I was never really a religious person. My father would drop me off at Sunday school on a Sunday morning and pick me up at noon. I know the Lords prayer from school assembly and hymns that we used to have to sing in high school. It was mandatory to be taught religious education up until the age of 16. From that point it was only funerals and weddings that I only came in contact with churches and religion.
My son attended pre school at Trinity Lutheran in Circleville. He had a good education and because of that we started to go to church. After attending there for sometime we wanted to be members of the church. On the 2nd of December 2012 myself and my wife attended our first church class with several other people from the congregation.
**December the 7th 2018, roughly 1.30pm and downtown Circleville. I was waiting to be seen in a local business when I had to get up and remove myself from the waiting room. I had a weird feeling of being very light headed and a pressure on my chest, which felt light but a feeling of suffocation. Then it started, the process of death. I felt like I was already slipping away. I wanted time to say my goodbyes but at the same time I felt I needed to go quickly as I didn’t want to suffer. I was now being worked on by the hospital staff. As every second passed by I slipped further in darkness, then eventually my eyes got so heavy that was all I remember of this world.
So at this point in my mind I was dead. I awoke in some kind of vessel, like a plane that was vast. Silence was in the air, glowing white shirts with a wash of color and a memorizing blur to each person. I couldn’t see anyone’s faces but even though their mouths weren’t visible everyone was happy. A feeling of relief and stress-less. I knew know one, I didn’t hear anything, couldn’t say anything, but there was another way of communicating which was like you just went with the flow. In front of me were hundreds of screens like arrival and departure screens. Although there were like wispy mists I could see very clearly. Then out of the blue, not everyone but several hundreds were jolting their chests up and down and in succession. No pain but I felt myself do the same thing.
This went on for hours until suddenly a sense peace came over all of us. Like I said, there were no sounds or voices but two men were standing at two exits, to the left and to the fight. I was drawn to the right exit. The man that was ushering everyone to the right was dressed to me in a slightly different way. I still couldn’t see his face but I felt a sense of knowing. He wore a bomber jacket which made him look different than everyone else. I followed the people in front of me through the exit and then awoke, with a ventilator down my throat and my mum’s face in front of me . I pointed to paper and a pen but as I tried to write it didn’t make sense. It was so frustrating because i couldn’t believe everyone was in front of me and I was alive. I was very confused. The staff were all in white which made me think that I was at a naval base and I kept hearing helicopters. None of this made sense. Although I was overcome with joy I was also so scared.
I took a while to get over some ICU psychosis and breathing issues, I was getting better. I then took a turn for the worse, went through surgery then while recovering in ICU again a small older African American woman cleaner approached my bed. My mum was with me and I told her how beautiful she was. She began to sing the hymn “sweet Jesus”, for quite a while. Then like everything, she just seemed to disappear. She was an angel for sure. She came to me and sang with the softest, amazing voice of angels I had ever heard. She was put in front of me not as a coincidence.
Returning to before my surgery my brother and sister in law flew in from England for 4 days. I struggled to talk and at one point asked for the ventilator to be put back down my throat. The forth day of their visit came and they prepared to leave. Firstly my brother came into the room and was putting his jacket on. I took the note pad and wrote, “whose jacket is that”? Usually you’d ask, where did you get it or nice jacket. This was a specific request. My brother answered, ” it was Gary’s jacket, my brother in law, who passed away from his heart attack”. I’d seen this jacket before worn by the man at the exit on the vessel. Then suddenly my brain came to life. That wasn’t an airplane it was like a holding vessel for sick people. The jolting was myself being paddled back to life and others were being worked on at the same time. The exits were to heaven and back to Earth. The glowing was peace and the bright white was half way to heaven. Why was my brothers brother in law there? It was a validation to others because most people want to see their nearest and dearest, other peoples relatives. But it gave me peace.
After returning home I would get very emotional listening to certain contemporary christian songs. The good and the bad was thrown in front of me over the next few years. Was my initial sickness really brought on by me or was it punishment from the Lord above? I had sinned like everyone in life but I felt my sins were terrible and uncontrollable. As I progressed with rehabilitation I felt that I was beginning a relationship again with Jesus. But every time I faltered I got sick. Then sickness after sickness happened. Was this a test, was this my doing and every time I failed I was punished. I never believed in Satan but I do remember hearing that Satan appears in places that everyone roams in tempts everyone in different guises. I believe that Satan was always around me at my weakest and has tried to beat me down over and over again. I have been hit with cancers, strokes, seizures, open heart surgeries and death.
So minutes before I was wheeled away to have my transplant I told my pastor that I wasn’t going to make it as I’d sinned so bad, he assured me that I would make it and to stay strong. Don’t let your guard down. Everyone has sinned from small to large. I remember being in surgery and hearing echoing voices talking about my sins, over and over again. I couldn’t move or answer back. I felt alive then dead, I heard bones cracking, pulses of electricity through my body. Heaven or hell? I was so scared to wake up in hell. I was a failure and had let everyone down. I fought to live but did I, or was it just a test after a test. Punishment and being made an example of.
I awoke awoke and here I live. I heard my dad before my transplant telling me he’s proud of me. I eventually came clean and nearly lost literally everything but this has brought me full circle back to my relationship with Jesus.
Now I have to rebuild, form trust, get back into helping others, inspire and not allowing anyone to get under my skin because I am blessed to have been chosen to have all this thrown at me.
I have many visits from demons and angels, I feel I am being punished and then forgiven by sickness after sickness. But I have now, November 2019 found myself at a place where I am ready to rebuild my relationship with the Lord that was taken away from me by temptation and Satan.
My job is to inspire, tell my story and move forward. I have sat on the side of my bed to many times looking into the eyes of Satan and it has to stop.
So my journey to heaven and back was real and I have learnt so much. Never doubt the feeling you have in your heart. This happened to me for a reason. God bless you all.