The story of Jim Woodford’s face-to-face confrontation with God in April 2014 has been told numerous times over the past six years. Woodford, who wanted nothing to do with God, encountered Jesus in a miraculous way while on life support in the hospital. He said he experienced heaven and it forever changed his life.
Woodford was a very driven man that wanted to provide a life of luxury for his family. The retired Canadian pilot would stop at nothing in his pursuits for material pleasures. Not even a crazy, legend such as God.
“I thought that that was my way of showing her how much I loved her and cared for our family, was by providing everything that I could,” he said.
Unfortunately, the chase for luxury would end up consuming him. He only cared for money and how it made him feel important. He slowly pulled away from his family.
Eventually, Jim was diagnosed with Guillian-Barre syndrome, a rare and incurable disease that caused chronic pain. Jim describes it as “unremitting, electrical current pain in every part of my body, accompanied by paralyzing inability to move.”
Over the span of five years, Jim would rely heavily on prescription drugs to manage the pain. The disease and endless pursuit of money changed Jim.
“He was just getting to be a very angry person. The pain was just consuming him,” his wife Lorraine said.
In April 2014, Lorraine uttered a desperate prayer for her husband. As Christian, she longed for her husband to embrace the truth. She never imagined the outcome of that prayer.
“I said, ‘God, I’ve been praying, but I haven’t seen any change. Maybe you just have to break him to remake him.’ But be careful what you pray for.”
A few weeks later, Jim would overdose on his prescription drugs. As he sat in his truck, he felt a burning sensation in his legs. This was only the beginning of his journey.
“Suddenly I realized I couldn’t breathe. And it was as though the cab of the truck was filling with water. As I’m about to draw my last breath, from somewhere inside me that I didn’t even know existed… I cried out ‘God! Forgive me! Forgive me!’”
Lorraine found Jim in his truck, unresponsive. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital. The doctors had to put him on life support. At the hospital, the lead doctor approached Lorraine and told her the devastating news.
“Your husband is severely brain-damaged. There’s no brain activity there. We have him on full life support because his organs have all shut down.” the doctor said. “There is no way to bring him back”
Jim was clinically dead.
As Jim’s family and friends mourned in the waiting room, Jim experienced a completely different reality.
“I look to the right and there’s this incredible vista of beautiful flowers and meadows. And [looked] to the left and that beautiful green grass went from green to brown to scorched to black and dropped off in a crevasse. I saw the most hideous creature you could ever imagine. The look of hatred in its eyes, for me and all mankind. I cried out, ‘God, help me. Help me!’”
Three angels came and took Jim to heaven where he experienced an incredible encounter with the Son of God.
“I realized I was looking at none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I saw such intense love and forgiveness for me, for me who deserved nothing. And that was the moment… I was His forever. Whatever was about to become of me, I was His.”
After another brief conversation with Jesus, Jim woke up screaming. The nurses called for his wife and he shared the amazing news.
Lorraine explained, “The more I could talk to him and know that he was sane, I knew God had restored him. He was focused on Jesus. And he became much gentler.” God had answered Lorraine’s prayer to “break Jim to remake him.”