I am happy that my near-death experience story will be featured as the cover story for Simple Grace in August and later as the cover story for First for Women. Near-death experience stories remind so many people of home and the peace that can be found in the presence of God.
There were many important messages from my near-death experience, but I have been thinking about innocence and forgiveness lately. This type of forgiveness comes so easily near death and at death.
One of the clear messages that I heard on the other side was to be like a little child. As a child, I was enormously forgiving and enormously connected to the love of the divine. Most of us are like that as children. However, as time goes on, wounds can build up inside, and sometimes we become more sensitive to criticism and the perceptions of others.
One person might see us at a low point—maybe in a breakup and filled with great fear or grief. Another person might see us in a heroic moment, running into a burning house to rescue a cat perhaps (think Meryl Streep in the movie Defending Your Life). Another person may love us deeply and observe the pilgrim soul in us, seeing that all the changing dimensions of us as part of our overall journey. The dearest people in our lives know us as multifaceted journeyers.
It is healing to see ourselves not through the eyes of others, but to see ourselves as God sees us—people worthy of great love, respect, and safety. God knows our hearts and sees our innocence.
Being like a little child means knowing that we are loved and lovable. Being like a child also means quickly jumping into playing, having fun, and not letting other’s perceptions bring us down. Other people are only touching a piece of eternity, and they don’t know the whole of eternity or the purpose of our soul. They don’t know our mission, or heroism, and our bravery.
Rest instead in the love and the flow of God which tells you that nothing is too wonderful, too amazing, or too beautiful for you. Know that it is safe to be innocent, to be loved, and to be free of the pain of clinging to a past that is now over.