana and Baba (the As!--my grandparents) came out of the front door.  Both had passed away years prior. 

[Have to back up and share this….it is worth sharing!  When my grandmother (Nana) passed away a year before my illness, my aunt, Maryann was taking care of her at the time.  I had lived with Nana and Baba for a few years in college in Fresno, CA in the 1980s, and we were very close.  I had since moved away and did not see her often.  Baba had passed away several years prior.   Nana was 93 years old when she died. Both of my grandparents loved the Lord, deeply.  My older brother, Michael would go visit her weekly during that last year.  When they would see each other, Nana would always mention to Michael, 'You know, Michael, every day I ask Jesus why I am still here?  Isn’t it time for me to come home?!'  They would laugh about it and enjoy their visit.  One morning, my aunt went into Nana’s bedroom.  She was awake.  Maryann said, 'Good morning, Mom.' And they began a conversation.  Suddenly, Nana looked up and looked at Maryann, and then she looked up again and again looked at Maryann.  She said, 'I have to go!  My angel is here to take me home!'  Nana closed her eyes and died.]

Now I found myself in front of her.  She wasn’t in her 90s!  She and my grandfather looked to be in their late twenties or thirties and full of life.  'Steven!  Nana spoke.  You are early!  She had a big smile on her face as she came up to me and gave me a big hug.  We talked for a while.  Then I told them I had work to do!  I was to catch a great fish for the Father’s feast today.

I looked across the street from the home, and there was a large bearded man standing there. I approached him, and he said with a big smile.  'We have a big fish to catch, Steven!'  He put his arm on my shoulder and announced 'I am 'Peter' grinning ear to ear.  We talked as we walked through a valley, across the meadows, around the lakes and to this great river. 

Every meadow, every tree, every leaf and pine needle, the water, everything was perfect.  Magical.  Everything had a magical intense fragrant.  The grass, flowers, trees, everything smelled so incredible.  As for Peter, all I can tell you is that I love this guy!  I don’t remember what we talked about, but he was so full of passion and love.  We walked what seemed to be all day, but time was so different.  There was no concept of time like there is on Earth.  Time just didn’t seem to matter.  I think Peter and I walked for what on earth would have been hours and hours.  We walked for miles and miles!  But it didn’t take a 'long time'.  I just don’t know how to explain it.  I never felt any concept of linear time there.   When we got to the river, I was holding a large fly rod with a fly tied to the line.  Where did I get it?  I have no idea.  I was just holding it.  Peter looked over at me holding it and said, 'Now that looks like fun!'. 

I cast my line into the water and after a few moments, I had hooked into a huge salmon.  It took a lot of line and I fought this fish for a while, enjoying every second of it.  It was so much fun!  Peter was cheering me on all the way.  I landed it on the shore, and Peter immediately cleaned it and wrapped it in long leaves, tied it up, and threw it over his shoulder.  We both headed across the meadows towards the House of A.  Just like that, we were back at the House of A.   Peter handed me the fish, and gave me a big hug.  'I will see you tonight!' and he left towards the city. Nana and Baba met me outside.  Next to the large waterwheel was an outdoor oven made of round stones.  I laid the fish out, used a knife to cut slits in it every 4 inches.  Nana and Baba were handing me garlic, thyme, and other herbs, and some course salt.  I prepared the fish and we moved it into the oven to cook over wood.  I don’t know where all this stuff came from!  It was just there!

I walked out onto the gold cobblestone path for a while I ran into many of my family members.   There were a large crowd of them, but I only remember visually seeing my brothers, Michael, Jim, and Rick, and my Mom and Dad.  It was a celebration of hugs and laughter.   Everyone appeared to be young again and looked so healthy!  There were places to go.   All of my family members were off to do things.  I knew I would see them all soon.  I was such at peace.

I carried my cooked fish on a platter into the city and approached the Father’s house.  Again, time did not seem to matter.  The city was very far away, but I was there in what seemed liked seconds.   I seriously cannot explain what I saw.  Amazing, shocking, fantastic, incredible, none of those words even scratch the surface of what I saw.  How about that everything was beautiful, clean, glowing, and…..perfect.  I entered a room, but it was really too open and too big to be a room, and approached the Father’s great table.  The table was about 10 feet across and it went on and on.  I placed my fish on the table next to many other incredible platters of fruit, meat, and vegetables.  I sat down at the table and looked around.  I could not see at the end of the table to the left of me.  It was too long and just seems to keep going.  I recognized many of the faces around me, even though I had never met them.  Abraham, Moses, Elijah, the Apostles, they were all there.  I knew Peter!

I could hear Jesus at the far end to the right of the table.  I could not see down there though.  It was just too bright. It was the brightest light I had ever seen.  I could look at it and it did not hurt my eyes, but all I could see and feel was the light.  It was more than light.  It didn’t just shine.  I could feel it. I cannot explain what I felt from it other than to say it was wonderful, like pure love.  I knew that is where the Father and Son were seated.  I just knew.  The air was filled with the sounds of singing and prayer.  Then the feast began. 

After a while, I heard the Father call from the end of the table to the right of me where the bright light shined.  In a thundering voice, He said 'Steven, please stand so that I can recognize you for this fine fish that you have prepared from the House of A at your first meal at my table!  I did, and everyone held up their cups.  Never felt more loved in all of my life.  I literally felt the gratitude and love from every individual person at that table at once.  I felt it inside as if it was more than just a feeling.  It was like it was physical from each person there.  That is about the best I can describe it. 

After the meal, I departed from the city and I returned towards the wilderness out past the House of A.  I was euphoric.  Things were quiet.  Tranquil.  Really didn’t see anyone around.  I didn’t have a care in the world and I didn’t want to be anywhere else.  It was, again, perfect.   Within a few moments I again found myself looking out over the meadows, lakes, rivers, and mountains where I had walked with Peter.   The lands I was to tend to. 

I just had to know…  Could I?  My body was so different than my earthly body.  No pain, no fatigue I felt so strong!  Could I fly like Jesus flew when he ascended after his resurrection?  So I did it.  I lifted myself off of the ground and began to fly over the lands.  Yes, I did.  I flew over the meadows, and lakes, and rivers, forests,  over the herds of elk, over the bears, over the beavers in the lakes, over the fish in the rivers.  These spectacular lands just went on and on and I explored them from above.  It was an incredible experience! Immeasurable joy filled me.  I was home and everything was PERFECT.    As I returned back towards A House, the vision ended and I found myself back in my hospital bed.  I was back, but I still felt the glow.  I still felt God’s presence inside of me.  I returned to state of prayer in tears.  I thanked God again and again for the experience.  I still was feeling no pain from the chemo,  C-Diff, or from my left arm and shoulder.  I cried tears of joy, continued in dialog with God, and drifted off to sleep.

So what happened to me during this experience?  I brushed the edge of life several times during the battle with this blood disease.  Just a year later, I would find myself in a coma with no expectation of surviving and doctors encouraging my wife to take me off of life support.  For me, this was a gift of encouragement from a God who loves me very much and one who showed incredible mercy during the roughest time in my life.  I think He was telling me, 'Hang in there, Steve!  It is all worth it!'    Is there a House of A and do I have a steward role over paradise waiting for me in Heaven?  I will not be shocked if I see it all again exactly as I saw it. In any event, I know what I saw was nothing remotely close to life on Earth or anything here.  Even the most incredibly beautiful places on our planet pale in comparison to what I saw, smelled, and experienced during this vision.  How incredible is the place that God as waiting for us!?  I can’t wait to finally be there for all of eternity! 

At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event?   Uncertain  I was very, very sick with a rare, incurable blood disease called AL Amyloidosis.  I was in my second week of undergoing a Stem Cell Transplant at the University of Washington Medical Center.  I have cardiac involvement with my disease, which makes it high risk.  I also had contracted C-Dif during my Transplant, which added to the risks.  My vitals were being monitored 24 hours per day on a special ward at UWMC.

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Yes     The things I saw and smelled, and the feelings I felt were impossible for me to describe.  There are no words that do them justice in differentiating them regular earthly experiences.  I really struggled documenting them down.  I read what I wrote and it just doesn't do it justice what I actually experienced.  For example, I experienced love as light, and as something so powerful that it can actually move you.  When others expressed love for me, I could literally feel it almost as a physical presence inside of me.  No idea to get convey that so that it makes any sense or that it would give anyone an understanding without experience it themselves.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?      I felt like I was very alert during the entire experience.  I never felt like a fell asleep, and I certainly was not in a dreamy state during it.

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness?      More consciousness and alertness than normal   I was incredibly sharp.  I felt fantastic.  I had no pain and my body felt stronger than it had ever been before.

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   Off the charts.  light, colors, smells, everything was like I have never seen or experienced before. Also, all of nature, all plants, animals, water, everything was flawless, perfect.  Nothing was dead, nothing was damaged.  Everything was literally perfect.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   I have really bad Tinnitus that started the year I was diagnosed with AL Amyloidosis, 2011.  I also have deafness in my left ear.  I didn't have any of that during the experience.  I was in absolutely perfect health.  I never felt any pain or discomfort during it, and my hearing  was superhuman.  I could hear conversations that were going on far away from me like if they were next to me.

Did you see or hear any earthly events that were occurring during a time that your consciousness / awareness was apart from your physical / earthly body?   No  

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   Intense love.  that was the primary emotion.  Followed by peace, contentment, and overwhelming joy.  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?   No  

Did you see an unearthly light?   Yes   Jesus was very very bright.  I sat at God's table.  To the right of me at the end was the brightest light I have every seen in my life, brighter than the sun.  I knew that is where the Father and Jesus were seated.  I could not see them.  Only saw AND felt the light.  It was pure love.  I could look at it and it did not hurt my eyes.  Can't explain that, but that is what happened.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?   No

Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)?   Yes   I walked with Jesus and talked with him.  I sat at God's table and the Father also spoke to me.  Documented that in my account, above.

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings?   Yes   I saw my grandmother and grandfather, both of whom deeply love the Lord.  My grandmother passed away the year prior and my grandfather passed away several years prior.  Aside from my grandparents, I found myself in a group of family members.  I could only visually queue on my mom and dad and three brothers--all who love the Lord.  I cannot explain it, but I could see them, but the rest of the family members were like veiled or hidden from me.  I don't understand why.

Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience?   No  

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world?   A clearly mystical or unearthly realm

Covered this in my account, above.  I know I was in heaven during the experience.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time was completely different.  It was not linear.  Time did not matter at all.  Several times I walked miles and miles in what seemed to be seconds.  I never felt any sense of time like we have on earth.  Other than my grandmother kidding with me that I had arrived early, there was no early or late or anything like that.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   Everything about myself or others
It wasn't the focus of my experience.  I was in marvel on what I experienced in heaven.  The universe, people, etc. I saw through the lens of God to a point.  I was in jaw dropping awe of His power and character.  God is love.  Love is the most important thing in the universe.  That is what I felt and experienced.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   No

Did you come to a border or point of no return?   No

Did scenes from the future come to you?  No 

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness suggesting that there either is (or is not) continued existence after earthly life (“life after death”)?   Yes   I experienced what I believe is heaven.  The place that God has waiting for us upon our Earthly departure via death.  I personally experienced it by being their, exploring, visiting the Father's house, etc.  It was very powerful.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   Yes   I interacted with both Jesus and the Father.  They were both expressions of light.  their entity was much more than light.  The light translated to love when I experienced it.  Pure love.  Love that can be seen and felt, much stronger than a feeling.  It was almost as if you could feel it physically inside it was so powerful.  It was humbling to realize that God is pure love.  And love is something so much greater than I ever imagined.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that you either did (or did not) exist prior to this lifetime?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that a mystical universal connection or unity/oneness either does (or does not) exist?   Uncertain   I don't understand this question.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s meaning or purpose?   Yes   There was a message delivered to me from God that all of my suffering is worth it!  To hang in there and know that He will never forsake me.  It was a critical message for me during a time of great pain and despair.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s difficulties, challenges, or hardships?   Yes   There was a message delivered to me from God that all of my suffering is worth it!  To hang in there and know that He will never forsake me.  It was a critical message for me during a time of great pain and despair.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding love?   Yes   Yes, covered that above.  It is EVERYTHING!  God IS love.  He really is.  He is pure love.  What does he want from me?  Love.

During your experience, did you encounter any other specific information / awareness that you have not shared in other questions that is relevant to living our earthly lives?   No  

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?   Yes   Covered it in my account.  I feel that 'we' people on this planet just don't really get it.  We just don't grasp who and what God really is.  We don't understand love in the context of our almighty God.  I felt after the experience that if everyone saw and experience God's love like did that it would change everything!

What occurred during your experience included:   Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience   Love, power, grace, mercy....these characteristics of God.  I discovered they are all so much more grand, God is so much more grand, so much more powerful, more loving, has more grace, more mercy than I ever comprehended.

How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience?   I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th   This experience is firmly burned into my memory.  I remember every bit of it in detail.  The nature of the experience did that!

Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:   I was most impacted on how important that love is with my life, both with God and with others.

My experience directly resulted in:   Moderate changes in my life

Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?  

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   No       

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Yes  I shared it with close family members and a few friends.  Almost all were blessed and encouraged. My family and friends watched me go through a few years of very difficult treatment.  They believed that this experience and few others were miracles by an amazing God.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?   No  

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   Experience was definitely real   It was so vivid, I don't know how I would see it any other way. I saw things and smelled things and experienced things that are far beyond the boundaries of Earth.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Experience was definitely real   Nothing has changed over time.  It was like it happened yesterday to me.

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   I hope so.  A bit subjective, but I hope I am expressing love more and that it is impacting my relationships.

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   Became involved in compassion care related ministries.  Trying to help those in need and those suffering.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?   No  

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?   No.

Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?   Yes   I think so.  My account is pretty detailed, so it will definitely fill in any gaps.

What could a national organization with an interest in near death experience (NDE) do that would be of interest to you?     Get the word out that these experiences are happening in good numbers, and that is very compelling that a human being does NOT cease to exist upon death. There is an after life and these experiences are pointing towards a loving and compassionate God.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience?                It is a good questionnaire.