“Where are you in terms of spirituality?” Dr. Donna asked the group.
I thought for a moment, “I believe that there is something bigger than all of us out there, but I don’t think He is there for me. If He were there for me, He wouldn’t allow such horrible things to have happened in my past. I was taught that you can listen and hear His voice, but I never have heard Him; if I can’t hear Him, then He must not exist.”
Dr. Donna understood my questioning the Holy Spirit, and never tried to change my mind. Her silence and acceptance of my stand allowed me to share an experience that I once had:
It was the early morning hours of February 3, 2001. I had just put my eight and a half month old daughter into her crib and quietly climbed into bed next to my slumbering husband. My eyes were barely shut when my infant daughter began to cry, just like she did whenever she wasn’t in my arms. With a big sigh I returned to her crib, pulled her into my arms, and snuggled her close. And then, I returned to my bed and placed her between my husband and me so that she could nurse as we slept.
The bed began to shake as my husband rolled over in a huff, “I can’t sleep when you put her in bed with us,” he yelled.
I tumbled from under the sheets, pulled on a robe, and gathering my daughter I stood to exit the room. The bed clothes rustled behind me and suddenly I was being yanked backwards from the collar of my robe, “Don’t you walk away from me when I’m talking,” he shouted.
Desperately I tried to explain that I was merely trying to go to the living room so that he could return to sleeping. My words fell on deaf ears as I sat our daughter down and took yet another beating. In the melee my night clothes were ripped from my body, and my daughter stolen from my arms. Every fiber of my being ached as I felt him physically slam my body into the bedroom door. I was hanging on the end of his hands, as they grasped my throat. I felt the air being removed from my body and I struggled to let more air in, and as my body went limp I noticed a separation of my physical body and my soul.
Maybe I am dead, I thought, maybe the journey of devastating pain has finally ended. My soul seemed to leave my body, to sit upon the dresser and watch as he continued to beat on my lifeless physical body.
A shimmering being of white robes joined me at the dresser, “You have to fight back,” this strange, yet beautiful being told me.
Instead of fighting, I glided through our tiny trailer and told each of our children; his, mine and ours, “Goodbye,” for what I assumed would be the last time. As I kissed each of them in their sleep I noted that I didn’t feel an ounce of pain from the beating I just took.
I returned to my lifeless body, just in time to see him draw back his foot and kick me again. Suddenly I felt every ounce of physical pain of the beating I was suffering.
Dr. Donna’s eyes softened, “You had a near death experience.”
“I don’t know,” I said, “when I do talk about that experience I am always told it is disassociation.”
“But, you heard His voice, he was telling you to fight back. He told you it wasn’t your time just yet.”
Her words validated my thoughts, and for the first time in my life I felt close to God. He really does exist, and He is the reason I am still here, He knows I am destined for some sort of greatness, which He is orchestrating from somewhere within my very soul.