Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
Donna Kirkland, Lexington, S. C., near-death experience:
From page 16, LEXINGTON LIFE magazine, March 2016, by Katie Gantt:
In 1982, Donna Kirkland was faced with a harsh reality: her beloved, 28-year-old sister had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Donna had also recently found out that she [herself] was pregnant. The pregnancy was unexpected, and an early ultrasound showed that her placenta was positioned exceptionally low in the uterus. Months later, with only about four weeks remaining until her due date, Donna began hemorrhaging blood without warning as a result of a placental abruption. An emergency cesarean section was their only option, but Donna's doctor warned her husband Jerry, that it was extremely risky under these particular circumstances. Only about 10 percent survived.
The surgery was performed and baby Todd was born — underweight and with underdeveloped lungs, but alive — and immediately transported to Richland Memorial Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. Meanwhile Donna was in the recovery unit, post-surgery, when her blood pressure dropped suddenly and nurses discovered she was still hemorrhaging large amounts of blood. She was losing blood faster than the medical team could transfuse it, and could feel her life slipping away.
It’s from this point in the story that our readers wanted to know more. What did Donna’s spiritual experience feel like, sound like, and look like? While so many believe in the existence of an afterlife, there is much mystery surrounding the de- tails of Heaven, and for good reason. How can anyone really say for sure what it’s like there, unless they’ve been? Well, Donna Kirkland has made the trip, and she’s back to tell the story.
“It’s difficult for me to describe in words,” she says. “Because it was so amazing, I don’t feel like I can articulate what it was really like. I can’t fully paint that picture for peo- ple in a way that they can understand, un- less they’ve had something like this happen to them, too.”
Nonetheless, she agreed to sit down with our writer again, and attempt to pull every detail of her experience into focus for those of us who wonder and anticipate the day that we get to experience the glory and peace of Heaven for ourselves. In her own words:
“I was in a lot of pain. I knew that I was losing huge amounts of blood. The doctors were giving me blood as fast as they could, but they couldn’t give it to me fast enough. It’s a very cold feeling, the feeling of having your body completely depleted of all your blood. I was shivering so hard that my arms were coming up off of the operating table, and I knew I was very close to death. The doctors were doing the best they could, but it wasn’t working. So I prayed out loud, very loud. I said ‘Dear God, please help me!’ I was afraid, and I knew that my whole entire life was coming down to these last few seconds."
"When I asked God for help, it was instant. My soul left my body, like that (she snaps her ngers). I had no awareness of my body or the life that was left behind. I was simply aware that my spirit was now in a different space where I felt very warm, like God had taken an electric blanket and wrapped around me multiple times. There was a gentle pressure around me, and I felt like God was actually holding me. That’s what it felt like, but what I saw was light. Now I hadn’t seen ‘the’ light, but I was surrounded by a brightness. I was just existing in it."
"Suddenly my spirit began to move up-ward and forward within this same light existence. It felt like I was traveling at the speed of light, at warp speed — I knew I was headed somewhere, and I knew that the faster I traveled, the quicker I would get there. Wherever I was going, I wanted to get there fast."
"I can't say how long I traveled, but I remember looking up and seeing this brilliant light at the end of a tunnel. We don’t have human eyes when we go to Heaven. Human eyes could never have looked at a light this bright. Once I slowed down and reached the end of the tunnel, the only thing be- tween me and the light was a cloud. I went through the cloud and there I was, in the light. In the light I was simply in existence, slowly moving around. It was so bright and warm, and I was so at peace. I knew I was close to God. I had not seen His face, and I was just waiting on that moment. All the pain, tears, fears, and uncertainty of the hu- man life were gone. I never thought back; I never looked back. I wasn’t worried about my body, my son, or my sister. In that ex- istence, there was no baby. There was no sister. If I’d thought of them, I’d have been sad because they weren’t coming with me. But there was no sadness."
"And then, I just woke up. I was a little confused and very sad. I had to get my thoughts together and think about what had just happened, but I knew without a doubt where I had been. Yet here I was, back in the hospital. My body was in pain. I got the news that my baby was struggling for his life, and that my sister wasn’t doing well. I did my best to process everything, but within 24 hours of coming back I was thinking: ‘Why did I have to come back? Is there a chance I can go back? Please?’ I yearned to get back in that light. And do you know that to this very day, I yearn for that light.”
When talking with Donna Kirkland, one gets the feeling thatb she is a woman who lives with one foot in the earthly realm and with one in the spirit world. She recounts her story with a palpable sense of awe, even after all this time. There has not been a day in the 34 years since her experience that she hasn’t had a conversation about what happened, not to mention that it’s always on her mind — that light and peace have changed the meaning of her life.
“I’m much closer to God now. Even though I didn’t see His face, I felt His presence. When I pray now, I feel it, and I el it a around me every day, in everything.“
While she aches for the day she gets to return to the light, Donna now understands why it wasn’t her time on that day 34 years ago. “I know why I had to come back. I had to tell my dying sister that where she was going was so beautiful and peaceful. I’ve tried to testify all these years and let peo- ple know what’s waiting on them if they’re saved. That’s the only reason the frame shop has been here 30 years. A customer will walk in the door and we forget about the framing; we stand around and talk about God. They may be suffering, and we just talk. I feel God’s presence helping me through, showing me what to say to them to ease their suffering.”
“We should always be ready and know where we’re going,” she says. “It can hap- pen in the blink of an eye, but heaven is on the other side of that light. All the angels are there, and we’ll see the face of Jesus. Absent from the body is present with the Lord.”
While she lives her days helping oth- ers and sharing her spiritual wisdom with those who seek peace, Donna nds qui- et moments to reconnect with God. She searches for opportunities to relive and ex- perience even a fraction of the warmth and fullness she felt during that brief trip to the other side.
While she lives her days helping others and sharing her spiritual wisdom with those who seek peace, Donna now understands why it wasn't her time on that day 34 years ago. "I know why I had to come back. I had to tell my dying sister that where she was going was so beautiful and peaceful. I’ve tried to testify all these years and let people know what’s waiting on them if they’re saved. That’s the only reason the frame shop has been here 30 years. A customer will walk in the door and we forget about the framing; we stand around and talk about God. They may be suffering, and we just talk. I feel God’s presence helping me through, showing me what to say to them to ease their suffering.”
“On my side of the bed, there are two windows. Sometimes when I wake up, this little bit of su,nlight comes through the blinds. I lie there and squint to focus my eyes on just that little bit of light. I keep hoping it will take me back to that feeling. It’s not nearly bright enough, but I still love the piercing of the light.”
***give me your comments about this
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(posted 6 March 2016)
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