Beyond the Horizon
I never imagined that Jason wouldn't come home from the hospital. He had colon surgery and had to be taken to the ICU almost a week later when he went into septic shock. Even when he was on a ventilator for two weeks, 5 different blood pressure meds to keep his heart rate up and continuous dialysis - I just knew this was a "blip" in our story. But God had other plans for him and decided our story together on Earth had come to an end. Losing your husband is a devastatingly painful, life-altering experience to say the least. Now, when I start imagining my future without him or when the despair starts to swirl, I've been leaning into the incredible gift that God gave me; a series of signs that have granted my heart peace "that transcends all understanding." You might want to sit down for this one.
He passed away on Tuesday afternoon, June 21st after fighting for over 2 months in the hospital. Before I left him that day, I held his hand and prayed, "God, please give me a sign that he's ok. I just need to know he made it to Heaven and that everything is happening according to your plan." I also asked that the sign was specific to me and our situation somehow. I wanted absolutely NO DOUBT that the sign was a communication about him that was meant for me. The next day when we were making the funeral arrangements, I touched his hand one last time and said the same prayer. After both prayers, I felt that if I were to receive a sign, it wouldn't come until at least three days after his death. I'm not sure why I thought the number 3. Maybe it's because I remembered someone else say they received a sign 3 days after the death of a loved one? Or maybe because of the three-day resurrection of Jesus (not to put Jason on the same level as Jesus). But three days was stuck in my head and not to expect anything until after that point.
Fast forward to Friday afternoon when I was exasperated by computer issues and had very little sleep. The scanner wasn't working, and I was frantically trying to figure out a scanning app on my phone. The funeral was the next day and I had to get some old family photos to the A/V person helping me with a video for the service. About that time, our cat Lucy jumped up on the desk. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the computer screen going nuts. That's when I realized she was sitting on my keyboard, so I shooed her off. Then, I just happened to look at the screen. Google was pulled up and typed into the search bar was this: 1111 angel number. I had never heard of this. I'd never searched for this term before so it couldn't have come up from a previous search. Curiosity got the best of me and so I hit the enter button...what I saw next shook me to my core. After I composed myself, I snapped this picture with my phone to document it. It has not been altered in any way.
After I took the photo, I noticed the time stamp on it: 4:36 PM. Granted, a decent 10 minutes had passed from hitting the enter button and taking this photo. His official time of death was 4:18 pm on Tuesday - exactly 3 days, almost to the minute since he passed. Ladies and gentleman, I don't know how you can get more specific than that. I had been an absolute wreck, but after getting this sign, this surreal peacefulness fell over me because I knew in my heart that he was ok. I told no less than 20 people about this the next day at the service and a gathering at my home. And I've probably told another 20 since then. Every single person got chills and I even get chills when I talk about it. But the story doesn't end quite yet.
The morning of the funeral, my therapist texted me to say she was thinking about me. I was running late and so I couldn't respond right away. My friend insisted on driving me to the service and so during the car ride I finally texted her back. "Thank you! The coolest thing happened and I can't wait to tell you!" Then I kinda forgot about the text exchange. (Don't worry this tidbit is relevant.)
Sunday afternoon I decided to google the angel number and see what else I could find about it. What I read is that this sign happens in threes. Honestly, I didn't care if I saw those numbers again since I had full faith that my prayer had already been answered. A little while later I got a response text from my therapist that said, "Oh, goodie! I can't wait to hear." That's when I see the time stamp on my previous text to her. I kid you not - I sent that message talking about "the coolest thing (meaning the sign)" at 11:11. I started laughing and crying at the same time. I had just received a second sign.
Later that evening while watching tv, I started scrolling through my phone looking at old photos. I went back through our text messages and read the last one I sent to him. My heart skipped a beat ------
When I sent him the text he was in a regular room. At that point, I was mentally exhausted from going to the hospital almost every day. I told him that I needed a "me" day and I was planning to stay at the house to get some painting done. Unfortunately, that night they had to take him back to the ICU and I never had another (coherent) conversation with him. My last text message to him was sent on June 11th at 11:11 am. I didn't realize it until just then. That was the third sign.
My dad is a preacher and I asked him to speak at Jason's service. He discussed how several centuries ago, people thought the world was flat because they couldn't see beyond the horizon. Many see death as the ending of our existance but why should we assume we cease to exist because we can't see beyond the horizon of death? Experiences like this serve to reaffirm my belief in an afterlife. I thought about these words and my experience with the signs as I painted this new piece here, "Beyond the Horizon." You'll see how I subtly incorporated 1111 marks to signify the sign. The circles indicate human souls and the wavy lines symbolize our thoughts and prayers.
The word angel comes from the Greek word aggelos which means messenger. And angels were often depicted in the BIble delivering important messages to people. Do I believe God sent an angel to answer my prayer? Yes I do. Do I care if you think I'm crazy? No I do not. Although I shared this story with my family and friends, I struggled whether or not to share it on a wider platform. Even though some will cast doubt on what happen or question my sanity, I ultimately decided that this story needs to be shared far and wide. God loves us and hears us. This is proof.