In 2002, I had a Near-Death Experience (NDE) that included an encounter with an angel. I was 40 years old at the time. I don’t fear death, because I’m a Christian and have a personal relationship with God. I was already a spiritual person before the NDE, but my faith became even stronger afterward. For me, the most upsetting part of the experience was that I was geographically separated from my family – not the fact that I was dying.
My NDE occurred due to traumatic injuries I sustained from a plane crash, in North Pole, Alaska. I was taking ultralight flying lessons, and was close to completing the requirements for my recreational pilot’s license. I was flying a single-seat ultralight, about to complete my second solo flight, when the aircraft stalled and I lost control of it. I attempted an emergency landing, but didn’t quite make it to the ground, before I veered into a building. I smashed into an airplane hangar at about 25 miles an hour, bounced down the side of the structure, and twisted my plane into a ball.
I remember landing in a heap on the ground, trapped in the aircraft by my seat belt. My eyes were swollen shut, my face stung, and my legs weren’t working properly. There was a strong smell of fuel, and I could hear the sound of gurgling, which I guessed was coming from the full tank. I managed to extricate myself from the wreckage, and immediately attempted to crawl away from it, fearing that the engine might explode.
I started screaming for help, and within 20 minutes, my flight instructor and several people from the neighborhood were able to locate me at the crash site. I remember hearing several concerned voices, but I couldn’t see anything. I wondered if I had damaged my visual cortex, and was terrified that I might never see again. I vaguely recall being carried into an ambulance, and then everything went dark.
I woke up in the hospital several hours later, very groggy and disoriented. I overheard someone say, “She’s in critical condition. We don’t expect her to survive. We need to locate her family members as soon as possible.”
On the day of the incident, my husband and pre-teen children were thousands of miles away, in Michigan, attending a relative’s wedding. My biggest fear was that I might pass away without having a chance to say goodbye to them. I remember feeling so exhausted, both physically and mentally, that I was ready to give up. I made the decision that I would allow myself to die in my sleep.
Just as I was closing my eyes for the last time, a beautiful male angel appeared in the chair that sat opposite my hospital bed. He called me by name, as if he knew me. He asked if I recognized him, and gestured to his clothing. Somehow, I could see him clearly, even though my eyes were still swollen shut. I wondered if I was dead.
The angel wore a white robe that glowed all around its edges. His white wings were folded neatly behind his back. His hair was long, blonde, and held back with a leather cord. He wore some kind of body armor over the robe. I saw a silver sword and a gold shield sitting on the floor, leaning up against the chair. He asked me to guess his name, and to pay close attention to the way he was dressed. He looked somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t recall his name.
With a grin and a twinkle in his eye, he introduced himself as Michael. I soon learned that he was the famous Archangel Michael – the protector and leader of God’s army, against the forces of darkness! He explained that he had been sent to guard me and keep me company; that my family had been located, and they were on their way to the hospital. He promised to stay with me until they arrived. Michael and I had a long conversation, during which he used his soothing voice to comfort and reassure me. He informed me that it was not my time to leave yet, that I would survive the accident, and that my mission on Earth was not complete.
Friends, family members, and medical professionals who have heard my NDE story have listened politely, and then responded with “Oh, it was probably the pain medication they gave you, when they put you into an induced coma; you hallucinated the whole thing . . . it was just your brain’s way of processing what was happening,” etc.
I admit that their hallucination theory is reasonable; it is very possible that the drugs forced my brain into an altered state of consciousness, and I that I invented the entire angel encounter. However, I cannot deny that I had a spiritual awakening, as a result of this ‘hallucination.’ Regardless of what others may say, I believe that Michael’s visit was the most significant reason I am alive today. He provided guidance and compassion in my hour of need, and I am convinced that he was sent by God to protect me.