How My Hope Was Born from Despair

–EXCERPT FROM CHAOS TO CLARITY: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change

Featuring Maria Lehtman

Hope may be born from the most adverse circumstances. You can take away privacy and even dignity yet, hope lingers on.

A dark being stands silently next to me during my physiotherapy appointment. As a lucid dreamer, nothing seems strange to me and I wonder aloud, “What is Death doing here?”

My therapist, a compassionate soul who can pick up signals that some might call divine or paranormal, says, “Oh, I think he’s just one of your teachers.”

I address the being in my mind. “Is my number up?”

“No,” he replies. “Your number is not up.” The answer echoes in my thoughts.

“That’s good,” I say. “Thank you.” Relieved, I dismiss Death from my mind.

Later, I will come to regret not sharing this dialogue with my husband. He is a grounded, no-nonsense man, but he trusts my intuition. If Death had said my number was not up, he felt I should have mentioned it.

A month later, things begin to change.

For two weeks, my husband has been suffering from a mild cold, and I finally catch it. My throat hurts and I’m feverish and completely drained of energy. The next day, I feel worse. I visit a doctor, who brushes me off without ordering any blood tests or writing a prescription. Off I go, carrying a three-day sick-leave note. With my problematic IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), I know I’m likely to need much more time, but I feel too exhausted to argue.

Four days later, after coughing day and night, I cough up a bright red smear of blood. I call my husband at work and ask him to take me back to the doctor. He asks if I can hold on for two more hours—but then, after hearing something raspy in my voice, he changes his mind. He summons an ambulance and phones a family member to ride with me to the hospital.

I am certain his decision saved my life.

When my husband gets to the hospital, he finds me in intensive care— in a medically induced coma. My CRP (C-reactive protein) levels, which should be below three milligrams per liter, are over 600. That means my immune system is failing to fight off the invading bacteria.

I have severe blood poisoning and pneumonia.

The doctors won’t give my husband much comfort. They can only say that the next days will show if my IV antibiotics will help. They won’t guarantee that my internal organs will survive blood poisoning.

I am already frail, weighing 101.2 pounds (46 kilograms). Being 20 percent below a normal body weight, it’s is a miracle that I was able to walk to the ambulance. My oxygen intake is 30 percent, and I am covered in masks and tubes. I had been suffocating from the phlegm in my lungs without even realizing it.

For three nights and days, my husband is uncertain if he’ll ever see me awake again. He blames himself for not taking me to the hospital sooner. Finally, a nurse informs him that it looks like I will pull through, but I’ll have to stay in the coma until the worst is over.

I am fully immersed in a near-death experience (NDE).

While my body lies motionless in the hospital bed, my soul is journeying in full battle mode through the despair of the shadow world. I traverse lucid stages of consciousness, from one war zone to another. Sometimes, I am sentenced to death—but then I’m commanded to fight another mission.

I experience missions throughout history, from 1600 BC to 2300 AD, where I’m tortured and held hostage. I bargain for freedom, escape, and infiltrate enemy lines. Then I’m captured again, only to appear magically on another timeline, fighting another mission. My goal is to protect my family, release as little information as possible, and return to my husband in the current timeline.

There is one defining moment, my ultimate NDE test.

* * * * * * * * * *

Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from just one of many Sacred Stories of our time. Powerful voices from around the globe that speak to our shared human experience. May they inspire you and give you great hope. Order your personal copy of CHAOS TO CLARITY: SACRED STORIES OF TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE today and discover hope for the future and a blueprint for your life ⤵︎


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  1. This is an incredibly powerful and emotional story that reaches inside of all of us. It is heartwarming to read how you came out of your NDE physically weakened but emotionally toughened. Where there is hope there is a reason to fight on. We are all pulling for you.