During Elane’s near-death experience following a massive brain hemorrhage, she was helped to better understand the eternal growth process when her escort angel asked if she would like to see herself before she was born. Elane had not realized this was possible, but the idea was intriguing:
“Yes,” I exclaimed enthusiastically. “Yes, I would.” A panorama then opened to my right. There in a large space I could see myself as an adult spirit seated together with three other spirit beings, with two angels standing close by.
My angel guide helped me understand that in the scene before me, I was at the point of getting ready to enter earth, and that I had already helped choose the lessons I would like to learn from my stay in mortality. To learn these particular lessons, I had been shown specific circumstances I would encounter, and specific trials I would need to endure. These trials, if I made correct choices, and appropriate responses to them, would provide the soul-growth I desired. And that was how everything in that realm was looked at, in terms of soul or spiritual growth. Not just our own, but everyone else’s as well. I saw that we were all sincerely interested in helping everyone else, and in working harmoniously with each other for spiritual growth. This was true even though such a concept seems quite foreign here.
I saw that the choice of my mortal family had already been made, and that I was quite anxious to join them. I knew that I would be entering mortality as the oldest of a family of several children and I knew that our family would have problems, even severe ones. Yet I had agreed to these conditions willingly for the purpose of the soul growth we would all experience.
As I watched myself, one of the other spirit beings asked if I was sure I could deal with so many trials and difficulties. Apparently he thought I was taking on a pretty heavy load. “Yes,” I told him.
“Are you sure?” he asked again.
“Yes,” I responded firmly.
“This is how it must be for her,” one of the teaching angels then declared, “if she is to accomplish all she wants to do on earth.”
The other of the teaching angels then asked if I had any questions.
“There are none,” I answered with assurance.
This teaching angel then let me know that he and the other one had always been “with” me, or very aware of me, and that they would continue to minister to my needs throughout my life on earth. I would have their protection whenever I needed it, and at times I would even recognize that they were near.
Not long thereafter, Elane was medically revived. She recalls her spirit reentering her body and she regained mortal consciousness with a new perspective on the purpose of trials. “I have, indeed, had many trials in my life. I now have more reason than ever to endure. I know I had an active role in choosing my life experiences.
from the book I Stand All Amazed by Elane Durham, soon to be republished as Amazing Grace