Hi, my name is Josh. I am not sure who to talk to about what happened to me but I feel the need to share this. I, as far as I know, did not have a near-death experience, but something similar.
I had never even heard of near-death experiences until my experience, which caused me to search everywhere to see if what happened to me is normal.
First, I will tell you a little about my past. I had a fun and loving childhood. In middle school I "got saved." During middle school I started going through some type of depression. Years later, I decided that it probably was hormonal youth changes or something. The depression lingered around, even while having a good life. It became disturbing that I could never pinpoint why I struggled with depression. I always tried to be nice to everyone and most people were nice to me. In high school I went through some real lows through my parents’ divorce, and I didn't have a clue who I was or what my purpose was in life. I prayed and fought with God, trying to understand life.
One night I felt as though I wasn't able to live anymore. I went and found a pistol that my mom kept in the house. We had just gone to the shooting range a couple weeks before, just to make sure it still worked in case of ever having an intruder come in the house. I took the pistol behind the house and got on my knees, praying to God that I'm sorry that I had to do it but I just couldn't stay here any longer. I was sobbing but I put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger. It just clicked. I pulled it over and over and it just kept clicking. I threw it down and screamed that I couldn't even kill myself. I told my mom what had happened and she took me to get depression medicine. She had the gun checked and apparently the firing pin had broken, which was not a common thing. The medicine made me feel like a zombie and I tried several more with no luck. So, I quit trying after a year and tried to go on with life.
Got married in 2006 to my high school girlfriend, whom I'm still married to. In and out of depression, we had our first child in 2008. After we were pregnant, I had many new questions arise, like how am I going to raise my boy when I don't even know how to live. I decided to actually read the Bible myself this time instead of just mainly listening to preachers. It was shocking. I took the Bible very literally and the Old Testament painted a very different picture of God than I had thought. I had always questioned how a loving God could send anyone to hell, but that was my only problem. Now I had more. I decided to get a concordance to look into the Hebrew and Greek words of the Bible, which instantly caused me to start questioning the hell that I was taught. My struggle started then with God and why all the confusion in this world if he loves us. That pushed my depression deeper and deeper.
In 2017, I decided to give up on God. He never really answered me anyway. Is he even there? If he is, is he someone I would actually want to love anyway with the way things appeared to be going on earth with his creation. Accept Jesus or go to hell? What about all those born in different parts of the world with very different religious beliefs? Is it their fault they were born into another religion?
I started doing things that I wanted to do, without all the guilt. I decided to quit playing the world's game and choose my own path. No regrets and no worries about what others thought. Giving up on God was fairly easy, but I couldn't help but care about what others thought, which still led me to some degree of guilt.
I decided that the only way to quit playing the game was to take myself out of it. I felt like if there was a hell, it couldn't possibly feel worse than what I felt in this world. So, I talked to my wife, who stayed with me through all of my chaotic mind mess and depression. We had three children by this time. I told her I couldn't do it anymore. She knew that I felt suicidal already. I was always open with her. She said she wanted me to be happy no matter what that means, even though she would be horribly sad without me. She asked if I would wait one year. Try medicine and therapy the whole time to give it one more really good try. I agreed.
I found a therapist that I liked and finally found some depression medicine that was bearable. I was still depressed though. Almost every time I left the therapist’s office, I felt better though. That better lasted an hour or two most of the time and then back to reality which was the depression. I was happy knowing this was it, my last year. As the months got closer, I could feel the relief coming. Almost excitement about my planned suicide in the January to come.
One evening in November I got home from playing basketball with some friends. We played every Tuesday. I didn't get home until about 9:15 pm that night and my wife and kids were already in bed. I took a shower, put on pjs, and made a bowl of cereal to eat while I watched some TV. A few minutes of TV and a few bites of cereal in, I found myself in complete darkness. I was just in my recliner eating cereal and now it felt as though I was standing up in a completely dark room, all alone.
I was confused but not scared. Then I heard a voice that said, "Look." I somehow knew it was God and didn't even question it, like it was just completely known to me. Then a sound started up like an old TV roll movie film machine. It was clicking, then a light was in the right side of my vision. Then the movie started and the voice said, "This is your life." It was from my earliest childhood until the present. It felt as though I experienced all my life in one moment. Then it was dark again. Then the voice said, "This is your life and how you see it." The projector started back up and started rolling again, only this time there was like an EKG graph above it. You know, with the horizontal line down the center and how it spikes like mountains above the line. But it could also spike like mountains below the line, too. Every moment of my life, the lines would go above the median line if I felt it was something good I did or below the line if it felt like I had done something wrong or bad. It went all the way through my life again, with many peaks and valleys on the chart. Then it went black again. Then the voice said, "Now, this is how I see your life." The film started up again with the same graph above it. This time the line never moved. It stayed flat in the center, never peaking or valleying through my whole life. About half-way through my life review this time, I started crying horribly.
I fell to my knees in the dark, sobbing. I had never felt love like that before. True love. No judgements whatsoever. True unconditional love. In that state, my love was reciprocating back to God as he was giving it. I had no choice. As his love poured into me, it went straight back to him in perfect loving harmony. This was God. The true God. No lies. No BS. True perfection.
Then it came to my awareness, like information was pouring into me: I knew instantly that I actually could kill myself and it would be perfectly okay. But I answered that statement with a resounding, “NO! I can't leave now!” With this information or "good news," I had to stay; I wanted to stay. Not for me, but for anyone else. I knew then that I had to stay to show grace and love. Even if it was only to one person, it was worth it to stay. If I could only hold the door open for one person, or carry groceries for one person, or help out anyone in any way, I had to stay. God could take me at his choosing, but I was choosing to wait for his timing for my bodily death. And while I am here, I am here for them. By them, I mean anyone and everyone. Even if it’s just for kind conversation to the lonely. Anything at all. I knew I was changed forever.
I came back into life right after. I was instantly back in the recliner, TV on, bowl of cereal in my lap, with a wet shirt where tears had been dripping from my face. I was in shock from what had just happened. I knew that what happened was even more real than anything. There was not one bit of doubt about what had happened and there hasn't been any doubt since.
That was in November 2019 and it is now October 2021. My life hasn't been and will not ever be the same. I didn't say anything, not even to my wife for a little while. I didn't want to get her hopes up. The next morning, I got up and started cutting my depression medicine in half to start coming off of it. I was off completely within a month. I did this because the doctors warned me about coming off abruptly. I didn't tell my wife that I came off. I also didn't schedule any more therapy.
Something else accompanied my experience and still does to this day. Every day or two for about six months after the initial experience, I would receive knowledge or information that would blow my mind. At first, I didn't know what was going on, or if it was true. Then I started researching some of the things that were being given to me. I looked into all religions. I had never studied any other religion before because I was told that I would possibly be deceived by the devil and lose faith in Jesus. I looked into history, especially first civilization history and epics and myths. I looked into astronomy/astrology, science, math, quantum everything, philosophers, scientists, so many things. As I would receive information I would search for confirmation and I always found it. It was like I learned more in one year than my entire lifetime.
The truth that I know now is that God is Everything and Nothingness. We are a part of God and we are perfect. This whole world is still evolving and so are we as people, constantly expanding and growing and understanding. Everything is as it should be and it couldn't be anything other. It only feels other than that when we start making claims to things. Judging things. Possessing things. We are here to be alive. To be living. We get to witness ourselves and all of God's glory, which is everything. The persons that we believe we are are only fiction. We made them up in our minds. lol. We actually made up everything and now believe in it. We made up right and wrong, good and bad, up and down and all the objects we've named and given them meaning and created their usefulness. But that is our creation. Not God's. God's is just for us to be. That is it. He takes care of everything else.
And he is perfect for us, knows exactly what we want, need, desire, fear, love. He knows it more intimately than a mother knows her child. Because He is not only our Father, mother, brother, friend, counselor, teacher, etc. He is Us and We are Him. I found out that we are One, thinking we are separate. So how you treat someone is actually how you are treating yourself. And how you treat yourself is how you are treating others. Literally.
I found out that once you know God, your trust in him becomes one hundred percent. Naturally. Not trying. When you know how much he loves, you would not put trust anywhere else. So even if you "think" something is bad or good, just know that doesn't matter. It's always for you to grow, learn, and eventually find yourself / God. I know this may sound weird, and I could go on and on forever, but it just feels good to put some of this in writing. If anyone is reading this, thank you so much for your time. Bless you.