Excerpted from "Angel Encounters: True Stories of Divine Intervention" by Karen Goldman, published by Simon & Schuster.

I used to be a major alcoholic. My guardian angel's a female. Her name is Elizabeth Marie Katlyn. Well, that's the name that came to me, that's all. I talk to her every morning. Before I met her, I was praying and telling God, "You know, I never had an angel experience or a miracle to prove Your presence or anything." And all of a sudden, a voice came out of my head, and it said, "Yeah, who do you think led you out of all of those blackouts you had?" And I started crying. I just started crying. I had never even thought of it. The hundreds of blackouts I had. Who protected me? That's all the voice said.

I mean I'd be driving heavy drunk so many times and I'd end up at home somehow, or I'd wake up in the car somewhere, safe. In one three-month blackout I had, I'd wake up every morning somewhere else. I never knew where I was. Yeah, it's amazing how divinely protected and guided I was. It's amazing! Yep. Now, I believe. I'm thinking that the universe is really user-friendly.

I tattooed a big beautiful angel on my forearm because when people ask me about it, I remember that they're an angel. And when I drive, I'm always looking at it. She's always there, my inner...I mean, this is my inner angel of light.

I did a guardian angel meditation with the women inmates in a prison near here. There wasn't a dry eye in the group. I mean, they just opened up. They said what their angels said to them, and what they told them to do. One woman couldn't even talk she was just so choked up. Well, most of the guys have tattoos and they were looking at my angel, and they said, "Oh, that's one of them paste-on things." And I said, "No, it's not." There's 13 different colors in it. So I tell 'em, "Well, that's what we are, we're all angels of light!"

Just changing their thinking is what I'm trying to do. That's what it takes; it's just only a thought, and a thought can be changed.

Jerry Doyle, Greenbackville, Virginia, Drug and alcohol counselor

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