It was cold in the Red River Valley of North Dakota that winter. And windy. It was so cold and windy that it hurt to breath. It was a good week to stay indoors. After a few days, however, I was getting restless and agreed to make a hospital visit to a nearby town with my preacher husband. Leaving the car to go through the parking lot, I pulled my heavy coat close around me, put my mittens on, and ran for the hospital front doors. Just that short trip chilled me to the bones; it felt like I would never be warm again.
Making our way to the room of one of our parishioners, I finally started to thaw out. We entered her room and the unfamiliarity of it all assaulted my senses. There were strange smells, there were tubes and lines everywhere, there were beeping and whooshing sounds. And my friend looked so fragile. As Rod began to speak with her, I began to feel surreal. The sights and sounds were swirling around me; I began to feel hot. Knowing I was in trouble, I quickly unzipped my coat and started to pull it off. The last thing I remember was grabbing Rod's arm.
I was in a different place. Where I was, I do not know. I saw no one, I saw no light. But my soul was instantly whole. There is no way to describe the completeness I felt. I've tried for 30 years to describe it; but words fail. I only know that it was perfect and completely satisfying.
I'm sure it was only a moment or two. I found myself coming back to awareness with the words, "Jesus, Jesus" on my lips and feeling the cool floor beneath my supine body. A nurse was hovering over me, loosening my clothes, putting a cold cloth on my forehead. "She's coming around," I heard her say.
Just a little fainting spell, but, oh, so profound. From that day on I never felt a shred of fear over my own death. From that day on I have had complete confidence that the next life is so wonderful that there is no need for concern about entering it. It took me 30 years to be brave enough to share this very personal story. And for 30 years I've thanked God for that special gift in a moment's time. My fear of death was finally conquered, never to return again.