A Quick Visit with Her Earthly Father in Heaven

A stroke left her hovering between life and the hereafter, but a familiar voice told her it was not yet her time.

By Janis Murphy, Murray, Kentucky

As appeared in

My head felt like someone was pounding it with a hammer. I splashed some water on my face in the restroom near my office at Murray State University, where I was a professor in the Education Department. But the pain wouldn’t stop.

Just minutes earlier I’d e-mailed my students’ first-semester grades to the registrar. Hallelujah! Christmas break, here at last. Then, this throbbing...

“So, do you have big plans for the holiday?” a colleague next to me at the sink asked.

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It was all I could do to focus on what she was saying. “I’m going to see my family,” I managed to get out. But my words sounded garbled. My mind drifted. Christmas with family, but without Daddy. He’d died three years before.

We’d shared a special bond, both of us blunt, to the point, not a bit sentimental. He was tough, hard-headed. Never one to take the easy path. He was the one who made sure I went to college, just like he had. He earned the money for his tuition by working in the coal mines of West Virginia.

I loved the big softie. I felt lost without him. Lost...

“Are...you...okay?” I heard the woman say, like she was inside of a tunnel. My knees. They felt like Jell-O. Someone screamed. Then everything went dark.

I faded in and out of consciousness, paramedics hoisting me onto a gurney, a wailing siren, someone–a doctor?–saying I’d suffered a stroke, worried faces peering down at me, a faint beeping noise. My mind struggled in vain to stay alert, the world spun. Was I dying? Was this it? Was my life over?

I looked down, through a misty haze. A woman lay limp in a hospital bed far below me, a doctor and nurses huddled around her. She seemed strangely familiar. An icy chill ran through me. That’s me! I panicked. I could barely see through the haze, the scene below growing faint.

The mist enveloped me. I searched through the fog for a glimpse of light, some sense of where I should go. But there was only the darkness. I felt trapped, cut off. Until...just ahead of me, I saw him.

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He was wearing a gray three-piece suit and a bright red tie. The suit he’d worn every Sunday to church.

I smiled at him. Surely he’d come to comfort me, to usher me to someplace with no pain, to heaven, where I’d be surrounded by angels. I can almost hear them, I thought, singing a glorious, rousing anthem.

But Daddy’s face was stern, all business, a look I remembered well. He grabbed me by the arm, shaking me gently but firmly. “Janis, wake up!” he said. “You can’t stay here! Go back. You have to go back. You still have work to do.”

That voice. Commanding. As rough as sandpaper. No one would dare defy it. A more wonderful sound I couldn’t imagine.

“But, Daddy,” I pleaded. “Can’t I stay here with you?”

His brow wrinkled into deep furrows and he fixed his eyes on me.

“No!” he said. “It’s not your time. Now, you get on back there.”

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Inspiring and re assuring a delight to read

"I walked toward the light, "

She walked TOWARD the light? I thought going towards the light meant going towards heaven, not going back to the world of the living.

People say all these stories are similar but no there's real differences between them. That one guy who saw the images of his dead shipmates there were no light there.

A lot of these visions I believe the mind fills it in later. Not deceit but confusion. I try never to mention fraud in any of these cases. I believe most of the time the people telling the story really believes it. But in some cases, like when a best selling book is written, there is something real to be gained from making it up (money).

"My mind drifted. Christmas with family, but without Daddy. He’d died three years before."

So she was already thinking of him before she slipped out of consciousness. It's not hard to realize that she had this dream as she was slipping back in.

The desire to believe is so strong. We want to believe. But wanting something doesn't make it real. The fact we want to believe something so strongly proves that we have a bias in favor of believing which makes it all the harder to look at it objectively. We want to believe so we look for reasons to believe however flimsy they are.

I am human too. I want to have faith. I want to believe but the evidence against it is just too strong.

I Love reading these stories as a christian ave discovered
that most of us who believe in JESUS look forward to death instead of fear it. JESUS helps too prepare us for the here after.