By Mark Ellis
She has been a Christian since she was 19, raised in a conservative church that came out of the Anabaptist movement. In her early 60s, she had such a powerful vision of heaven she could barely speak of it, a vision closely matching other contemporary accounts popularized in recent years.
“In all humility, I felt like I was not worthy to speak about what I saw,” says Carol Meyer. She and her husband Vern live on a “gentleman’s horse farm” in Michigan, consisting of a few acres, their modest home, a horse barn, and one tree standing alone in their pasture.
Carol was vice-president of a small bank in Indiana before they retired to their farm in Michigan.
Fourteen years ago, while she slept in the middle of the night, Carol says she was transported to the “edge” of heaven. She had been suffering with a life-threatening gastrointestinal disease that led to a hospitalization immediately before her experience.
Fire, lightning, thunder and water swirled around her as she landed on the floor of Paradise with a “whoosh.” “It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time,” she recounts. “I instantly knew I was in heaven.
“As I was standing there, this incredible peace overtook me. There were no more earthly emotional holes in my spirit. I was completely whole. It was an incredible feeling. This state of being is no doubt part of the scripture that there will be no tears or sorrow in Heaven. It was a very profound experience.”
Carol looked to her right and saw a large angel soldier, dressed in a brownish gown, with no visible wings. His face was set like flint – similar to earthly soldiers guarding important landmarks.
Just beyond him, were three-foot diameter metal tubes sloping down into a cavernous area. Then she delighted as she glimpsed one of her favorite creatures on earth — butterflies.
Oh God, you have all these butterflies up here. This is so awesome! she thought. These butterflies were large and blue, unlike any variety she had seen in North America.
When Carol looked up, she beheld magnificent colors in the sky unlike anything she had ever seen. “It was much more than a beautiful sunset. There were more colors than you’ve ever seen.”
She saw flowers in abundance and heard the sound of either rushing water or a swirling wind. She looked down at her feet and was surprised.
“I was standing on a crystal floor, like gold at its purest point. It was moving in a slight wave.” There were pathways leading in different directions. She was amazed by all the activity she witnessed.
To her left she saw the beginning of a sparkling blue river flowing gently along. “I called it a Rushing River, but the sound was coming from God.”
Then she saw the Lord, who walked out from a ledge covered with grape vines. “He was so beautiful. He had on a soft white linen gown, with a shine to it.” His eyes looked deeply into her soul and she knew instantly He was and is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Just as suddenly as Carol was transported to heaven – whether in the body or not, she doesn’t know – she awakened in her bed. “I woke up in my bed, curled up in the fetal position,” she recounts. “I couldn’t believe what happened to me.”
It took her several days to tell her husband and another six months before she could share her story with other relatives.
The following spring, she visited the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Every spring, the gardens play host to a massive butterfly show, featuring thousands of varieties of exotic specimens. She almost fell over when she glimpsed the same blue butterflies she had seen on her heavenly visit, a tropical species native to South America.
Many years after her vision, she read “Heaven is for Real,” the story of four-year-old Colton Burpo’s trip to heaven after his own near-death experience. She was fascinated by his reference to a painting of Jesus by Akiane, the young art prodigy who also had a vision of Jesus.
A friend told her a copy of the painting was at their local Christian bookstore, so she raced there to see it for herself. She almost burst into tears when she viewed it. “The feeling was so powerful. I grabbed it and held it to me.” The painting was so close to the One she saw in her vision, it was uncanny.
Years later, she almost begins to shake when she recalls what she experienced in heaven. “It got me so much I almost couldn’t handle remembering it. That was the effect it had on me. It was like it was so holy it couldn’t come out of my mouth.”
Related: For Akiane, Jesus is for Real