Video of Ocieanna telling her story about the night she died.
The Night I Died and God’s Love
I was a busy woman! From morning till night, I rushed through life trying to be the best wife, homeschool mom, friend, and home business woman I could be. Go! Go! Go! Yet, despite how much I loved my husband, kids, church, and business, happiness seemed beyond my grasp. I was too busy to be happy, too stressed to enjoy the many blessings the Lord gave me.
Then, a few months ago, everything changed …
On a quiet Saturday night while I watched television with my husband, my heart stopped beating. It took my husband’s CPR as well as a roomful of paramedics to bring me back.
What a journey! Talk about having to slow down. Once home, I napped four and five hours during the day, as well as getting a full night’s sleep. I could only be up for short periods at a time, and soon had to rest. No driving kids around. No homeschool. No chores. No work. Just quiet. Stillness. Peace.
And you’ll never believe what happened…I liked my life that way! I really got into the peace, quiet, and slower pace. I think I’ll always remember that period as one of the happiest in my life. Why? Because the rushing was gone. The stress disappeared. And the only thing left were those blessings I didn’t have time to enjoy before. How I reveled in my family during those days.
And I also clung to the love of my heavenly Father. It seemed each day I’d learn a new way that He loved me. A fresh insight would hit me and I’d almost laugh, giddy over the Lord’s kindness to teach me.
Since most of my strength is restored—and life’s gotten busy again—I still retain a deep desire to hold onto those lessons I learned. I cling with all my heart to that peace … and I long to share the love of Christ. How can I not, when He’s given me so much?
As we get to know each other, perhaps we can join together on this journey. It’s never easy, but when we belong to Christ, it’s always good.
“That you may know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19 ESV
So, I’m glad you’re here—actually, I’m glad we’re both here.
I’m a wife and mom of four. What a glorious gift family is. Not to be smushy, but since my cardiac arrest, my awesome husband and sweet babies (well, they’re getting a little big to call them that) have become even MORE precious to me. Love them, friends! Time is short!
As a family living in the Northwest, it would be a sin to not enjoy it! Our favorite family pass time is reveling in God’s creation–hiking, bike riding, swimming in lakes, and long walks–yeah, that’s how we roll.
As for writing, sharing God’s truth through fiction is my first love! I believe story is an incredibly powerful tool to communicating my Jesus’ amazing love. I’ll never forget the impact fiction had on my spiritual life as a young person, so it’s my passion to pass along that gift.
I’m blessed to express this passion in three novels I co-authored with Tricia Goyer, Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington, and Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska. (What an amazing research trip we had to Alaska! Check out our Pinterest Board for more AMAZING photos.)
But I don’t mean to dis’ non-fiction. I like that too. In fact, my work in progress is a memoir about my cardiac arrest called, Love Like There’s No Tomorrow. Oh, how He has loved me my whole life–and I never felt His delight more strongly than the time of recovery after my heart stopped.
Writing the memoir has led me on both a broken and healing path. First, delving in to the ugly muck of my lonely and emotionally neglected childhood, my struggle with suicidal feelings of worthlessness as a young person, and my chosen path of legalism and perfectionism–not to mention miscarriages, infertility, near divorce, and loss of my mom–wrenched me to the heart.
But amazingly, with each memory–every single one–I experienced His hand guiding me. It was like flying back in time and seeing what I couldn’t see then. Even though I felt alone, in despair, hated, ignored–my dear, wonderful Jesus walked with me, loved me.
Yes, this journey has been healing, very healing.
So, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours? I’d love to hear.
What Others Are Saying
“Ocieanna Fleiss is strong, humorous, spiritual, and very helpful.” Writers Renewal Conference Attendee
“After hearing your talk, I’m going to write a few reminders on my kitchen chalkboard about loving my kiddos. Thank you for blessing us!” Morgan Craighead, mom of three.
“You made me cry, laugh, and learn—all good signs of a great speaker.” Cheri Cawley, MOPS mentor
“I’m always impressed with Ocieanna’s ability to see holes in a story’s structure and suggest what would help fix it. She gets story. I highly recommend her coaching/critiquing/editing services”. Annette M. Irby, author of Love Letters, freelance editor for Summerside Press and others, and acquisitions editor for Pelican Book Group.
“Whether Ocieanna Fleiss is writing about parenting, fictional characters, or the craft of writing, readers trust her. Her delightful sense of humor brings comic relief; people can’t help but smile when seeing life through her eyes. But that’s not all. Through fictional story and personal anecdotes, Ocieanna shares God’s love and grace in a way that is both gentle and entertaining”. Dawn Kinzer, author and editor. Her work has been published in Christian Fiction Online, Backyard Friends, and The One Year Life Verse Devotional. Faithfully Write Editing and Seriously Write.