This article was originally featured in 2000.

Excerpted from 'Angel Visions,' by Doreen Virtue, published by Hay House.

Last year, I was diagnosed with a rare chronic degenerative disease called pollychondritus, which attacks the cartilage surrounding all the major organs--heart, liver, and kidneys. My doctor told me that I would "die a slow and painful death." She said that I should get my affairs in order, and that I would be spending a lot of time in the hospital. She informed me that as the disease progressed, I would need surgery to repair any damage that occurred.

Needless to say, I was devastated! I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I told myself, It can't really be that bad, can it? The first thing I did when I got home was to look up this disease on the Internet. I read one woman's posting on a medical message board in horror, which told how she had the same disease and had gone through seven surgeries on her throat just so she could breathe! I couldn't bear to read any more, so I turned off my computer and started talking to God. What am I going to do, God? I need your help!

The next day, I was driving, with only 15 minutes to get across town to my next appointment. If I hurried, I just might make it on time. As I approached the major intersection, though, I felt a curious change. It was as if time had slowed down. I stopped at the red light when something caught my eye. I didn't know it at the time, but I was about to meet my angel. The first thing I noticed was her big black hat with big black feathers poking out of the side. Her hair was black, too, and was piled up under her hat with loose pieces hanging here and there. She looked like someone out of a Disney movie--the bird woman in Mary Poppins--only with black hair! She carried a black bag that had an umbrella poking out of it. I smiled and thought, What a neat lady!

She looked at me and gave me a great big smile. Without even thinking about it, I reached over and unlocked the passenger door. She opened the door and asked where I was going. Before I could tell her, she was half in the passenger seat. She was a short woman, a little heavy, and it seemed difficult for her to raise herself up into the seat. I told her to take her time. She informed me that she didn't want me to lose the light should it turn green anytime soon. I just smiled, suddenly feeling as if we had all the time in the world. I wasn't even worried about making my next appointment! I truly felt that everything would work out.

The woman got in and told me that it was hard to get her 83-year-old body to move fast. She fastened her seat belt, turned, and looked deep into my eyes as I looked into hers. I swear it felt as if there had been some kind of connection made right there and then! I felt so at peace with this woman, like family. She introduced herself as Louise. Something about her energy made me feel happy.

"What can I do to heal myself?"
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She talked nonstop and told me all about herself and her family. I was fascinated as I listened. Then Louise got very quiet. She asked, "Do you know what my momma used to tell me?" She turned to face me, and with a very serious look on her face, she said, "You have not, because you ask not." It was as if a loud bell had gone off in my head and woken me up!

Louise pointed her finger at me, and with a very serious look on her face, said, "You got that, didn't you?" I smiled and said, "Yes!" With that, time and space went back to normal. The light turned green, and she told me to turn right. When we got to her destination, Louise told me to park across the street, saying she wanted to walk.

She said to me before leaving, "God bless you." She tapped on my ashtray and said, "The next time I see you, I want you to get off of these cigarettes because I love you, and I want to see your lungs pink and healthy. And I don't want to have to come back and dance on your grave!" I laughed and told her I would do my best. As I drove off, I thought to myself, Wouldn't it be funny if I looked in my rearview mirror right now and she was nowhere to be seen? I looked, and she was gone.

When I got home, I thought about what Louise had told me: "You have not because you ask not." I looked at the picture of Jesus I have hanging above my desk. I said, "I have not because I ask not. Okay, Jesus--heal me!" It felt good saying that, and I walked away smiling.

That night as I lay in bed, I asked God, What can I do to heal myself? I repeated the question, hoping to get an answer in my dreams. Right in the middle of asking, I was interrupted by a male voice. This voice was loving, caring, and soft. It said, "You're already healed." I thought, Oh, okay, thank you. I'm already healed. Thank you, God!

A couple days later, I went to see a rheumatologist regarding my pollychondritus. The doctor looked me over, asked me a lot of questions, and then told me, "You don't have pollychondritus. I don't know what the other doctors saw. From their description, it sounds like you once had this, but now I can't see any evidence of the disease at all."

I just smiled all the way home! I thanked Louise in my heart. She taught me something very valuable: All you have to do is ask--you have not because you ask not!

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