Partner in law firm, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLC, a group of attorneys that has 19 offices around the country
J.D. and B.A. Mercer University
Married to Madeline, 1 son, Will (12)
Flatlined Patient Raised From the Dead
SURGERY GONE WRONG
Jeff and his wife, Madeline, are successful lawyers. Jeff had been with a large, successful law firm for seven years where he represented some very wealthy companies. He had been a Christian since he was 17. Although Jeff loved the Lord, he let his lucrative and successful career consume him and as a result, God was second and sometimes a distant third in Jeff's priorities. He wasn't doing “bad things” but doing “other things” that diverted his attention away from God and slowly other things took priority. The pace and the stress of his job eventually took a toll on his body. He began having severe stomach pains. Eventually, he discovered he had diverticulitis. He tried months of natural treatments but they didn't work.
Jeff's condition became so serious in late 2006, that it required surgery in December 2007, removing 18 inches of his colon. The surgery appeared to be successful, however Jeff bled internally for more than 24 hours before it was noticed. By the time doctors found it, his stomach was so full of blood that he looked pregnant. He awoke to a surgeon pulling a sheet off of his stomach. Jeff knew something was wrong and he looked up and saw the concern in the surgeon's face. Without warning, his arms and legs went numb and he knew that he was dying. He was going into hypovolemic shock causing cardiac arrest. Jeff realized he only had a few seconds of consciousness left. He grabbed Madeline's hand wanting to tell her how much he loved her and that he was getting ready to leave her. Right after he took her hand, Jeff was gone.
JEFF'S OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE
Suddenly, Jeff says he felt like his life had come to his center torso. He left his body and rose towards the ceiling. He saw the urgency that was going on down below him. As he looked down at his body, a beautiful light slowly filled the room. The light spread as his thinking and senses became clearer than they'd ever been before.
Suddenly, Jeff could see everything in that room as if it was crystal clear, there was no more peripheral vision; he had 360° vision. Jeff says Madeline was wearing a blue-gray sweater and it almost glowed. The whites were incredibly white. The colors were so vibrant and everything was crystal clear. Jeff started hearing sounds in and around that floor that he had not been able to hear before. He could hear people talking and walking. There was air coming out of an air vent that he could suddenly hear. He was observing all of this while the incredible light slowly continued filling the room. As the light filled the room, God revealed Himself to Jeff, poured Himself into Jeff’s soul and penetrated it. Jeff says it was absolutely overwhelming. He had an overpowering sense of God’s presence, love, peace, joy, and acceptance...like nothing he had ever experienced on this earth. While God filled Jeff’s soul, several thoughts came to him. One of them was that God truly knew the number of hairs on his head. Another was that God knew him more than he knew himself. Jeff was excited to see God, but what was more incredible to Jeff was that God was excited to see him! Jeff remembers thinking about the parable of the prodigal son who had gone out and strayed and when the son came back his father was coming out to love him and welcome him back. Also, Jeff recalls all of his burdens flashed before him and God lifted them off of him. Jeff breathed a deep sigh of relief and was thinking he had nothing to worry about. No more fear, worry, sorrow, nothing to be concerned about. In the air looking down on his body, the surgeon, his wife and seeing everything going on, Jeff thought he should be concerned about this. However, Jeff says he did not have the ability to worry. He felt no pain or fear, just an overwhelming sense of God's love and presence. Below in the room, he watched the activity become frantic and the doctor yelled, “We’re losing him!” They were working on him, trying to revive him and stop the hemorrhaging. But, as he watched, the presence of God penetrated his soul and consumed Jeff. He could feel Him. It was the sweetest, most peaceful, and blissful moment he ever experienced. The light of God’s presence grew brighter and more intense and Jeff basked in it. God was excited to see Jeff and Jeff was excited to see God. It was incredibly personal. He told God that he was ready to go with Him, but also thought about what was going to happen to his wife and son. After a moment's silence, God told Jeff that he was going back. Jeff immediately jolted back into his body. He remembers opening his eyes and the surgeon telling the surgical team to get Jeff back into surgery. Everything became dark. Jeff regained consciousness in ICU with a new understanding of God's love and presence in his life. He looked over and saw his wife, he said, “You won’t believe what happened to me!” It completely changed his relationship with the Lord. Instead of waking up every day with a knot in his stomach from the worry and stress of his job, and life in general, now he wakes up “joyful . . . I realize what is truly important today. I have more confidence than ever before. I think of enjoying the day that God made rather than worrying about tomorrow.”
LIFE AFTER DEATH
After the incident, it was a long recovery process but Jeff had God’s love, peace, and joy that he discovered when he had died. Jeff completely rethought his life. He realized he let his career over take and control him. When he was released from the hospital, he thought he’d be a street preacher. For months he struggled over whether or not to go into ministry full-time. He finally saw that he had a unique opportunity to share God’s love in the business world with people who may not have a chance to hear about it otherwise.
Today, five years after his surgery, Jeff’s approach to life has changed. Jeff still feels God’s presence every day. Nothing can describe or compare to being in the presence of God. Before he died he knew God loved him, now he knows. The first thing he does in the morning now is thank God and ask Him to help him do what He wants him to that day. Jeff asks constantly throughout his day, “What is God showing me today?” He says he is a weak vessel who makes mistakes and doesn’t get it right every day. Despite this, his focus is different. Jeff sees how God loves him and those around him. Jeff and Madeline had a strong marriage before his death and the event has drawn them even closer to God. He is closer to his family. Jeff teaches his son, Will, God’s love. One of the hardest things Jeff says has been controlling his emotions after what he went through…he is not the same.
Jeff is still practicing law with the same firm. As a part of his legal practice, he does weekly public speaking. He has the special opportunity to weave God's love in his talks. Jeff also prays with his clients. Outside of the law firm he speaks at churches and anywhere else he is asked to share. He has spoken in churches and inspires people about the reality of God’s love and shares what happens when He comes for us and our time on earth is done. Jeff says the day you die (if you know Jesus) is the sweetest day and God’s love is readily there. He is also asked to share in hospitals and homes with those that are sick or near death and encourage them. Jeff says he has to guard against his own humanity and he is humbled that God would use him.
FOUR LESSONS LEARNED
Jeff says he has learned four main things from his death and life experience:
1.) God’s incredible unconditional love for us;
2.) He needs to spend the rest of his life showing that he loves Him;
3.) There is no sting in death for Christians. There is no fear in going through it. Jeff had no pain and
absolutely no fear. He had incredible curiosity and he had incredible peace, joy, and love and comfort;
4.) He’s got to witness to others.
Jeff says he will share these things for the rest of his life. If Jeff could only share one thing, he would like to share that God loves you personally and He loves you more than you could ever imagine.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.