As many of you know, I just finished writing a book about my journey from 2009-now. It's definitely a stranger-than-fiction tale but here's the thing -- it's all real. In fact, it was too real for me back when my intuition hit me over the head. I was terrified and didn't see the whole picture then, but I do now. And I wanted to share how intuition helped me survive and heal from childhood and narcissistic abuse.
I thought I'd share a bit of Chapter 2 where I share what happened when one amazing kid named Nate Pannell came into my life.
If you are looking for proof that intuition is real, check out this excerpt....
CHAPTER 2 – NATE & CARRIE
“Mom, do you remember the Pannell family in Defiance?” I asked while talking on the phone one day in 2010, the year my intuition kicked into high gear.
“Sure, I do—John and Denise, right? They graduated a couple years before you.”
“Yeah, they did. I don’t really know them but we are friends on Facebook. The strangest thing happened when I was mindlessly reading the feed today—I started to recognize that their son, who has apparently passed on, was in the kitchen with me.”
Silence filled the space where she was supposed to be thoughtfully commenting. I didn’t blame her. It’s a shocking statement to hear and this was all new to my parents. I’d been grappling with it all in the comfort of my own home with Scott and the kids, but this was a leap I hadn’t taken yet. I was telling my parents I was sensing things that maybe weren’t there. Crazy things that they didn’t have any experience with at all. The fear of judgment and ridicule was consuming me but I didn’t stop.
I went on to explain to my mom what I’d been dealing with for some time now and how messages from what could only be described as spirit were somehow being made known to me. And now, it was starting to happen when I scanned the Facebook feed. She listened supportively, not really knowing what to say as I continued relaying what happened that day.
I told her that while I was looking at photos of a memorial held for Nate, I heard his voice and saw flashes of scenes that he wanted to talk about. I felt him around me more than saw him as an apparition but one thing was clear—he was ready to talk. When I first started to recognize he was there wanting to communicate, I experienced chills up and down my body. I noticed they were predominantly on the left side of my body and made note of that, too.
I picked up my new tarot card deck for backup because I really had no idea what I was doing. I thought maybe somehow the cards would help. I was encouraged by my Reiki instructors to play around with tarot because it was a visual representation of what comes in intuitively. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure what I believed but I thought it was worth a shot. I pulled three cards and shockingly was able to finish deciphering the last message Nate was trying to share. It was for his brother. After I made sure I had all of the messages written down, he pled with me to pass them to his parents.
I sat frozen in my chair thinking about what just happened. The last thing I wanted to do was reach out to grieving parents who may or may not be receptive to me. Their family had been through so much already. What if I was wrong and none of it was real? What if they saw me as someone trying to somehow take advantage of their situation? I wasn’t asking for money or anything, of course, but still. I don’t know how I’d react if someone reached out to me this way. Finally, I rose from my chair knowing I needed time to think about all of it and bee-lined it for our bedroom. Sitting on the edge of the bed with my notes in hand, I knew I had a choice to make. For now, it was to hide what had happened and go about life as normal. Normal was easier.
After a minute or two of contemplation, I swiftly opened the front drawer of my bedside table and stuffed the messages inside. I knew I needed time, so I waited to be filled with courage and knowledge that what Nate was asking me to do was the right thing.
The courage came two days later in the form of a very quiet, calm knowing when I least expected it. I wasn’t even thinking about Nate until, out of the blue, peace came over me. I was still terrified but deep down I knew I had to try. Even if they slammed the proverbial door in my face. Even if I was going to be the laughing stock of my hometown after word got around. I gently pulled the paper filled with Nate’s messages out of the drawer and crafted a quick introductory message to his mom, Denise. I nervously hit the send button hoping that I was doing the right thing. And it was indeed exactly what was meant to happen.
It was the right thing. Denise responded kindly which started a back-and-forth exchange leading to a phone call and later on, an in-person meeting.
About a year after I shared Nate’s messages with his family, I asked John if he wouldn’t mind writing what the experience was like for them. He told me he would be happy to write it up.
A week or so later, John shared his account of their experience with me via email. As I read it, my jaw hit the floor. I had no idea the impact it made on his entire family. I knew from sitting with them that they greatly appreciated that I reached out to them, but I didn’t fully grasp how much it shaped the course of their lives.
I was in tears reading about the healing that Nate had facilitated from the other side. Of course, I knew what the whole experience did for me and I’m eternally grateful. Nate and his beautiful family helped me understand that what I was experiencing wasn’t just my imagination. It was very real and very important for all of us. I just had to have the courage to trust.
Written by John Pannell, Nate’s Dad:
"Almost four years ago, I was just surviving being a bereaved parent of a
child that has passed away. It was a daily struggle getting through a day without a total meltdown and the overwhelming feeling that I didn't want to live the rest of my life in the role of a grieving parent. It was in the midst of one of my many meltdowns that I remember my wife coming upstairs, in tears, telling me she got a message from Nate, our son that had passed away at the age of 13 from an AVM. I tried to listen to what she was trying to tell me, but it seemed Greek to me because I couldn't get past my own doubt in what had happened. She tells me that she got an email message from this lady in California about how strange it may seem, but she thinks she has a message for us from our son. If we were willing, we could give her a call.
Denise called her and spoke for almost an hour. Denise was trying to relay the information from the four pages of notes she took while Kiersten talked. The only comfort this brought to me was that for the first time since Nate's death, I had seen tears of joy versus tears of sorrow. Denise and Kiersten had kept in contact, I kept my distance. One day, I remember Denise telling me that Kiersten was going to be in the area and wanted to meet with us.
Out of obligation to Denise, growing skepticism, and just a dash of curiosity, I agreed to meet with Kiersten. My anxiety level that day was extremely high. I remember when Kiersten showed up at our house and sat down with us at dining room table. It was my wife, our younger son, Jack, my wife's aunt Sally, Kiersten, and myself. There was a lot of small talk and I listened intently trying to find what the catch was. Over the next three and a half hours, what I got were answers, hope, and explanations. I had questions to authenticity as to who Kiersten was and what were her motives were. I found Kiersten to be one of the most genuine persons I have had the pleasure of meeting. She spoke from the heart. She relayed to us information as it was interpreted by her. What I found was she spoke with a gift. Her heart was pure. Her interpretation spot on. She offered validation that was unquestionably accurate. She gave us peace knowing that our son was fine. Kiersten taught me that events that occur are not just coincidence.
Kiersten opened up a form of communication between my son and I that allowed me to go from being a grieving parent just existing to being a bereaved parent that is allowed to live. She has helped us by being a conduit for question and answer sessions, she has taught us what it means to look for the hidden meaning, most importantly, she gave us our youngest son back. You see, until that time, there wasn't much communication between him and his mother and me. I know a large amount of time that first night meeting Kiersten, she spent talking with Jack. I have never asked either one what exactly was said, but I can say whatever it was, it made a difference in a young man's life.
Meeting Kiersten and being open to her gift has not taken away the fact that we lost our oldest son. That is something we live with every day. Having Kiersten reaching out to us, opening herself up to us, putting it all out there, all for us and never asking for anything in return, has given us peace.
Kiersten, I know that my statement doesn't even start to do justice to what you have given us."
-- John Pannell
Nate has his own page on my website here.