Today is Love Your Body Monday, the last Monday of the month. This weekend ushers in February so I want to share with you a post about heart health since February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month.
You may be unaware that heart disease, not cancer, is the leading cause of death for women. Many of you know that I am a three-time breast cancer survivor, and I’m happy to say that I do have a very healthy heart, which I attribute to healthy eating and exercise. But my dear friend Grace Marestaing, who mentored me through breast cancer and to whom I dedicate my book Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer: A Companion Guide to Women on the Breast Cancer Journey, died in her sleep from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) after surviving a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Grace had no idea she had CHF.
Pamela Christian was only in her 40’s when she miraculously survived sudden cardiac arrest and now devotes her life to increasing awareness to save physical and spiritual lives.
Pamela was working in ministry for over ten years when she literally died before defibrillation revived her. When she speaks about heart disease, Pamela asks her audiences, “What do faith and life insurance have in common?” Then she explains, “Both need to be fully in place before there’s a crisis.” From her own experience, she works to help people grasp the fragility of human life and the reality of life hereafter.
Pamela answers some questions about her near-death experience:
Pamela, you’ve been in ministry for over 20 years, but something happened in your life that greatly intensified your ministry work, tell us about that.
Yes, that “something” was a sudden cardiac arrest. I got up like any other morning, only that day I had the chance to play tennis with three women I’d not played with before. I thought the symptoms were simply a bad case of nerves. However, over the course of about twenty minutes, as my symptoms worsened, it became apparent it was much more than nerves.
You actually died. If it weren’t for the quick response to the 9-1-1- call and the Emergency Medical Professionals who witnessed your sudden cardiac arrest progression, ultimately defibrillating you, you wouldn’t be here today.
That’s exactly right. They documented that my heart completely stopped. I was flat-lined for about one full minute or more and during that time, my soul and spirit entered a different dimension, one that I can’t possibly describe because there are no human words to express the glorious, euphoric dimension. I can only refer to it as the threshold of heaven. I knew I was in the center of God’s sovereign care. I had no sense of any external limits, just that I was in the very center.
There was a white light off in the distance, but it didn’t beckon me. It was incredibly peaceful—again no adequate words to describe the feeling. I was aware that I was a wife and mother and not on earth or with my family, but I knew they were also in God’s sovereign care. So when the paramedics zapped me with the defibrillators, and I could sense being drawn back to my body, I felt agitated that anyone would disturb me. I didn’t want to leave that experience.
You’ve since expanded your ministry to include a heart-disease awareness effort. I love the name “Bless Your Heart.” Tell us a little more about that.
After my experience, I set out to learn more about cardiovascular disease and I learned that it, not cancer, is the leading cause of death for women. Next month is February, national heart-disease awareness month, so I’m grateful for this opportunity to share. Bless Your Heart is an awareness campaign with the slogan, “Helping Women Everywhere, Become Aware,” because with awareness we can save lives. I had no clue that my mild symptoms were the onset of sudden cardiac arrest. For most women, the symptoms are so mild that we dismiss them.
People need to know too, that sudden cardiac arrest is very different from a heart attack. Until recently, sudden cardiac arrest was sudden cardiac death—no one survived. Now with the increased accessibility of defibrillators, about 5% of witnessed victims who receive defibrillation survive.
You’ve written a power-packed E-book entitled Bless Your Heart, Your Health and Your Life – A Lifestyle Plan that Puts You in Charge. Briefly tell us about it.
Learning that proper information, diet, and exercise, can prevent many deaths from cardiovascular disease, I had to make the information available. I’m happy to offer a PDF version of my booklet to one of your readers today. It’s available on Kindle and through my website store.
With your near-death experience, most people would slow down, but you’ve increased your ministry work. Why is that?
I know that God created humans with a temporal body, eternal soul, and spirit. When the day comes that we die, our soul and spirit will live on somewhere else. I’ve studied the major world religions and New Age, and I’m confident that the Bible and the Christian faith provide the only reasonable explanation for our existence. Sadly, Christian faith in America is on a steady decline as people succumb to the lie that truth is relative and all roads lead to the same God and heaven.
Having tasted the reality of heaven, I must spend my time helping others discover the only legitimate Truth—only belief in Jesus Christ leads to heaven. That’s why I wrote my first two books in my Faith to Live By book series, Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies endorsed by Josh McDowell, and released late 2014, and Renew Your Hope! Remedy for Personal Breakthroughs, endorsed by Dr. Charles H. Kraft and others.
The reviews have been exceedingly gratifying. It’s available at all major retailers and on my web site pamelachristianministries.com. My desire is to help many more people discover and live in life-giving truth and it’s eternal hope.
No one wants to live his or her life based on a lie. But, unless we intentionally examine what we believe and why we believe it, we could very easily be deceived and not know it. Unless our hope is firmly rooted in truth, we are without hope.
Since the human soul and spirit are eternal, and what we believe in this life determines our destiny, shouldn’t the single most important quest in life be discovering the Truth?
Thank you Pam for all you do and for sharing your heart with us today.
Warning Signs of Cardiovascular Disease
All women need to be aware of the warning signs of cardiovascular disease and learn how to help save lives. Visit Pamela’s Bless Your Heart Campaign website.
Pamela’s print books are available at all major retailers.
You can hear her amazing story at blessyourheartcampaign.com.
Win a Free Book
Pamela is offering a free PDF version of her booklet Bless Your Heart, Your Health and Your Life – A Lifestyle Plan that Puts You in Charge to one of you!
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For over twenty years, Pamela Christian has been helping people in matters of faith. Ministry for Pam began as Teaching Director for Community Bible study, followed by speaking at retreats and conferences where invited, coast to coast. Expanding her ministry included hosting live Christian talk-radio in two major markets and work in commercial television. With a certificate in apologetics from Biola University, membership with the International Society of Women in Apologetics and Christian Women in Media, all of Pam’s work is to compassionately help people discover and live in the same life-giving truth that she has been blessed to find. Her fervent interests are faith, family, friends and food, so it is not unusual to find her dotingly planning gatherings and cooking to bring all her passions together. She and her husband live in Orange County, CA, with their two grown children and families living nearby.