“‘Sometimes in the waves of change we find our true direction. There can be no rebirth without the dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believe in and thought you were. Often it’s in the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your higher self.’ – Karen Salmansohn
I began to emerge, like the mythical phoenix, from the ashes of my life, after the tragic death of my husband, Sean, of 20 years. I was reeling in shock from two police officers coming to my door to inform me that my sweetheart didn’t survive one tragic car accident that took his life. My soul had been in anguish. Grief and sadness consumed me.
Events that followed — I had just received a foreclosure notice on my home. Then I received a second notice that the IRS was coming to collect on $26,000 that was tax debt owed from his business. My heart was so heavy and broken. I had done the best I could and started picking up the shattered remnants of my heart and life.
I had begun to put the pain of the past behind me. I was working on dealing with my heartache and anger. I felt so lost, scared, and alone. I was working through forgiveness and had begun the process of removing toxic people from my life.
Walt Disney has a movie ‘Spirit.’ It’s about a wild mustang. It’s captured, broken, then sold to the railroad. As I watched this movie with my children, I softly cried. I was like that mustang. Spirit had everything he ever wanted: wide-open mountains to run in, the love of family, friends, and freedom. Then he was completely broken and forced into an unnatural environment. That was me! I could relate to that horse. ‘God please take it… all of it! I am done. I will accept what I cannot change.’
Two years after Sean’s death, I had a very profound experience. It was pivotal to my rebirth, another ‘holy shift.’ It was like any other day. My body, head, and soul ached from the weight of carrying so many burdens. I was in disarray, hanging on by a thread.
Inside, I wanted to die, and was contemplating suicide. My life lacked love, meaning, and purpose. I was looking for direction and pleading with God for help. I didn’t know where to turn. I felt as if my back was up against a wall. I felt ragged and beaten down.
I was getting migraines frequently from being under so much stress and carrying the weight of some heavy burdens. I knew I needed to take some time for myself but I was barely keeping my head above water. I had four little children depending on me for support. As I was doing laundry, I found $40 dollars in the dryer I didn’t know was there. I stared at the money and began to contemplate what I could buy with it and the items we needed.
It was ‘angel money.’ I was surprised and pleased, I had no idea where it had come from. I didn’t have any to spare for anything that wasn’t a necessity. Some would say this was not ‘angel money’ at all. But I’m quite convinced it was, after what I am about to tell you…
After speaking to my mom, she said it would be a good idea to go for a massage. The stress was making me sick with headaches. I needed to relax, unwind, and take some time for myself. So I took her advice. I made an appointment at Massage Envy. I paid for it with the dryer ‘angel money.’
As I arrived, I was taken to a room and introduced to a woman I had never met before. As I walked in, the room felt different. A strange feeling came over me. I was welcomed into this room and beckoned forward. The woman glowed. She had an angelic face and a Gaelic name that was so beautiful.
She wore a white, puffy blouse with a big pendant necklace that held different stones and crystals. She had on a long skirt that flowed when she walked. An electric current filled the room. I was taken aback at first, but when she smiled, her eyes penetrated mine and it was like she could see into me. I tried turning away, but she just stood there smiling and welcomed me in.
As the session began, this woman asked about the color of my aura — the sadness she saw in me, the broken heaviness inside of me, and the condition of my heart. I was speechless and stunned. She could see all that! I couldn’t mask the pain in front of this stranger. I wanted to run and hide, I looked down with shame. When I looked back up, this time she held my gaze and stared right into me. She could see into me. She just smiled sweetly.
The strangest sensation came over me, a warmness, deep compassion, kindness, and love. A warm glow radiated off of her. She knew me, like really knew me. She told me things she knew about myself. I broke down and began to cry. It was like we had known each other for centuries, a very, very long time… old souls.
Words were not needed, it was a quiet understanding. She communicated with me spirit to spirit, heart to heart. Like an old language I once had known. Something familiar, but since long forgotten. A veil opened before me, my eyes saw, my soul understood. For the first time, I understood with a depth of my being I didn’t know existed between all space and time.
She had a gentle, loving, compassionate, and comforting touch about her. ‘Who is this woman,’ I thought to myself. ‘How does she know me so well?’ I began to share with her the events in my life that had happened and all that was going on. At war with myself, in deep sadness, frustration, anger, unfairness, grief, loss, guilt, betrayal, lies, hurt, shame, leaving a trail of pain and tears. Utter chaos all around me and within me. I was in pitch darkness, no light. I couldn’t see. I felt I was in a very dark hole and all alone. I was scared and lost! ‘God, I feel so alone,‘ I said to her.
As I explained matters of my heart, somehow she already knew. She just nodded her head in agreement. ‘I am here to help you, Tracy.’ Her deep gaze and blue eyes held nothing but love and understanding. She asked, ‘Tracy, can I take you through an exercise that will help you?’
‘Of course,’ I said, ‘I’m in so much pain. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. My heart hurts. I feel so utterly broken. I need help.’
She had me lay on my back and close my eyes. ‘Tracy, in your mind, go to a safe place,’ she said. I imagined myself in my closet because I felt safe there, as I would often lie down on Sean’s clothes. ‘Now, imagine your Savior, Jesus Christ, standing with you in the closet.’ I pictured Jesus in my mind. His sweet, loving face just inches from mine. ‘Jesus loves you and he is with you keeping you safe. Nothing bad will happen to you with your Savior near.’ I instantly felt an extreme peace enter my mind and penetrate my soul.
‘Tracy, look into His eyes. See how much He loves you.’ The hair on my arms stood up and the room felt peaceful, yet energized. As I looked into his eyes I could tell He knew me. I knew He understood everything I had been through. I started sobbing. ‘Tracy, hug Jesus. He wants to comfort you.’ I felt His love penetrating deep into the folds of my heart as we embraced in my imagination.
‘Now Tracy, step back and look at Him again.’ I stepped back and looked; He was glorious. I could see into His being. This felt so surreal. I was out of my body. My body was lying on the table and I was here with Jesus. Love radiated off His being, He was glorious. Full of so much unconditional love.
Next, she said, ‘Tracy, imagine all of the people who have ever done wrong to you. Everyone who has hurt you or who you haven’t forgiven, or those who you are angry at.’ I imagined each person’s face distinctly, reliving the pain each face brought with it. The closet became quite crowded as I summoned everyone who needed to be there.
‘Ok Tracy, now imagine several containers, whatever kind you want.’ So, I imagined Mason jars sitting there. ‘Now take off the lid of each jar and call each person forward, one at a time. Now tell each of them, to their face, what they have done to hurt you. You can say anything you want to. Don’t hold back. As you tell them what they did, imagine their actions and the pain they caused, filling the jar.’
I began to tell each person in that closet what they had done. I yelled, I cried, I cursed, as one person after the next stepped forward. I noticed the jars were filling up with a dark, thick liquid like black tar; pain, anger, rage, all of it came spilling out. I didn’t hold anything back. I unleashed the depths of my anger and sadness on each of them. I knew I was safe there, in the closet with Jesus.
It was surreal. After I told each of them what I needed to, I noticed there were dozens of jars around me. Some of them were filled with very dark liquid, while others were slightly brighter. The color corresponded with the depth of the feelings I associated with that person. ‘Now Tracy, you need to forgive them,’ she urged. So, I took a deep breath and one by one, I told each of them, ‘I forgive you.’
The color of the liquid in each jar began to lighten in stages until it was clear. And then the people left and I was there alone with Jesus. It was so strange, no longer was I in the same room I had walked into. I was transported to another realm.
‘Tracy, I’m so proud of you. It took great courage to do this. Jesus is also very proud of you. He will always be there for you, Tracy. He loves you unconditionally. Your pain and suffering have not gone unnoticed.’ I felt such relief. I looked at all the jars. Wow, I was holding in so much.
‘Now Tracy, I want you to pick up a jar.’ I picked one up and held it in my hands. It looked foreign to me; it looked like a dark poison. I was so glad it was out of me and no longer inside my soul. My chest felt lighter. ‘Now, turn and look at Jesus. I need you to do something. Take the jar and push it into your Savior’s chest.’
‘What? No way,’ I said. ‘I can’t do that. He is so sweet and kind and loving. No!’ I began to sob. ‘Tracy, Jesus loves you. He paid the price for all of us.’ I could see His face, His eyes looked at me lovingly and He nodded his head. He never spoke, but the look in His eyes told me it was ok.
‘I’m so sorry,’ I whispered, ‘I didn’t know that she would want me to do this with the jars. I don’t know if I can. I am sorry. I have been terrible. I have been unforgiving and mad. You are so loving. I can’t give you all of these. I just can’t.’ Again, Jesus smiled and lovingly nodded His head. He assured me that it was ok.
Hesitantly, I stepped forward and thrust the first jar into His chest. Tears rolled freely down my cheeks. As I pushed one jar after another into His chest, I told Him, ‘I am so sorry.’ He looked upon me with infinite love and compassion. Finally, when all the jars were gone, Jesus showed me His hands and feet. He spoke gently, ‘Tracy, I’m so proud of you.’ I was taken aback.
I had not realized how much anger and rage I had been holding in. I was shocked that I had to give it all to Jesus. But He smiled as I had pushed each jar into His chest. This perfect being, my brother, my friend, my Savior. After all the jars were gone, she said, ‘Tracy, He has a gift for you.’ I was sobbing uncontrollably. I said, ‘I don’t deserve anything. I am so sorry, Jesus.’
Jesus spoke to me, ‘I have something special for you Tracy.’ I looked down in His hands and saw an old chest. It was small and intricate. I reached over and gently opened the box. I gasped as I saw what was inside. It was a heart. It was beautiful; it sparkled like ruby and the brilliance of a diamond. The box glowed softly. I had often told God I needed a new heart. And here it was, a beautiful new heart.
Jesus then took the heart out of the box and gently pushed it into my chest. It began beating in sync with my old, battered heart. Then He pulled me into His arms and we embraced. For the first time, I finally felt free. Jesus had opened the cage and released me.
‘Tracy,’ Jesus said, ‘Thank you for giving me the jars. I love you. Your new heart will help you move forward; it will help you help others.’ During this experience, I had briefly forgotten I was on a massage table. I truly felt transported to a different place and time. As I sat up, I said to the woman, ‘I don’t know how I can thank you enough for what you just did for me. It was miraculous.’ She smiled.
What a remarkable experience that was. I thanked her again and hugged her, then I gathered up my things and I left. As I walked out, I forgot to grab my purse, so I walked back into the room where I once was. She was gone. The room felt different, it no longer was glowing, but was back to normal. What? I was so confused about what had just happened. I went room to room looking for her and never found her.
Later, I went back to Massage Envy. It was bugging me, I couldn’t shake this feeling. I wanted to properly thank the woman who had helped me. No one knew who I was talking about. They had no record of a woman by that name. I was insistent, the receptionist at the front desk tried helping me track her down. They had recorded on the computer I had an appointment, but no further record of anyone working that day by that name.
The receptionist assured me she had been there for three years and knew everyone, and the backup assistants. I shared with the receptionist the events that took place. She said, ‘Just a minute,’ and rushed into the manager’s office, rumbled with some papers, then a computer and a filing cabinet. She came back and said, ‘I believe you. But, there is no record of who you saw anywhere. It is so weird, I can’t explain it.’
It was like she vanished into thin air. I never saw her again. My moments with her changed the course of my life. You can draw your conclusions about this experience, but I know that without her intervention, I would be a different person. I was touched by an angel. When I think of this experience, it gives me chills.
Was she a real person? Was she an angel sent from God to save me? For some time, I kept this experience to myself, afraid to share it with others because they might think I have completely lost my mind. As fast as she came in my life and helped heal me, she was gone. Not leaving a trace, just a memory in my mind and a permanent mark upon my heart and soul.
I tried for months to rationalize the events that transpired, but I have no words. It defied logic, reason, and science. I am convinced I saw an angel that day.
After this experience, I opened myself up to new ideas and beliefs. I have sought out energy healers and others with special gifts. None of my experiences have compared to this, the events with supernatural and surreal. I can’t explain the unexplained. Those are matters of the heart. Angels are real, as I learned that day.
Another experience confirmed a second time. My neighbor Gene, in his late 60’s or early 70’s, and his wife, Sandy, came over to visit me. Gene wanted to share an experience he had. ‘Tracy, the night Sean died, I was taking out my garbage. As I walked around the corner, I heard what I thought was a child crying. I then saw you sitting on the porch with Russ. I also saw Sean sitting by you, holding your hand, with his other arm around you. Sean was dressed in white, radiated in light and wonder. I know it may sound crazy, but I know I saw Sean with you that night. I have also had the privilege of seeing other things throughout my life that other people can’t see.’
As he spoke, I knew what he was saying was true and he was a man of great integrity. It brought me great comfort to know Sean had been with me, it also explained the sensations I had felt that night he was called by the angels for home.
I know heavenly angels are real. I have a whole posse of them around me. It has truly shifted my perspective. Angels are spiritual beings always near to those who are grieving, need help, believe, or those who pray for divine guidance. Angels whisper that our loved ones are safe and in the hands of God. I knew in my heart, my prayers were heard and answered. The truth is, angels do walk among us, both seen and unseen. Each encounter with one is unique and amazing. Pain can be a beautiful thing, it can also be a gift with which we can learn a great deal.
‘Often it is our deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.’ – Karen Salmansohn
Encounters with angels leave us an infinite possibility for growth, strength, renewed hope, and transformation. My encounter was completely unexpected. Angels appear to bring important messages. Mine lended much needed assistance to my weary soul, and then disappeared without a trace. It is miraculous, an answered prayer. It brought me comfort, joy, peace, hope, healing, and strengthened my faith in my hour of darkness. I was filled with so much sorrow. We’re not alone! In times of doubt and chaos, they understand. I am touched by angels. I continue walking with them, hand in hand, relying on them. I’m grateful they can hear our hearts.
‘When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. – Isaiah 43:2’
Grief doesn’t have a final point. It gets easier over time but is still there. My hope for you is that you can find happiness and live a life worth living. I can honestly say, every morning I get up happy and grateful for a new day. As our family has begun to heal, we’ve been able to move forward. It is through LOVE we have done this… and being touched by an angel of mercy.
Love does conquer all. Love is the tie that binds. Love lives on.
I know I cannot bring you back, although I wish it every day. A piece of me went with you the day you went away. My body was full of sadness that you were no longer here. Pain is only soothed by the memories I hold so dearly. You are always in my thoughts. I know you are always in my dreams and I still see you, even when I close my eyes. I know you’re up in heaven, looking down upon me. Our time on earth was special, but that’s only the very start.
‘So please keep watching over me while we’re not so far apart. A million times I’ve needed you. A million times I’ve cried, ‘If love alone could have saved you, you would have never died.’ In life, I loved you dearly. In death, I love you still. In my heart, I hold a place that no one else can ever fill. It broke my heart to lose you but you didn’t go alone. Part of me went with you on the day God took you home.’ – Author Unknown”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tracy Peart. You can follow her journey on her blog. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Tracy here:
‘I’ve been saving this money. I heard your husband died. I want you to have it because I still have my dad. Merry Christmas.’ It was a child’s handwriting.’: Widow receives unexpected act of kindness, now wants to pay it forward
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