After Tricia Barker suffered severe injuries in a horrific car accident, she had a near-death experience that taught her the true meaning of love. Here, she shares the details of what God showed her while she was in Heaven and how she knows she can now trust in His purpose for her life:
In April of 1994, only weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Texas and go on to law school, Tricia had been driving to a 10K race when she hit another car head-on, resulting in a broken spine and severe internal injuries. That day, when Tricia died, God changed everything.
“I could see the doctors and the angels and feel myself all at once—it was like a door opened to a heightened reality that was on top of our reality.” Tricia also felt wrapped in a deep sense of peace. “I knew in my heart it was God,” she says. “I was agnostic and I remember thinking, I’ve been so wrong, God is very real!”
“God told me I didn’t have to fear anymore and He wanted me to remind others they are loved.” Suddenly, Tricia knew the lights were her future students and she was going to become a teacher instead of an attorney. “I knew I had to go back, but I wanted to stay in Heaven,” she admits. “But God gently told me no, and I woke up in the hospital... I wanted to shout from the rooftops that Heaven is real!”
After spending months in a full-body cast and almost a year learning to walk again, Tricia finally graduated from college and went on to become an English and writing teacher. Today at age 45, Tricia has 20 years of teaching under her belt and is now a professor at Tarrant County College located along the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas. “My first day, I was assigned to a classroom overlooking the river and I cried with joy,” she says. “It was the exact winding river God had shown me. I knew without a doubt that I was absolutely meant to be here.”
Now Tricia finds joy in her deep relationship with God and helping her students. “There’s no need for us to fear because God’s love is real and Heaven is real,” she says. “In God, I found the deep love I’d always searched for. And love is our purpose!”