What I saw in Heaven
When I hit my head at Winter Park during my Giant Slalom competition I was destined for the Olympics. I had been working hard and my dream was finally in reach. That day I was in first place going into my second run when my binding malfunctioned, causing me to slam head first into the hard, icy snow at speeds around 70 miles per hour. I died. My death was the start of a powerful journey full of miracles.
I basically died instantly. The second my head hit the snow I was out. I do not really remember the accident but I do know that the ski patrol rushed to my side. They desperately tried to save me but it was not looking good. I was gone and I was not sure if I was going to come back. Death did not hurt, not at all. It was peaceful and beautiful.
The first miracle was Heaven. When I died everything went black. I simply closed my eyes, took one last breath and I was off into a different life. Death was faster than falling asleep. It was easy, peaceful and calm. Nothing about dying was scary. there was no pain, no fear, no tears and no fighting to live. There were no last minute thoughts. It happened and happened fast.
When I went to Heaven I was greeted by my grandfather, who had died several months before. He never spoke to me but he was smiling. He was not showing his teeth kind of smile. Instead, it was more of a warm, welcoming grin. He was happy to see me. I remember my grandfather looking younger than he was the last time I saw him on earth. He still looked similar but younger and healthier.
We were standing in a huge garden full of red and pink flowers that seemed to go on forever and ever. Somehow, I knew that I was in the middle of the garden but I do not know how I knew because the garden was so big that I could not see the ends of it. My grandfather and I were about waist deep in the flowers and I had my left arm outstretched, below my waist. I remember seeing my three little freckles that are near my elbow. I had my body! My body was unharmed!
As I looked up I remember seeing the white light. There is no sun in Heaven. Instead, there is a beautiful white light that lights up the sky like the sun lights up the earth. The light was so warm and comforting and peaceful. I loved it and wanted to stay in it forever. It was almost as if the Holy Spirit was in that light, guiding me, helping me. It was the most beautiful and amazing light that I have ever seen.
I did not have much time to make my huge decision of whether or not to come back to life or stay in Heaven. Actually, I had already made the decision to not come back to this world but God wanted me to be sure that I was completely finished so He started talking to me. God had to work fast. There is no time in Heaven but on earth there is time and doctors will only work on a person for a little while before pronouncing them dead. God had to work really fast so I could make my final decision and be completely sure.
I never asked a question to God. God already knew that I needed to know and what I wanted to know so God was quickly telling me what to expect and what was going to happen with either decision I made. Never, did God pressure me one way or another. He was very kind and loving and gentle. God understood my situation and He knew that this was a tough decision for me to make.
I love my family and I did not want to leave them. I didn't want to put my family through my death and God knew this. He knew the love for my family was strong enough to bring me back to earth but God also knew that I did not want to leave Heaven. He knew that my love for Heaven was where I really wanted to be. God knew that I would be extremely upset if I had to leave His beautiful world but He still wanted me to make that decision.
"Aubrie," God said to me in the garden. "I have a plan. My plan is perfect. I have a plan for if you stay or go back. Trust me. Trust in my plan," God said as He showed me a vision of my memorial. "If you stay I will take care of your family. They will be okay. They will be happy."
God told me so many things that I cannot write them all down but I do remember them. God's voice came to me through thoughts. It wasn't like I was having a face to face conversation with God. Actually, I never saw God. I only felt Him and heard Him. I did know that no matter what decision I made that God was going to support it and guide me through it. He was going to be there for both me and my family and He was never going to let anything bad happen to any of us. God loves us so much that He doesn't want to bring harm to us. He only brings good.
Now, you might be thinking that if God only brings good then how could He have allowed this accident to happen or how he can allow bad to happen in your life. Well, the answer is sin. We live in a fallen world but it is not God who brings pain to us. God only brings healing and after my accident it was God who healed me. It was God who brought joy back into my life. It was God who gave me my skiing back.
Obviously, I came back. I came back because I was too young to die. I was only 19 years old and my experience in Heaven was so wonderful that I want to share it with the world. I came back to help people overcome adversity and to live their best life.
More miracles were to follow after my accident. Shortly after being released from the hospital a pastor at my college asked me to be a guest speaker at a church event. Of course I was reluctant. I mean I had two black eyes from my skull fracture, my arm was in a full arm cast and my knee was broken. The last thing I wanted to do was get up in front of a group of people with a head injury that caused me to stutter and speak.
I did it anyway because I felt that it was a part of God's plan for my new life. I felt that speaking was a great opportunity to share my story about going to Heaven. After my speech everyone was so supportive and kind. I just felt the love of God through those who were there that night. To me, it was a miracle. Kindness just poured from the hearts of everyone.
My next miracle came two weeks later, when I got back up on skis for the first time since the accident. Now, I was not planning on ever skiing again. No one thought that I would ski again. I was told that I would never ski again but I decided to try anyway. A few days before I got back up I talked myself out of skiing. "Aubrie," I said to myself "You can be happy. You don't need skiing to make you happy. You will be happy without skiing." God knew the truth and immediately after I thought that I heard God's voice loud and clear. He said, "Aubrie, you will ski again." Several days later He was right.
Today I am still skiing. I love skiing and will never quit the sport. Skiing is my passion and something that I was born to do. Many wonderful things have happened since my accident. I am now an author of two books. My first book is called "Back Up On Skis" and my second book is called "When I Saw Heaven." I am very blessed and happy.
When something bad happens I want you to know that God is there for you. I know that it can be hard to trust in God and often when we are going through a tough time we feel nothing but despair. We often feel that we are left in the dark with no way out but that is far from the truth.
God is working hard for you. He has plans to prosper you, not to harm you. When you are weak God is strong. God might take something away from you, even if it is just for a little while, but He will replace it with something better. God did take my skiing away but only for a little while. There are other things that God took from me too but He replaced it all with something better.
Sometimes we do not know why bad things happen to us in life but we can only trust that God has a plan and that His plan is perfect. Sometimes when things are beyond our understanding we should take a step back, breathe and relax. God has all of us and He will make your life wonderful. Never give up hope.