In 2001 in an eGroup devoted to near-death experience (NDE), I met a lady named Christine who gave an amazing account of an ultimate spiritual experience.
One of the most compelling things about this story is the fact that Christine, though she obviously has a high native intelligence, was a simple, ordinary person who was born, raised, and married somewhere in the American heartland (she wouldn’t tell me exactly where). Before her experience, she had unquestioningly believed and accepted the traditional Protestant Christianity that she had been taught as a child. Her story first came out in excited little snippets which she told in a dramatic and haphazard way in posts to the list. I went through them and methodically cut and pasted until I had the whole thing in chronological order, and then sent this document to her. She affirmed that yes, this was an accurate account of her experience in her own words; she added some more details, and later posted the resulting document to the list herself, as her own story. And here it is:
On May 24, 2000 I was driving to a friend’s house. I left my house around 11:30 pm and somehow got lost, an hour and a half in the opposite direction of my friend’s. I had an absolutely horrible panic attack in which I truly believed that the rapture had occured and I had been left behind; I believed that my car was not being driven by me and that I had no control whatsoever. I remember seeing “Jesus Saves” signs in neon red all around me. I was cold-turkey withdrawing from Paxil and some people concluded that is what caused the panic attack.
The circumstances leading up to the crash were just as strange to me as the NDE; I believed that there was a demon in the car with me…. it was pretty ridiculous…. but it caused me enough fear that I was driving like a lunatic and almost killed myself. I have always been a very down-to-earth, rational-thinking, “normal” person; (Paxil was prescribed to treat migraine headaches and stress.)
In the car before the wreck, I was thoroughly positive that there was an evil being with me…and that its main purpose was to draw me away from my husband; to try and convince me that I didn’t want him or love him as much as I loved and wanted the “demon”…who presented itself to me as my ex-husband…. I went from thoughts that I was left behind in the rapture to thoughts that I was actually in hell…. I was so petrified that I was driving over a hundred miles an hour and totalled my car. The song “Highway to Hell” by ac/dc was playing on my radio… I remember telling my husband that I tried to change my radio dial and it just turned and turned without changing.
Thank God I was alone in the car; no one else could have survived…. my son’s car seat was crushed into oblivion; my husband said he almost threw up when he saw the car. Thankfully, I was the only vehicle on the road at that time of night and didn’t hit someone else.
I have no memory whatsoever of the crash itself. I remember “knowing” that I was dead. There was never any break in my identity. I was still the same “me” but different in the sense that I “knew” myself to be an eternal being. I remember feeling Jesus and the crucifixion … all consuming unbearable pain and suffering … this is undeniably the most difficult part of my experience to convey. I felt and literally believed that I had been “crucified and resurrected” and that I had become completely One with Christ and felt exactly what He had felt. When I came back, I “knew” that I had experienced Christ’s crucifixion, and my saying this bothered a lot of people, especially my husband; but I can’t deny what I felt; it was the most earth-shattering, mind-blowing feeling and beyond any imagining or describing.
The spiritual suffering, the crucifixion, was followed by a release of weeping, overwhelming joy… bliss… ecstasy… and, the way I described the “release” of the suffering into the euphoria to one of my friends was that of the most absolute all-consuming total mind and body orgasm that a person could possibly experience… only much, much more intense than anything physical could EVER be.
I traveled through a dark tunnel, which reminded me of birth. Once I came through the tunnel, I was in a “blackness”, but not a bit afraid; very, very much the opposite. I was aware of being in a total darkness — not the same as being in a dark room; it was a nothingness… a “nowhere”… but I did not give it any thought at all … I was too thrilled at the realization of eternity to notice or care that I was alone… and it didn’t feel like “alone” anyway…. It felt like a unity with everyone and everything in the entire universe; it was awesome. I felt such an indescribable absolute rapturous joy at knowing that we are eternal.
It was a truly horrible car crash — it is amazing that I survived at all. The state trooper told my husband that they expected to be scraping me from the inside of the car when they saw it. The trooper was convinced that I was on drugs because my first coherent words were: “what does ecstasy feel like?” They were very surprised when all of my toxicology reports came back clean.
In the hospital, I had many thoughts of my children’s births and of the “knowledge” that I would be having another baby soon. Also, going through the cat scan triggered “memories” of Christ’s tomb. I rambled on and on for days about the immaculate conception, the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection and especially of the second coming, which I knew to be fact, but had absolutely no knowledge of the nature of how or when the second coming would occur. I also kept talking about how I was going to have a baby.
My injuries weren’t spontaneous like in a true stigmata; they were a direct result of the crash but they were to my hands, feet and hairline; two days later I got a horrid rash on my left side which was completely unrelated to anything — but even my husband thought the placement of my injuries was “weird” but coincidental.
For about a month after coming home, any time I touched my husband or tried to kiss him, we both got shocked badly. But I ended up getting pregnant 3 months after my NDE. I’m due on May 14th, ten days before the 1 year anniversary of my NDE. Ultrasound shows that it’s a girl.
Well, I do still have a hard time believing that I “AM” Christ….I believe that I “experienced” Christ. But, there’s no denying that I did walk around for a time believing that I was Him, or just like him (made in His image…..) I even remember sitting at the edge of the lake thinking that I would be able to walk on the water, if I wanted to. And, when I looked at my two-year old son, I also thought of him as Christ…… but I didn’t see this in everyone that I looked at; just him and myself.
If I allow myself to believe that I AM “Christ”, then that is what I was raised to believe as blasphemy; so it’s much, much better for me to know that Christ lives in me, which I know He definitely does. Maybe it’s exactly the same thing? And, no one has to tell me that SATAN lives in me as well; this is evident to me every single day….more evident than Christ which is something I am trying to change.
Not too long after the accident, I “saw myself” as Satan (more accurately I thought I was the antichrist) and believe me, it terrified me. More because I **definitely** thought I was going truly insane than me really believing I was the antichrist.
I also had the horrible notion that I am presently in Hell and would be here forever; constantly and forever reincarnated into this disgusting, vile, hateful world NEVER to get out of it….
(Later:) Things are kind of hectic with a new baby. She was born early, on May 1st (2001). The baby is beautiful. I’m overly obsessed about her health, etc.; that’s normal mother stuff. Anyhow, she’s wonderful and I’m glad she’s finally here.
I don’t even want to read my own story anymore because it takes me too far away from where I have to be right now. It makes me too wrapped up in myself and not in my children and family; it pre-occupies entirely too much of my thoughts and I don’t want it to be this way anymore.
Something extraordinary happened to me; it happened for a reason as everything does. I need to accept it, move on and let it take its course.