An Everyday “near-death experience”

I have macular degeneration, a degenerative eye disease that leads, with aging, to a loss of sight. Since the diagnosis, I have been doing everything recommended on the form level to deal with this, and for the past several months I have also been working with a Course-based healer. Despite this and Jesus’ assurances that my healing has been accomplished, there has not been any physical manifestation of the healing of my sight. I have been puzzled by this and have been feeling increasingly discouraged about the situation.

Yesterday, faced with some additional health concerns, I slipped into a state of complete hopelessness and despair. While I thought I was doing all I could and had dealt with my fears around healing, it seemed as if there still must be something blocking it. On some level, I must still be choosing death instead of life, and that saddened me deeply.

I remembered an earlier vision of a “door marked ‘healing'” and the spirit beings/healers who waited beyond it for me to come and be healed. I had walked through the door and into a light-filled room and had had a wonderful experience of healing at their hands, yet here I was, months later, still unhealed! Did I have to keep walking through that door over and over again until the healing “took”?!

Then there was the relation of all this to God’s Love. On Sunday evening, I had led a gathering on “I am sustained by the Love of God” (Lesson 50). I had been very inspired by the idea that God’s Love was all that I needed to nourish me, support me, and keep me going, that it was the answer to everything that confronted me. The next day, I reread Nicola’s account of her healing session with “Eve” (https://circleofa.org/articles/HealingExperience.php), and the question that had to be asked: “Do you want to know the outcome [i.e., the physical healing], or do you want to know God’s Love?” I had to admit that, in that moment, when it came down to the healing of my sight or God’s Love, I wanted the healing of my sight. That was a sobering realization!

In desperation, I brought all this into my quiet time this morning, calling on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be with me. I just wasn’t able to see this differently on my own and I needed their help in a big way. I started to write in my journal, and, although what I wrote didn’t come directly from either one of them, it did feel inspired, and, even as I started to write, I felt peace come over me. Here’s what I wrote:

In the “door marked ‘healing'” experience, the spirit beings did not notice or pay any attention to my issues, my worries, my guilty feelings, or my unloving thoughts. They were just there waiting to love me, and that’s what they did–totally and unconditionally. They were so happy to see me and bring me healing. That’s what God is like: He’s just waiting for me to come and accept Him and His Love and let it sustain me.

It reminds me of that near-death experience in which a person who had attempted suicide had such a powerful experience of God’s Loving Grace, total acceptance and unconditional love. Everything he or she had done, including trying to commit suicide, meant nothing. It was all wiped away by the power of God’s Love.

Just as God and the spirit beings don’t pay any attention to my issues, my unloving thoughts, I don’t have to pay attention to them either–not even to the degenerative eye disease. I don’t have to try and figure out why my sight hasn’t been healed or what I’m doing wrong. They aren’t judging me, so why should I? I can choose to dismiss all of that and walk past it and through the door marked “healing” and into the light that awaits me beyond.

Just as today’s lesson (53) shows, I have been caught up in worry and despair over my sight; absorbed by my insane thoughts, which have been showing me a very fearful and painful world–a degenerative world! (I just paused to check my dictionary, which told me that the origin of the word “degenerate” is to “go away from creation.” That is exactly what I have been doing!) I want to think real thoughts, which will show me the real world, a world of loveliness, filled with hope–a regenerative world; that is, a world that brings about life, not death! (Now my dictionary tells me that one of the meanings of “regenerate” is “renew spiritually through divine grace,” or “go back to creation”!) That’s what I want for myself and that’s the kind of world I want to see and live in!

In that world, I am sustained by the Love of God–a total, unconditional, all-encompassing love. Let this thought carry me above my concerns about my eyesight, my feelings of hopelessness, pain, and fear. This is what will heal me!

I just realized that I don’t have to continue walking through “the door marked ‘healing'” and going to the spirit beings for healing. That first time, I did walk through the door and I did see them and feel their healing touch. They healed me then; the healing was accomplished–just as Jesus said–, and all I have to do is accept it! That means accepting God’s unconditional Love and the fact that I am sustained by it and it alone! It is what carries me along and gets me through, despite anything the ego tries to put in my way. I am not sustained by my physical health. Even if the macular degeneration is healed, something else might come along to replace it. My physical state can always change, but God’s Love never can. It is God’s sustaining Love that is my healing and it is this that will help me bring healing to others.

Hmm. I completely forgot an experience I had in my quiet time yesterday morning. As I went into meditation, “the door marked ‘healing'” came into my mind. Then I instantly became aware that I was in the place beyond the door. I hadn’t even needed to go through the door. I didn’t see or feel the spirit healers, but I knew that I was in that place of profound healing. I didn’t see or hear God, but I felt totally embraced by His Love. The feeling was so overwhelmingly beautiful that tears started streaming down my face. It was all I had ever yearned for. Twice I saw big balls of light shining down from the upper right. They were so vivid, that both times I opened my eyes and looked out the window to see if the sun had come out, but of course it hadn’t. The experience went on and on, and the tears kept flowing. Finally I came out, carrying a sense of total peace and joy with me. Then I promptly forgot the experience. I didn’t even write it down!

My quiet time with Jesus and Holy Spirit and my journaling this morning lasted no more than an hour, yet in that time, everything changed for me. I had gone almost imperceptibly from a sense of deep despair to total peace. They had heard and answered my call for help in that big way I felt I needed.

As I’ve been thinking about this, I am  seeing a connection between my experience and an actual near-death experience, in which someone, near death, has an amazing experience of God’s Love that transforms him or her, and then comes back to live from that place of love and to tell of the experience. The Course tells us that death comes in many forms (Lesson 163) and that we choose it day in and day out, minute by minute. I felt that I had been near death–not actual physical death, but death nevertheless. During those few days, I had chosen death in the form of pain and suffering, hopelessness and despair, and I was given an awareness and experience of God’s Love, which brought me back to life. I didn’t actually have to die, and the experience wasn’t spectacular or totally transformative like a real near-death experience, but for me it was very powerful.

I wonder how many opportunities we have every day to be brought back from the brink of death by God’s Loving Grace to once again choose life and witness to it.