I once had a dream which made me reflect on this same topic. This was a subject I always avoided because it was so hard to even imagine myself without free will. To some extent this dream gave me a sense of relief, and a possible insight of what might happen to me when God decides to call me home. Please understand I am not a theologian or anything like it, so I may be completely wrong. I haven’t checked to see what the church says on this matter. I will share it with you anyway.
It was a normal sunny day, I was walking in the street, when all of a sudden, I am left all alone and there is no one else but me. I was a little frightened, but then I felt Jesus was with me, and I remember thinking, “Ok, I guess this is my time” and I peacefully surrendered to what ever God had in store for me. Suddenly a cloud takes me up to a place, I can’t say its heaven, because I have never been there. In this place there was so much light and other regular people were walking towards it. I never saw Jesus or anything like it, but I knew he was with me. Then, I turned around and saw a dark place that even more people were walking towards it. Just by looking at it, it brought back feelings of impurity etc, feelings that were known to me, almost as if I was reliving moments I had already felt during my life. I knew these were my feelings and I felt attraction towards them, they were a part of me. I started walking towards the dark place, but Jesus’s love was still with me, and all of a sudden, I felt that His love was growing stronger and that I needed to go back. I heard someone from within the crowd say " Just leave." When I turned around the place of light was very far way. I remember thinking it was so easy to cross into the darkness, but now it’s so hard to go back. I had to pass through so many torments. It was like if my sins became physical and I had to go through them again but this time in complete remorse. Don’t know how to explain it. It was so painful, but I really wanted to go back. I finally woke up, and for what ever reason I understood the following. It is not that we are not free in heaven. It’s that here on earth, because of free will, we can disguise who we truly are. We need free will in order to form our conscience, but once we die, our conscience is already formed and sealed. We can no longer act differently than what we truly are, and that’s why I was not able to walk away from the negative things I was attracted to. I guess I stopped before going completely into the dark place, and this is probably what some may call purgatory " Not completely damned. " I felt as if we no longer had free will, but we were still ourselves without the ability to lie. When I woke up, I was in physical pain and my limbs were very week. What does this dream mean? maybe nothing, but it made me feel that loosing my free will does not necessarily mean I loose myself in the process. This was somewhat of a relief. Another thing I understood is the importance of loving Jesus, since it was His love that made me stop from walking further into the dark place. It made me think of the Bible verse when someone asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment and He replied something like, Love your God with all your heart, with all your soul etc. I think I understood why, since it was this love that held me back from going further into the darkness, but if you don’t have that love, I don’t know how you can stop. Maybe the amount of darkness inside of you determines how far you walk into it. I don’t know, but I Thank you Jesus for being so merciful, may he help all of us always avoid darkness.