Thursday, April 7, 2016

I Almost Died And Was Saved

In 2007 I underwent the start of the transformation of my soul to one that thinks of others more than ever.  I went on my annual trek to Mexico with my wife Jodi and we had the experience of a lifetime.  I will share what I wrote right after the heat of the moment.  I will first tell you what happened in my own words today because I have been altered more by these events since that writing.  While I would love to say that the experience changed me overnight truthfully I took years to complete just the START of the transformation that would take place as a result. 
My wife Jodi was swimming in the water off the public beach in Cancun.  I had just come out onto shore and looked over and immediately saw she was struggling.  I realized she was in a rip tide.  I told her to swim to the side and she said she could not.  She was stuck.   We were fairly isolated in that stretch of beach because the closest hotels were a couple hundred yards in each direction.  No help existed other than your own gumption.   I knew this wouldn't be enough.  I immediately started inwardly praying for help as I ran to the edge of the sand under the water before the shelf just dropped off, straight down.  I could feel I was at the edge as I reached out and pulled her with all my strength, past me, and into safety.  The sand under me crumbled away and I felt myself just taken, pulled out by the strongest, most eerie force.  Respect nature.  I do.   First, God helped me save my wife.  I know this.  I was not able to pull her out of those waves.  HE did. 

Then when I was in the rip tides myself I was fighting and fighting to swim out to the side and it wasn't even carrying me out to make it less strong of a current so I could swim out to the side.  It was like a whirlpool.  This was like a whirlwind under water, of epic proportions.  I was feeling like I was not only unable to swim out, I was struggling to just stay up.  Water went above my jaw and nose a couple times and I wasn't touching bottom like you would think from that distance from shore I was.  I was above a bowl and in a whirlpool with no way out. 
A stranger walked up and I thought he was a life guard because he had a life saver on a rope.  He pointed out to the side and said "swim out to the side" and I was trying.  I couldn't.  He kept pointing and never threw me what I thought was going to be thrown to me!  I was really losing strength fast and was suddenly aware how really good swimmers, even, can succumb to these kinds of waves.

I just said "help" out loud and it wasn't to either people on shore.  It was to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, God, The Father and Son, The CREATOR of Heaven and Earth, and the Holy Spirit on Earth today.  I was answered immediately.  THAT'S THE POWER OF PRAYER! 

No longer was the water around my jaw or nose line.  It was below my thighs, by my knees.  I was LIFTED out of the water.  I was RAISED UP!  I started rushing toward shore!  I could see the water rushing past my legs.  I literally had time to look left and look right and look left again, watching the white, bubbling RUSH! of water that I was cutting through!  I defied physics.  I wasn't hit by a good wave.  I was LIFTED UP and I was THROWN ONTO SHORE.  You know how Olympic long jumpers go 20 to 25 feet and land with both feet at once?  I got to feel what that feels like!  I got to feel what it feels like to be LIFTED UP and I got to feel what it feels like to defy gravity and physics and be THROWN SO FAR! 

My wife says that from her perspective in one instant I was out there, struggling and the next instant I was walking up toward her in water around my ankles.  I remember landing and turning to my wife and just holding on to her and crying out of  thankfulness to be alive and praising the Lord right then and there. 
We hugged for a minute but when we broke our embrace and looked for the life guard he was GONE!!!  In hundreds of yards, every direction, was nothing but white, sand beach.  Even behind us was a huge stretch of sand, before this shore line, on this massive public beach.  He could not have SPRINTED and gotten out of our view.  He was GONE.  Nobody was near us, still, just as nobody was near us before this. 
She had been screaming her head off and only the one person appeared.  Now I wasn't looking down the beach for help up and down the shore line but strangely it did seem like the universe really shrunk at that moment and almost like nobody was around.  It literally seemed like, as I look back, like we were in our own universe.  Crazy as that seems, it was what some would have called the Twilight Zone. 

I lived it though.  It was real.  I know there is a God.  I know there is no mistaking how I got out of there.   Luck had nothing to do with it.  What wave raises you up and keeps you out of the water while you fly to shore?  No wave did that!  I would never believe that for an instant, and will never question for one instant my rest of my life, how that happened.  I know.    THAT'S THE POWER OF PRAYER! 

It basically took years for me to realize that our purpose on this Earth is to find our way to Heaven and help others find their way to Heaven.  My father went to Heaven in the summer of 2013 and I think this moment really changed me.  I was always a nice guy, always looking out for others.  My Dad though, had told me how, just the past few days before he left us, how he had been thinking of what happened to me in Mexico.  I'm not one to make something like this up and he knew me well and understood that.  There were two of us who experienced it.  He knew it happened. 

He had received comfort from my experience in days before his passing and a he had a back surgery just days before he left.  When he woke from the surgery he said he had just had a tremendous experience.  He was in a place where everything was gold; gold floor, gold pillars, gold altars, gold fires by a couple altars at opposite ends of the room, and even the mist of moisture in the air was a gold mist.  Everything was gold and peaceful and he heard voices but couldn't make out the contents of what they said.  He touched a piece of Heaven, and with that knowledge and the assurance he took by my experience he was ready to go be with the Lord when he left.  I take some pride in knowing he took to heart what God gave me to experience.  I take pride knowing it provided him peace and comfort.    THAT'S THE POWER OF PRAYER! 

Mark Cahill is a new and up and coming Evangelist who I have met and spoken with several times.  This only started after my Dad left, so it's still pretty recent past in which I can say I made a more complete alteration of myself and I think trasformed closer to who I am supposed to become.   He inspired me to take that walk in life, talking to others about Heaven.  There is no more important thing you can do for a person than to talk with them about getting to Heaven, and about them speaking to others about Heaven and how to get there.  Once we are gone from this place we can no longer directly tell people what we can during our lives.  So it stands to reason that talking about God and Heaven is the most important thing you can do.  You can help others learn what they need to know to get to Heaven.  You can inspire someone else who is a Christian but not already talking, and you can inspire them to start talking to others about how to get to Heaven.  I want to stop everyone who doesn't know about the train coming at them.  I want to avert loss of souls to the enemy. 

If you're not a believer re-read that capitalized part. 

Now read it once more.  You got more from it each time you re-read it.  He wants us to be happy.  He loves us.  He will always be there, loving us.  The power of prayer is the ultimate power a human being touches in life.

You see how these events have comforted me into believing there is a God.  You see how these events comforted my Dad in his final days.  You see how that loss motivated me toward meeting Mark Cahill and learning my new purpose.  Now I want to share with you what I said then, back then when this was new.   I do say some good things but I do not say some things I feel today are more important to note than anything I said then.  Unedited, this is word for word what I said in 2007 in a letter to everyone I wanted to tell about it:
….Since the rocks were bad at both our hotels beaches, we consequently went to public beaches where they have been affected by the Hurricane also but they have gotten rid of most of the rocks.  One thing I didn’t realize was how the sea has tunneled out some deep areas in front of little walls that form an alcove.  Rip currents run through them.  One day Jodi and I were at the beach and she got caught in one.  I swam over and got her out right away.  Then it took me.  I got her shoved onto the beach and out of the water and it just took me back really quick.  I knew to swim to the side to get out of it.  I went the wrong way – into one of those deep alcoves!  There were nothing but rip current after rip current stirring in this bowl shape beneath the water, basically.  I fought it a long time.  Jodi was screaming.  We were looking in each other’s eyes and she could detect the fear in mine.  It probably wasn’t as long as it seemed but just when I felt so weak and couldn’t touch the bottom anywhere and really thought I could drown I said “help”.  Jodi didn’t hear me say it.  I knew she couldn’t get out there and help me.  I couldn’t stop taking in water through the waves and I thought I was going to die right there.  I said it to God.  I didn’t yell it because I couldn’t yell.  Wouldn’t you know it?  Like a huge hand under me the biggest wave I’ve ever seen hit me and threw me on the shore.  It did for me what I needed at that moment.  The emotion of that moment when I thought I was done for I thought of all of you.  I love you all very much.  I can’t even express what I felt talking to you, Dad, yesterday.  I was back in that moment for an instant when we talked yesterday and I thought of your fight with cancer and it is really hard to even believe you had this to today and I thought “I love you so much Dad!”  I thought that about every single one of you.  I thought of James and Jodi and I knew some how, some way I was going to get out of this.  I just kept fighting it but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it alone.  A life guard had walked up just before I got out and I don’t know what he was thinking but he did point to swim to the left to get out of it.  I was trying.  God got me out of it.  The power of prayer is the ultimate power a human being touches in life.

That's what I said back then.  I didn't give credence to the fact that the "Life Guard" was there and vanished.  I didn't take that as the sign that it was.  That was the soul, spirit, guide or being, who helped.  I know it because I also didn't mention that the following day we saw a white dove who sat on the beach staring at me for about thirty minutes who flew off and went under a boat dock and disappeared.  He never flew out from under that dock.  I had never taken my eyes off the place he went to.  I walked over and he wasn't there, just like the "Life Guard" who vanished! 

Now as I look back at this experience I had more to say about it.  Initial impressions are lasting but there were so many impressions to take in during this slow motion experience that I took a little time to gather all my thoughts.  It took years of reflection.  First I didn't want to say anything people would think was crazy.  Today I say call it what you want.  I know what it is.  I am not afraid to say "God Bless You" to anyone.  The cashier told me the other day while many said "Happy Valentine's Day" that I was the first to say "God Bless You."  I just replied, "well I like to be original."  I am always ready to talk to anyone about God.  I put him in my business signature.  If someone has a problem with it, I want to know.  They are my next project!  At first when I started saying "God Bless You" I would say it as I walked away.  Now I say it to their face as I look them in the eye.  People appreciate that.  I think that alone inspires others to say it the same way.  Cool!

I think life is a great chance to spread the word of God and to tell people "you need to understand who the creator is, that he loves you, and here is how you get to Heaven."  There is no way but through Jesus and God.  You must acknowledge this.  If you saw someone about to get hit by a car wouldn't you do something to stop it?  You see people around you who don't know there was a creator.  Every creation had a creator.  You see people around you who don't know God in the least.  You see those who do.  Many of those who do will not talk to those who don't for whatever reason.  Maybe the same reason I didn't want perceived as nutty.  Call me a Pay Day bar if you like.  I'm not in the same opinion of caring that I used to be.   I care about more important things now. 
The power of prayer is the ultimate power a human being touches in life.

I hope my experience is helpful to someone else.  God bless all who have read a part or all of this. 

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