Today, we’re hosting journalist and author Alicia Young, who joins us to share an excerpt of her book Visit from Heaven: A Soul’s Message of Love, Loss and Family. Alicia recounts her transformative out-of-body experience in which she was visited by Bobby, the soul of a little boy. He had a powerful message from the Other Side for his grieving parents. We’re also offering copies as giveaways (see link at the end). Alicia, over to you.
Thanks for this opportunity, Dr. Moody and Lisa. And thank you, too, for reading the book yourselves. I’ve selected a few passages from early chapters. I also welcome questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is not the book I set out to write; it is the one I feel compelled to share.
I don’t say that from a point of ego, but from a place of service. I offer this experience for the comfort I am told it brings others.
You see, I’d initially planned a book on a different topic altogether. Yet even as I began to outline that other title, something else kept gently nudging its way in: an experience I had some years ago. I resisted; it persisted.
I was reluctant to put my name to even a light spiritual book. As a journalist, I had always kept my faith and work separate. I was trained to report a news story in such a way that you as a reader, viewer, or listener could take it on its merits; my personal opinions were deliberately sidelined.
I tied myself in knots trying to preserve my privacy in writing this book, as I was certain it would finish my career in journalism. (It still might.) Write it as fiction, some suggested. Use a pseudonym, others advised. But maintaining anonymity is more difficult to achieve in our digital age. I also considered saying it was “based on a true story.” No, that didn’t feel quite right either. Finally, I decided to own it.
I had been mulling these options when I overheard snippets of a conversation in a park. A woman was venting to a friend, clearly hurting about something or someone in her life. She spat out that she felt cursed, that life “had it in” for her. The other person offered, “Everything happens for a reason.”
It’s a well-worn phrase you’ve heard and likely used. Perhaps it makes you roll your eyes or want to release a primal scream.
Yes, I thought. Things do happen for a reason—but perhaps not in the way the friend had intended. What if a family crisis, a terminal diagnosis, or a sudden job loss is not happening to us in a doomed or vengeful way, but rather happening by our own design? I don’t mean only the painful episodes, but especiallythe painful ones—most often for our own growth, but sometimes for someone else’s spiritual development. Through a choice wemade. Might it comfort the lady if at some point she had considered she wasn’t cursed, but instead was a powerful soul who had designed a life brimming in learning opportunities, including the very one causing her such heartache in that moment? Might that shift her mindset from victim to architect of her own life? Would it make her current circumstances a little easier to navigate? Would she feel a shift to a more proactive mindset if she knew she was holding the reins?
Allow me to share the essence of what I experienced.
My friend Jane and I had grown up together, sharing the adventures of childhood and the giddiness of adolescence. We had drifted in later years as life took us in different directions, when a seemingly chance meeting reignited our bond.
As we caught up on the intervening years, Jane shared that she had lost her third baby before he was born.
As anyone would, I offered all the support I could. At the same time, I knew there was really nothing anyone could say or do to ease her raw grief.
Some months later, her unborn baby, Bobby, visited me.
More specifically, his spirit took me on a brief tour of the Other Side. He had been sending his mother messages of love and comfort, but her grief temporarily blinded her to these signs. He looked around for someone or something to act as a go-between. It could have been anyone.
Her young son showed me his soul-planning session, when he planned his upcoming life with Jane and her husband, Joe. It included significant intellectual and physical challenges.
In the end, this little one decided not to come this time around.
However, her son was determined to convey a message of love to his parents from the Other Side.
That’s the moment the experience began. . . .
Earlier Spiritual Experiences
I’d like to share a few events that gave me a framework by which to both welcome and better understand Bobby’s Visit.
Let me say, I have no psychic ability whatsoever. I cannot foresee anything for myself or others. Nor have I studied theology. Given my lack of psychic gifts or training, the experiences I’m about to share seem even more startling. If they can happen to me, clearly they can happen to anyone. . . .
Age Seven: A Premonition of My Death
I was in second grade, and it was my turn to read in front of the class. I adored my teacher, Miss T. I mispronounced “mayor,” and she gently corrected me: “No, darling. This is how you say it.” Far from feeling admonished, I felt a burst of love for Miss T.—to my child’s mind, she wanted me to be the best reader ever.
Then, everything stopped. In front of me, I saw a woman with dark brown, shoulder-length hair. Her back was turned, yet I knew she was me as a grown-up. Next, I heard a loud crack to my left and saw this woman shot to the back of her head. I took this in passively, as if it were a movie. Then, a calm voice said softly,
It will be violent,
but it will be short,
and then I’ll take you Home.
I was not scared by what I saw, nor alarmed at what I heard; I trusted this voice completely. To me, it was a loving, protective angel. Today, I consider this shooting a potential exit point: a possible moment at which my death could occur, planned by me before I was born.
I did not think about this experience for many years afterward. It returned to me in my twenties (while listening to a band in a bar, no less) and registered an immediate and lasting impact. A long-buried truth had been remembered: death was not something to be feared. Nor would I be alone when the time came. I recalled the voice that was so still and spoke with such loving authority when it assured me I would be escorted back. I did not question it; I trusted it as a child would trust her mother or father. Remembering it as an adult brought the same reassurance. . . .
We were based in Houston and had just moved. In fact, it was possibly the shortest relocation on record. After a mix-up with our lease renewal, our apartment was inadvertently rented to others. The couple could not be persuaded to move next door—even with an identical floor plan! In the end, we moved thirty feet down the hall. Really.
Surrounded by boxes, I welcomed the chance to take a break from unpacking. I curled up on the sofa and began reading. It was mid-afternoon, and the sun shone meekly through the window.
Suddenly, I found myself on a beach.
I cannot tell you how I got there. I was simply transported. It happened as easily as glancing out a window of a train and noticing that my view had changed.
The shore was to my left, the sky aglow with a beautiful sunset of pinks and oranges. To my right were sand dunes, majestic and a soft, creamy white. I looked down to see I was wearing a white tunic. I saw the grainy sand beneath me, but I’m not sure I felt it between my toes.
I took in this beautiful scene for a moment, then realized, “I need a hat!” [My skin is sprinkled with hyperpigmentation, known as chloasma, so I must avoid the sun.] Just as this thought crossed my mind, I felt a gentle tug on my tunic. I looked down to see a little boy of four or five years old, smiling so beautifully, so lovingly. With a quiet knowing, I realized he was the son of my close friend Jane, the baby she had recently lost in pregnancy. In some way, this made complete sense, yet we had never met.
As if to read my mind, he said, “We don’t have chloasma here.”
I laughed and replied, “That’s a big word for a little boy.”
“What age would you prefer I be? What age would you be more comfortable with?” He reminded me of his older brother, but he more strongly resembled his father, Joe, with a slightly longer and thinner face.
As he made this offer, he changed, morphing right before me. He grew from a little boy to a slightly older child and then to a preteen. He became a lanky teenager and filled out, as young men do. He was now taller than his dad and eventually became a wizened old man with salt in his beard. I didn’t speak, but somehow he knew I wanted the little boy to return.
He became so, seemingly by thinking it. He nodded toward the sand dunes to our right, which became a movie screen onto which images were projected.
He was about to share something wondrous.
There was no buildup to my arrival on the Other Side—no tunnel and no light. Nor was it a near-death experience. I was simply and suddenly there. I felt enveloped in tranquility. I wasn’t concerned with any element of my day back on earth; whether I’d unpacked something important or filed it away for safe keeping.
It was a simple, natural scene at the beach. I believe Bobby appeared to me as a little boy in order to feel welcoming and nonthreatening. It reminds me that all major faiths feature angels as their messengers and the first message is, “Fear not!” They seek to reassure, to comfort.
Why a beach? I don’t know, except that it seemed familiar and soothing. In that way, it served for me as, say, meadows do for other people’s spiritual experiences. Had it been a different setting, I might have felt confused or disoriented.
I do not recall a direct light source such as the sun. We were surrounded by a lovely white light. The sunset colors were the only change to that. I wonder now if the colors were for my benefit because there was no sun to “set.” On earth, a sunset signals the end of a day, yet time was not a factor here.
I’m not sure how I knew the little boy was Jane’s son, only that in that moment, it made complete sense. When he offered to change age, it was a kindness. He knew that I preferred to see him as a small boy, though I did not speak those words out loud. Our communication was by thought.
I believe your loved ones will do the same for you. Perhaps you have lost a child, and you worry that you won’t be able to recognize your baby or toddler when you arrive on the Other Side. Your soul and theirs will communicate, joyfully, and they will know how best to present themselves to you.
© 2019 Alicia Young
Alicia is WINNER OF 20+ BOOK AWARDS! See aliciayoung.net for the list!
Alicia Young is an Australian broadcast journalist with more than twenty years’ experience as a medical reporter, foreign correspondent and news anchor. Alicia was once told off by Mother Teresa for not having children (she forgot) and has volunteered at a hospice and leprosy hospital in India. Outside work, Alicia handles parasols and power tools with equal ease (not really, but she helpfully holds the flashlight when needed).
Some of her book titles are:
Visit from Heaven: A Soul’s Message of Love, Loss & Family (NEW!)
The Mother Teresa Effect: What I Learned Volunteering for a Saint
Two Eggs, Two Kids: An Egg Donor’s Account of Friendship, Infertility & Secrets
The Savvy Bride’s Guide: Simple Ways to a Stylish & Graceful Wedding
The Savvy Bride’s Guide: Your Wedding Checklist
The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Grace: Small Touches with Big Impact – At Home, Work & In Love