by Tina Stone
I was dying. But I belonged to HIM. It was a battle for my soul. Who would win?
|I had stopped breathing and was now being kept alive by a machine. Doctors had called my husband and told him I most likely would not make it through the night and he was urged to say his goodbyes. Instead, my husband prayed for me. He wept over me. I could hear him even in the semi-coma state the doctors had me in. He kept telling me over and over to fight. He told me how much he loved me and over and over he kept telling me not to give up. Whatever I do, keep fighting and don't stop fighting. He read to me all the scriptures that push us to be bold and full of courage. To fight. To not give up.
At some point, I slept and he went home. I wasn't sure what awoke me, and now, I'm not altogether sure I actually awoke. Something alerted my consciousness. I felt light-headed and dizzy, like I was floating...only in fast motion. Suddenly it was cold. I was standing on a wet, slick-looking cobblestone type walkway that led to a gorgeous wooden church. The stained glass in the small windows shone like rainbows and all around was a thick forest of tall evergreens. The earthy tang of pine-scented the air and a pristine blanket of snow swaddled everything it touched. It was breathtaking! I had the overwhelming urge to draw closer. A bitter, ice laced wind whipped around me and I was sure the inside of that church offered warmth. As I took a step forward, something made me hesitate. I don't know for sure what caused me to pause, but in that split moment, when I hesitated everything swirled together and I was once again dizzy and light-headed.
My eyes focused and I was once again on solid ground. Everything around me had changed. Now I was in a sun-kissed meadow with a blanket of vivid green grass and I could hardly believe my eyes! Puppies and Kittens romped all over the place. Facebook videos had nothing on the cuteness overload going on. It was seconds before they swarmed my feet, and I bent down and scooped up a fluffy, wiggly puppy that promptly licked my face. Butterflies danced on the breeze and I very much wanted to just sit on the soft grass and cuddle each and every critter I could see. I started to move towards a fallen tree where I could sit, but again, something, I have no idea what stopped me. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew, deep down something just wasn't right. I set the puppy down and as I did so, everything again swirled out of focus and I felt as if I were falling. Falling into a deep, dark void...Falling so fast it robbed me of my breath and I couldn't even scream.
Suddenly I was in a strange place. It was like a desert but the sand and stone were more red than tan or brown. I was standing on a large pile of unstable rocks. All around were serpents of various sizes and colors. The snakes coiled, and slithered and made a loud hissing sounds. A large python type snake began circling my feet and I began to kick at it and try to untangle my feet from it but no matter what I did, it just kept coiling up my legs. It moved so fast! Despite my efforts to push it off or to move away, it clung tighter to me and when it was around my neck, it looked me right in the eyes.
It had green eyes. I remember that very clearly. I no longer worried about all the other snakes in that horrible pit. This one had me in its grip. Fear coiled in me as tightly as the snake coiled around my body. Then, it started trying to enter my mouth. I kept turning my head and clamped my mouth shut tight. I didn't hear any actual voice, but something within me said to stop fighting. Let the snake take control. Another voice, again, not an audible voice, but something deep within me said NO. Something told me if this snake breached my mouth it would devour my actual soul. The enemy was trying to steal my soul.
I knew, no matter what, I had to fight it. I clamped down as hard as I could. Far off voices told me to stop fighting. Stop biting. My arms were pinned down so i couldn't keep grasping at the snake. I refused to open my mouth. No matter how hard the snake squeezed. It was getting harder to breathe. I was getting light-headed and dizzy again. I was frantic and completely defenseless. My jaws were aching from being clenched so hard.
Suddenly a shadow passed over me. A shadow so huge it blocked out all light. And suddenly there was a noise so completely deafening it seemed to shake the entire universe. Everything shook! Instantly the snake disappeared and just as instantly I was somewhere up high. I know it was high because I could look down and see the very tips of snow-capped mountains and they looked like specks. It was icy cold. The sky glowed with bright colors that swirled like lava against the night sky. Billions of brilliant starts surrounded us. I knew I was not alone. I felt HIS presence all around me. We stood on a mountain far above any place known here on Earth. His massive head, so large I could only see into ONE of his eyes...and that one eye was about as big as my head. No audible voice, but with an inner voice, I instantly knew...he simply said four words.
"YOU BELONG TO ME." No words can describe the powerful possessiveness in which he said these words. They were said with such finality. Such authority. Like a Father who had had enough and was laying down the law. There was no room for argument. No room for anything.
I am a large, obese woman, and his massive paw made me feel tiny and small when it gently curled around me and he pushed me up onto his back. With the large plume of his tail, he covered me. I had been so cold I was shaking but now, a warmth, unlike anything I've ever felt radiated from him and flowed through me. I understand well now what peace that passes all understanding means. I felt it.
I must have fallen asleep. Though I do not know how I could have fallen asleep when I was in the presence of such majestic power. I was cuddled and tucked securely in the protective presence of the Lion of Judah. He had come and he had rescued me from the very grip of death.
The next time I woke, I was in the hospital bed. The nurses and doctors were upset. Seems I was combative during the night. I had had a very high fever and chewed through the ventilator tube helping me breathe. Once I was awake, the doctor told me it would have to come out and a new one put in. I still could not talk, but I shook my head. I was given paper and pen and I wrote down I did not need a tube. The doctor disagreed but said they'd try it.
Once the tube was out I was told not to talk and a c-pap was put on me to force air into my mouth. Yeah, I put up with that for about an hour before I demanded it be taken off. I told them I was hungry. They gave me a can of Ensure. I told them again, I was hungry. They brought me a tiny cup of jello. I asked to use the phone. I was warned I wouldn't be able to talk much. I called and told my husband to bring me food.
An hour later my husband walked in with a burger bag. The nurse glared at him when she saw the burger bag and told him I would not be able to swallow that. My throat would be too swollen and sore. My husband smiled and told her when God heals, he does a complete job. I ate the whole burger and some grapes. Less than 48 hours later I was taken out of ICU and put in a regular room. Two days later I was released and sent home.
That is my true story about the Lion of Judah came to my rescue and saved me from the clutches of death. He healed me and restored my soul. No matter what I face. No matter what trial or pain, or enemy that comes against me, all I need to remember is four simple words.
"I BELONG TO HIM."