The Day I Was Taken to Heaven
I guess there aren’t many of us that can say they have been taken to Heaven and then come back to this world to tell about it. Even fewer still like me have not only been taken there, but also somehow didn’t have to die to go through this process. I am the unlikeliest of witnesses with a life experience that has actually cost me some friends.
It was the Spring of 1994. I had just gone through a profound transformation. Triggered by a divorce, long story short I had just gone through a 4-month time frame where I performed a focused and concentrated effort to clean up some garbage I had stored between my ears. I had gone from a mean, selfish, money driven miserable man to a spiritual man who placed others before himself.
During this change, I became much more open and vulnerable. I was raw, exposed and naïve. Not jaded and defensive as I had been for years. I tell you all of this to help set the stage. You see two events happened in the Spring of 1994 that were extremely emotionally upsetting to me. First, a man who was mentoring me spiritually banned me from his organization for life (weeks later I found from many others that was like a badge of honor because if he felt you were becoming as enlightened as he was, he didn’t want you around as “competition”) and the second event was that the first girlfriend I had after becoming so open and vulnerable dumped me suddenly.
During this previous 4-month period, I had been trained on a therapeutic breathwork technique. A technique where God always took over and created a catharsis for the person going through the therapy. Knowing that these 2 events were creating emotions in me that I needed to handle and take care of in order to stay at my best, I called my friend to arrange an appointment to do the therapy session and he would be the therapist for me.
Normally, these sessions take 60 to 120 minutes, depending on what God was going to help you through that day. I laid down, closed my eyes and started breathing. Now, I admit, at my core I am a type A, Director, Driver, Doer personality. And so, after 15 seconds, I opened my eyes to apologize to my friend (As if 15 seconds is a long time to wait for an epiphany in a 60 to 120-minute session – LOL).
“Welcome back”, my friend said. Instantly, I sat up and drew back my hand so that I could thrust it forward with a finger pointing squarely at him so that I could chew him out by saying something along the lines of “Quit screwing around – it’s only been 15 seconds”. But in the half second that it took for me to draw my hand back – suddenly it hit me. Like a flash, I got my first glimpse of where I had just been. I looked at the clock. Surely enough, just over 90 minutes had passed since I closed my eyes. That’s when my friend continued, “You’ve been gone for 90 minutes. I just stayed here and watched over your body until you came back.”
These facts sent me reeling back down to the floor. Moment by moment more came to me. I was overwhelmed by what I was experiencing. It was like the room was spinning, but it wasn’t the room spinning – it was my mind that was spinning. Reeling from the overwhelm of what it had experienced.
You see, I didn’t have the “normal” going to Heaven experience that most people do when they are given that glimpse. I didn’t see the white light at the end of a tunnel. I didn’t see relatives and friends who had made it to Heaven before me. I saw something far more spectacular. It took 15 years before I finally found a pastor who knew where I had been. Apparently, it’s an area some Biblical scholars refer to as “Fourth Heaven”. An area of Heaven that is much more advanced than the normal “white light” experience. Kind of like the difference between an advanced class in a University as opposed to a class in preschool. They may both be a school, but the experience in the different levels are vastly different.
In this level (Fourth Heaven) communication wasn’t done by words. In fact, I never saw a physical body or form while I was there. All I saw were patterns of color and light. For those in that level, they could communicate extremely complex, intricate and I’m sure statements which would be extremely long and verbose in English; but in using the patterns of color and light what may take you and I hours, days, weeks or even months could be communicated in a mere moment. And as for physical form or body, it was as if there was no need for one. As if the boundary between who “I” am and who “you” are no longer mattered.
As I lay there on the floor – reeling from my memories fading back into my mind, I slowly began the process of understanding the message. Slowly, the memories of what happened integrated into my mind. Then came the process of “translating” what was conveyed to me. The entire integration and translation process took years for me.
What was the message? It was really meant just for me. It really would probably never be as powerful for you to know my message as it was for me to know my message. But for those who may still like to know, I will explain the message.
To begin with, it’s important to know one thing about my childhood. You see, as a child my entire family hated Christians. You see, at that age all I had ever see Christians do is berate people. Insult others and beat them up with their Bible verses to show how superior they were to us. They told people like me that because we were “sinners” we were condemned to burn in hell for all eternity and that there was no hope for us. (If you are REALLY a Christian then you know the people that told me that were liars because there was ALWAYS hope for me and that hope was the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ).
So, again, on the day of the therapy session I was dealing with the betrayal from a man who had been exposing me to some of the history of Christ (which would only reinforce my previous belief of hating Christians since this man had been petty and betrayed me and said that I would never be good enough). I was also dealing with getting dumped by my girlfriend (thus also making me feel like I was unworthy of love).
So the message conveyed to me. . . . well, I may never fully understand the exact message of what the light and color patterns expressed (besides – in that realm of Heaven, your typical laws of a unilateral reality don’t exist. You and I could see the exact same things and express it and interpret it completely different ways since Heaven is its own type of “reality”. But here is what I got from it: As I was in awe and wonder at the color and light patterns there was a feeling of complete and total love. It was around me, within me, it moved through me. It did all of this at the same time. It applied this wonderful pressure all around me. It flowed abundantly through me. God wanted me to understand something that day. God wanted me to know that “holy men” can let me down, lead me astray, try to use fear and manipulation against me and even do things like lie about me and insult me (some even called me a liar for saying that I had been taken to Heaven). But that in no way affects God’s love for me personally. God’s love is eternal and unconditional. God wanted me to not think, not believe, but KNOW that He loves me always. And no matter how many times I may get dumped and have my heart broke, I am always loved.
Now, after you go through an experience like a 90-minute stay in Heaven, your life is never the same. It’s as if the veil that separates our “reality” from Heaven is never fully sealed again. It’s as if the voices from that side now find it easier to whisper into my ear. That is a blessing and a curse. There are times I can feel God’s joy and there are times I can feel God’s sorrow. But it led me down a path that I am grateful that I have taken. After the time in Heaven, I became a believer in Christ. Now mind you, I didn’t show it at the time because I still wanted nothing to do with Christians. However, one day in 2009, I arrived at a church and He spoke to me and said “You’re home”. Because of that day, I met the pastor who told me what Fourth Heaven was, I’ve met hundreds of great selfless and grace filled Christians, I have been able to baptize over 200 new Christians, I’ve been able to give sermons offering hope to many who have become lost and there was one final thing that was the best of all.
In February of 2018, I sat with my dad and asked him if he had accepted Christ as his savior. He looked down and said that yes, as a boy he had accepted Christ as his savior. But then he looked up. I could see pain, and misery in his eyes. And then he said, “But I’m afraid that with all I did in the war, he won’t accept me”. I was able to sit there with my dad. I was able to tell him how the Bible does NOT say the horrible things he had been led to believe and that his name was written in the Book of Life. In that moment, I saw the burden lifted from his shoulders, the light returned to his eyes and one month later when my dad passed away, he KNEW he would be in Heaven.
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