Dying to Meet Jesus (Author Interview)

Dying to Meet Jesus is an interesting personal journey.  Can you tell us a little about your accident?

I was returning from a long flight, and to relax after the journey I went bicycling along the ocean in San Diego. When I returned home, my calf began swelling and there was a dull ache and heaviness as though I was lifting a large brick whenever I walked. I continued doing my daily routine, planning for a long awaited vacation with my family after months of stress having lost two jobs due to layoffs and the failure of a biotech business I had started. I had been offered a great position with the largest healthcare company in the world, and things were looking up. But, the swelling and pain walking continued. Not wanting to interrupt our vacation, I decided to see an orthopedic physician thinking the calf pain was a muscle strain from exercise. Instead of giving me an anti-inflammatory prescription, the doctor rushed me to the ER at the nearest hospital. By the time an ultrasound, blood tests, and CT Scan were completed, it was discovered that there were six large blood clots obstructing my pulmonary artery, the main airway to the lungs. I was suffocating to death. The nurse told me that I was a “dead man walking.” Most people in my condition die. I was immediately placed on anticoagulants and a breathing apparatus. I continued gasping for air. The doctor came into my room to draw blood, but he could not draw any blood from my veins. An infection had set in through my intravenous line causing infection throughout my body, and compounding the blood clotting, causing blood clotting throughout my body. I started convulsing from septic shock and being depriving of oxygen. That is when I passed out, and my heart stopped for approximately thirty minutes.     

What will readers get out of Dying to Meet Jesus?

I pray they will draw closer to God through a deeper understanding of His love. During my NDE, I met Jesus face to face, and that experience overwhelmed me with the consuming presence of Jesus Christ. He was Love; unlike anyone I had ever met. Also, I hope that readers will understand why suffering exists, and how God uses our brokenness. I know that is a huge question for most people – “Why does God allow suffering?” I use my stories as well as many other stories to illuminate how God helps us to overcome pain and suffering to ultimately experience joy, and a deeper relationship with God. I can certainly testify that God and heaven are real, since I have been there. Ultimately, I would hope that readers will feel closer to God, and immensely loved by God.

What inspired you when writing Dying to Meet Jesus?   

I had interviewed on GodTV. The host/interviewer had been the pastor of a church I attended, and he knew about my NDE. During the interview he asked me about my NDE on air, before an worldwide audience up to 300 million people. I cried. Just remembering my time with Jesus took me to a place of being completely overwhelmed with Christ’s love and wonder. On the flight back, I remember staring at my peanuts on the tray, wanting to tuck my experience with Jesus back into my own personal space and memory, but knowing that the ‘cat was out of the bag,’ almost 14 years after my NDE. I then distinctly understood God’s Holy Spirit speaking to me, telling me to write a book. So I began writing, just as I had done for major publications and for my self-help books in the past. Only this time I felt that God wanted me to share not my successes, but my failures. Moreover, He wanted me to share about our special time together in heaven. I resisted at first, but eventually started writing Dying to Meet Jesus.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing while a student at Northwestern University, and wrote some articles for the Chicago Tribune. Then my writing turned to marketing promotions with Procter & Gamble, and then I freelanced some articles to various publications while working in marketing and sales for some medical device and pharmaceutical companies, like Johnson & Johnson. I’ve written several business articles in publications like Forbes. I wrote my first book several years ago, and then published a fiction book to test a different genre. Most of my books are in the business or self-help category, like The 22 Most Important Things, Daily Keys to Success, and The Power to Thrive. Dying to Meet Jesus is my first Christian book based on several true stories, such as my near-death-experience, my daughter’s struggles, and stories of extreme hardship that others have experienced. Dying to Meet Jesus is the most significant publication I have ever produced, because it gets to the heart of God’s love, and attempts to answer the question as to why God allows suffering in this world.

When writing Dying to Meet Jesus did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

Oh yes! I did not want to share my NDE with anyone outside of my wife and less than a handful of people, because it was too personal, and I did not want my experience with Jesus in heaven to be trivialized. Since writing Dying to Meet Jesus and meeting other NDE survivors, I have learned that many if not most have witnessed similar characteristics of heaven. Those who have met Jesus oftentimes become very emotional, because meeting Jesus is all-consuming, and unlike any other personal relationship in this life. I even tear-up thinking about it. The absolute conviction of God’s love, and the feeling that Christ was completely focused on me was extraordinary. I found it difficult to explain, but many of the experiences in heaven defy any comparison to this world. And, trying to answer the question of why a loving God would permit suffering was at times daunting, but I think the book points the way to a solution focused on drawing nearer to God.    

What do you like to do when not writing?

I enjoy time with family, teaching, and exercising as a way of countering the damage that was done to my organs and vascular system from my NDE. My favorite time is time spent with my Lord, Savior, and Friend, Jesus Christ. Our alone times together are especially close since meeting Him, and there is nothing…absolutely nothing in this world that compares to times spent with the Author of Love.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

I have an author page at randykayauthor.com, and a Facebook page for Randy Kay Author and Dying to Meet Jesus. The book can be found at any of the major outlets. I just wanted to mention that during the book launch period, we have been donating a book to charities for each book ordered. For example, we are donating Dying to Meet Jesus books to our military service men and women, and to Bridge of Hope, which supplies food, clothing, and other essentials to those facing extreme hardships. That was our way of practicing the commandment of loving our neighbors. Thanks for listening and for your interest. God bless you and yours!