Koinonia
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Koinonia

This Is What Happened When My Mother Told Me About Her Near-Death Experience

Now I understand a little better why I am here on this earth

Girl walking down a brick path, surrounded by white hydrangeas

The other day, I told my mother I would take her to go get her hair cut. She just suffered her second stroke a few months ago, and she’s not able to drive herself yet.

There was an event at my girls’ school that I wanted to go to that morning, and I told Mom I would call her after that.

She didn’t answer the phone.

I started imagining all sorts of horrible scenarios — most of them featuring her lying helpless either on the floor inside her house or outside in the bushes. And, fleetingly, I thought about the possibility of her cat and dog feasting off of her dead body.

Do you have pets? It’s really not as far-fetched as it seems.

She ended up calling me back a few minutes later, and I went to go pick her up….grateful she was still alive.

On the way to the hairdresser, she reprimanded me. “You and your father both need to realize that I’m not going to die a minute sooner than God wants me to. And you need to stop worrying.”

“I know that,” I said. “But it’s easier said than done.”

“Besides,” she went on, “if I’m dead, there’s nothing to worry about, anyway.”

“Uh, yes there is, if you die alone and there’s no one there to take care of your dead body. Your cat and dog will be feasting off of your rotting flesh.”

She laughed. “No, they won’t. They might take a taste or two, but they’ll quickly figure out that I don’t taste that good.”

Yes, we have conversations like this in my family.

We don’t usually have conversations like the one that followed

Mom got quiet for a minute, and then she said, “When I was pregnant with you, I had a really low blood sugar episode. And I remember dreaming. At least, I thought I was dreaming. I was in bed with your father, and he was asking me questions about breakfast, and I thought I was answering — later, he said I was answering him. And then, suddenly, I was walking through a field…kind of like that one, except bigger.”

She looked out the car window and pointed to a plot of green grass-covered land before going on, “There was a wall…and there were steps, kind of like a step stool, leading up the wall. And I started going up the steps. But this figure appeared on top of the wall, and it said to me, ‘No. Stop. It’s not your time. Turn around and go back.’ And I just stopped and said, ‘Okay’…which is strange for me, because I usually argue with people, or at least ask a lot of questions.”

I laughed. “Yeah.” It’s true. It’s very unlike my mother to just calmly acquiesce.

“So, I turned around and went back down. And the next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital, with your father sitting next to me. So, you see. I know. If it’s not my time, God’s going to send me back.”

I don’t remember what I said after that. I was too busy soaking in all the information she’d just shared with me. Because, see, she was pregnant at the time that happened — with me.

Her near-death experience — THAT near-death experience — was mine too.

If she’d kept going over that wall, I never would have been born

I was telling my husband about it later. “She almost died when she was pregnant with me. If she had died, I never would have been born. I never would have suffered everything I’ve suffered. If she had just ignored that figure like she does everyone else, I could have just been blissfully non-existent — or maybe even blissfully existent in heaven with Jesus for eternity without having to go through all this stuff on earth.”

My husband laughed, “It’s the story of your life, isn’t it?’

I laughed too then and nodded, thinking that if I’d never been born, I wouldn’t have ever known the joy of being married to someone who knows me and understands me so completely.

That joy that’s even more fulfilling because of all the bad relationships that came before.

Did God or Jesus or the angel or whoever that figure was send my mother back down the wall for me to be born so my husband could have his perfect soul mate?

Was it so my two little girls would be born? Without me, there would be no them. And that’s a depressing thought.

Two girls doing the hot pepper challenge with banana peppers at Olive Garden
My girls doing the hot pepper challenge with banana peppers at Olive Garden; Source: Me

Was it for the women I’m building relationships with at Scarlet Hope? Because of some of the hard experiences I’ve been through — with God — I can help them in their times of struggle.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, NIV)

Was it — and this is harder for me to swallow — just because God wanted ME on this earth?

You’ve seen that Facebook meme

I know you’ve seen it — the one that says, “How cool is it that God thought the world needed one of you too?”

I hated that meme. Really, I used to hate it — with a passion.

God could fulfill His purposes very nicely, thank you, without one of me…at least that was what I would tell myself every time I saw it. And yet, wasn’t I kind of setting myself up in the position of God by thinking that?

If I’m here…it’s because God wanted me here. And I believe that more strongly than ever after hearing about my very early near-death experience. God stopped my mother from going over the wall just so I would be born.

I’ve since come to love that meme…and have made it my own. I created a modified version of it. The wording of this one makes more sense to me. And now the whole idea behind it makes more sense to me too. God did, for whatever reason, think the world needed one of me — and you too, if you’re here on earth reading this.

Photo by Massimiliano Morosinotto on Unsplash; I added the text using Canva

You are here because He wants you to work to help Him fulfill His plans. You are here because He wants you to know Him and have a relationship with Him.

You are here because He wants you.

And I am too. Amen.

This story is published in Koinonia — stories by Christians to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, and fun.

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Mishael Witty

Mishael Witty

Committed to making something beautiful out of the broken pieces. www.mishaelaustinwitty.com