Wendy H's Experience
I grew up in a home dominated by alcoholism and sometimes violence. This left me both angry and frightened of the world.
At the age of eight my teacher was a Calvinistic zealot. Each day was filled with threats of hellfire and God's wrath. My parents had no interest in religion, so this was my only image of God.
I developed a phobia about death. I was often woken up by nightmares of Satan coming to fetch me. I managed to convince myself that I was going to die before the age of ten and burn in hell.
I would try to read myself to sleep and refused to fall asleep with the light off. I also developed an extreme phobia about snakes and would convince myself that there were snakes waiting in hidden places to kill me.
One night it was particularly bad. I was cold with terror. I decided to get out of my bed, despite my fear that a snake might be lurking there, and pray to God on my knees. I think my prayer was really very simple, I wanted to live to be at least ten years old.
I became aware of a warm, comforting presence in the room. I could pinpoint the presence, it was unconditional love. I was wrapped in the love and felt a bliss that I have never felt again.
I climbed back into bed with my eyes closed. I had the answer that I was loved, that I was precious. The presence slowly faded, but the feeling of utter peace remained for a long time. It also left me with a strange hunger for the knowledge of God, even though I have had my moments of rebellion.
At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event? No
Was the experience difficult to express in words?....Yes....I can best say that I was embraced by pure love.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?....More consciousness and alertness than normal Becoming aware of a presence of love in the corner of my room.....My normal state was one of anxiety. I was phobic, terrified. This experience completely overshadowed any fear and left me in a state of utter bliss.
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I kept my eyes closed. I heard that no one can see the face of God and live. I felt that God was in my room, so I did no want to expire from seeing his face.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I heard nothing. Everything was feeling.
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? Uncertain I was left with an extreme sense of purpose, something unusual in a child that young.
What emotions did you feel during the experience?....Bliss, comfort, peace.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel?....No....No
Did you see an unearthly light?....Uncertain....Kept my eyes closed, but sensed exactly where the presence was.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?....I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin I received comfort and a message that I was loved. It was not heard, but felt.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings?....Yes I believed that this was the presence of Jesus.
Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience?....Yes....There was a sense of forgiveness. My terror had been that I was a naughty girl and deserved to go to hell. I was assured that I was not going to die yet, and I was not going to hell.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world?....No....
Did time seem to speed up or slow down?....No....
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?....No....I did develop a powerful sense of other people's emotions later.
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....
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?....Yes....I was not given my purpose, but I did have a sense of a special mission. Something unusual in such a young child.
Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:....Large changes in my life....The belief in God was always very powerful, but it was a frightening vengeful God. I became more attuned to a God of love and compassion.....
Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience? Yes That God was with me and had chosen me for a purpose.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?....Yes A very high level of intuition and an insatiable desire to understand life and religion.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About 40 years.
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 As a child, just accepted it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:....Experience was definitely real....More so now. I can see how it helped me through some difficult and dark times.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?....Uncertain....As an adult I seemed to have a deep intuitive feel for people. I have also been very sensitive to racism and homophobia. At a time of apartheid,I accepted our common humanity.
Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?....Yes I later converted to the Catholic Church because of my attraction towards the mystical.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?....No
Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Uncertain God is the language of music and laughter.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I thought I felt God's hand touch my forehead after climbing back into bed.Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?....It has given me a profound hunger for the metaphysical. When my friends were talking boyfriends, I was wondering about the meaning of life. I have a strong connection to nature and make frequent trip into the bush, my Cathedral.