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Gratitude for "Embraced"


I read "Embraced by the Light" several years after I had complications from a hysterectomy at age 30. At that time I was divorced with two small daughters. I developed blood clots in each of my lungs, and my right lung collapsed four days after I was released from the hospital. My treating physician dismissed my pain as "trapped gas" and told me to "walk it off". (One thing you do not do with a blood clot is move, as the blood clots can travel to the heart and/or brain and kill you instantly.) By God's grace, I passed out each time I tried to "walk it off" and by the time I was properly diagnosed and hospitalized, my family was told I was not expected to live through the night.

During that night, with my family around my hospital bed, the lights in my room were turned off with only the hall light shining in through the doorway. I was in and out of consciousness, but at one point I looked toward the doorway and saw three figures who were dressed in hooded shrouds. They were gliding (not walking) from my room into the hallway. The last of those figures stopped before moving out of the room and turned to look in my direction as if to check on me one last time. I did not see a face, nor was there any communication. My attention was then directed back to the people at my bedside, and I saw the three figures no more. I kept that information to myself thinking I had either hallucinated or, if they had been real, I associated shrouded figures with something evil, although I felt no fear. When I read the description of the "monks" in "Embraced By The Light," I dropped the book! That accurately described the figures I saw and finally, another person had a similar experience with whom I shared the same faith in our Heavenly Father.

As I read on, "Embraced" explained another experience that had troubled me since my childhood. From my earliest childhood memories, I had periodically dreamed about a particular house in the country that had an indented porch with doors on both the right and left for entrance. I would walk up a stone path and always go into the door to the left. I could describe the room in detail and would walk across the room to a window where I would look out upon a beautiful pasture in a valley.

When I was pregnant with my first child and visiting my parents, they decided to take me for a ride in the country many miles from their home to my great-grandmother's "old home place." She died three years before I was born and the farm was sold upon her death. As we started down the road, I recognized it from my dreams! As we approached the house, I described to my parents each and every detail of the room, including the wallpaper on the walls. The house was dilapidated and being used for hay storage, enclosed by a barbed wire fence with cattle grazing all around it. Although eight months pregnant, I was adamant about getting into the room from the left entrance. Fortunately, there was no hay stored in that room and I easily opened the door. It was exactly as in my dreams and as I described to my mother before we were even close to the house, right down to the wallpaper. (By the way, I took a piece of the wallpaper from the walls and have it framed in my home.) My mother assured me that I had never been there as a child or at any other time in my life. That room, she told me, was my great-grandmother's bedroom that she recalled from her childhood. Betty's explanation as to the memories of our ancestors being passed down through cells and DNA helped me to understand why and how this house was so familiar to me in my dreams. Further, my great-grandmother was one-quarter Cherokee Indian.

A couple of years after I read "Embraced by the Light," I had two awesome dreams that I feel compelled to share. Other than the dreams about the house described above, I never took much stock in dreams or their meanings as most were just jumbles of thought fragments from day to day activities or stress. These dreams were different because they were from our Father and they were for a purpose. Hopefully in sharing them with you, they will give you a sense of the same joy I felt.

In the first dream, I found myself in a crowded auditorium where people were standing shoulder to shoulder listening to someone speak on a stage at the front of the room. As I reached the middle of the crowd, I remarked to the unknown person beside me: "I recognize his voice, that's the Lord!" Immediately Christ appeared near an exit door at the side of the building and signaled with his head for me to follow him outside with a smile on his face that said (without words) lets go have some fun. When I did, we were on a beach. Without an audible word spoken he indicated that I was to pick up the corners of a large canvass that resembled the sail of a boat. As I picked up the back corners, he picked up the front corners holding it behind him as he walked ahead of me. I can still see and feel the fibers and texture of that material that I was holding. Better still, I can still see His face as he looked over his shoulder at me and, with the sense of humor Betty describes, suggested I look down. When I moved the canvass out from my chest, I saw that I was walking on water behind our Lord! I can still feel the breeze on my face and smell the salt air each time I relive this wonderful dream. Best of all I can see the delight, humor, and sheer joy that emanated from our blessed Savior!

In less than a week I had yet another dream. In this one, I was studying and contemplating a statue of Christ carrying the cross on his back. As I looked closer, the statue moved away from me and He stood up and reached out his hands to me. I ran to him as you would a dear friend that you were happy to see after a long time apart. When I reached him and grasped his hands, my thumbs went through the nail holes in his hands. I immediately released his hand, saying how sorry I was that I hurt him. He responded: "My child, that's what they're there for," and I woke up.

It has been almost three years since I had those dreams and they are still as vivid as the night I was granted those blessings. I have been in and out of various churches, never really finding my niche in organized religion, but keeping a stronghold on the love and faith in our Father. Betty's books have helped me fill the spiritual voids that have not been met by churches, and I thank her for sharing.

Not long after these dreams, I started having panic attacks while driving. I was amazed to read in "The Awakening Heart" that Betty, too, had suffered from these emotionally gripping experiences after her death experience. I continue to struggle, having tried antidepressants that caused side effects worse than the panic attacks, and recently hypnotherapy. Hopefully, with faith and God's help (and I ask for your prayers) that I will be freed from this malady that I realize is a spiritual attack. I know that fear is the opposite of faith, yet it is overwhelming sometimes when I get on the interstate highways or sometimes even just driving to and from work.

I work as a paralegal in a very stressful law firm. For many years I worked on criminal cases, primarily death penalty cases. When I found this website and read of Betty's experience in Texas, it further confirmed my need to write. I have never had a client receive the death penalty. However, I worked on a death penalty case where a 23-year-old woman killed, then burned the body of her stepson while she pregnant with another child. I had a stepson the same age as the child she killed and begged God for help and emotional support to do my job in that case. I ultimately learned to love our client, though certainly not the crime, but I know the emotions Betty experienced in dealing with the Texas inmate. As I walked into court with our client on the day she was to be sentenced to 25 years without parole, she asked that I continue to touch her back to let her know I was still behind her. My picture appeared in People magazine in an article about her and all I could see was my puffy eyes where I had been crying, but I knew my hand was on her back. I know the struggle we humans have to learn to love the unlovable...but that is what we are instructed to do by the Father. I thank you for the stand you have taken against the death penalty and for standing beside that young man in his final hours.

There are many other stories of similar experiences I could share, but I wanted to adequately express the deep gratitude I have for Betty's work and to let her know I am another kindred spirit who understands her mission.

Virginia Harris




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