In this section I described my fear of death and what, or better yet, “Who” made that fear go away…
“One of the reasons I love Jesus so much is that He made a way for me to have eternal life with Him. I’m especially grateful to know this because I used to fear death or the thought of my loved ones dying. When I was about nine years old, my parents and I were returning from the beach on a dangerous road in Nicaragua—no guardrails along the winding road and steep cliffs. Many crosses with flowers honored those who died there. The thought of my parents dying one day made me sad. Tears began to roll softly down my cheeks. Death preoccupied me constantly after that.
In my early twenties depression filled my life. I didn’t want to live. My doctor thought my condition had to do with hormones. I wasn’t attending church at the time. I had lost my faith in God (in a later chapter you’ll read in detail how this came to be). Even though I had a wonderful husband, a beautiful house and was able to stay home with my two children, I wanted to die. One day, I almost did. My husband, Eduardo, and I were in an indoor swimming pool at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, California. I didn’t know how to swim. Standing in the shallow end, I moved a couple of inches to the left and wasn’t able to touch bottom. I called Eduardo for help and raised my arm before going under. As I was drowning, I prayed, “Lord, I’m sorry. I don’t want to die. Please save me.”
God heard my prayer. Eduardo came to my rescue and saved my life. He was exhausted as he kept pushing me to the edge of the pool. He had to push me away so I wouldn’t pull him down. Otherwise we both would have drowned on that day.
My most recent close-call was different. What I’ve learned about my eternal future with Jesus and the beauty of heaven has helped me overcome the fear of death. My love for Jesus has increased over the years, and there is no place I’d rather be than with Him.
Light rain hit the windshield as I drove up Highway 50. I was listening to a CD song based on the Twenty-third Psalm. The lyrics talk about God being in control even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. My car had slid a bit twice after hitting a couple of potholes. Remembering that I needed new tires I decided to slow down. On the third pothole, my car hydroplaned and spun onto the center divide. There was no guardrail back then to stop me from heading into oncoming traffic—only a wide patch of grass. Unable to make my car stop from spinning, I said aloud, “Oh, so this is it. This is how I’m going to die—age forty-three—car accident.” It felt like I was spinning in slow motion. Thinking one or more cars would hit me, I imagined the tragic picture of my death in the local paper and the sadness of my loved ones.
All of a sudden, I thought, “Oh, this means in a few seconds I’ll worship you, Jesus… face to face!” I became excited and joyful, because I love to worship God and sing praises to His name. The thought of doing this in His presence was breathtaking.
In my thoughts I told God, “Okay, Lord, I’m ready. But please make it quick. I don’t want to be in pain for too long.” Then I uttered, “Lord, please protect me.” That’s not what I had intended to say. I wanted to go home with Jesus. I’m crazy in love with my husband and love my two wonderful sons, but I love Jesus more.
When I called on the Name of the Lord, I felt as though a hand had squeezed the midsection of my right foot. That touch brought awareness that my foot was pressed all the way down on the brake pedal. I didn’t want to remove my foot from it. But I automatically did and surrendered control of the vehicle.
The steering wheel began to turn on its own and my car soon stopped. I couldn’t believe it! I said, “Thank you Lord. You saved me.” Through the rear view mirror I saw that my trunk had popped open. When I got out of my car to close it, I noticed my car was perfectly straight and centered in the divide. I don’t know how to park straight. I knew God had come to my rescue that morning.
My CD began to play again. I heard no music when my car was spinning—only peace and quiet. In those few seconds, I had nothing to confess. No regrets. When I’d failed in the past, I had repented and asked God for forgiveness. I know I’ve been forgiven of all my past sins.
I leave you with this beautiful song, “I Can Only Imagine”. Imagine what it would be like to be in the presence of Jesus! On my next and final blog on this subject, “Death – Part 3,” I will show you the verses of the Bible that describe Heaven and the beauty that awaits us after this life. Be blessed!!!