The remarkable story of a woman, plagued with guilt and skepticism, dramatically changed by the nine minutes she spent in heaven.
God let me see me through His eyes. And in that instant I knew that God had always loved me, through all of those dark and difficult years when I doubted His existence, through every crisis and every heartbreak that made me turn away from Him more. I knew, in that instant, that His love was endless and boundless, and that if He loved me so much, how could I not love myself?
For most of her life, Crystal McVea was a skeptic whose history of abuse and bad choices made her feel beyond the reach of God - who questioned if God was even real. She had all but given up hope. Then came December 10, 2009...and the moment that changed everything.
For nine minutes that night, Crystal went into full respiratory arrest. She was unconscious and unable to breathe on her own, unaware of the crisis happening around her as the hospital staff rushed to save her life. Crystal doesn't remember the trauma or losing consciousness; she just remembers waking up in heaven, next to God.
Waking Up in Heaven invites listeners to witness the relentless pursuit of God in a life that was broken and seemingly beyond hope, an awe-inspiring account of love, forgiveness, and redemption, and the healing power of God's presence.
©2013 Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
Waking Up In Heaven is a new entry into the same genre as Proof of Heaven (Alexander) and To Heaven and Back (Neal). For lack of a better term, the afterlife genre. It's written by Crystal McVea and she narrates her own story of dying and getting to heaven and returning.
The book is laid out cleverly - with a flash of what she saw in the afterlife, followed by hours of her life story, followed by minute two in Heaven, back to hours of her life story... a slick arrangement designed to keep the reader/listener plowing through to find out the answer to the only interesting question here: what happened after you died?
I suppose the life story is to establish her credibility.She tells us in the beginning that she is the ultimate sinner, having broken all ten Commandments. All. Ten. But I have to say, her shadowy past was pretty lame for someone claiming to be the ultimate sinner. It didn't seem to me that she fell that far. (i.e. she was never on drugs, never on the street, never stole, never prostituted, never hurt another person with malice, etc.) I won't tell you what she bases her claim of ultimate sinfulness on since I'm not writing spoilers here, but I was not impressed with her claim to baseness.
I did believe her claims of abuse and those claims explain her internal struggles better than the sin hypothesis. But where she and I really parted company was her insistence that she honestly believed God was punishing her for her pretty ordinary sins by inflicting traumatic brain injury on her three-year-old son. Oh, come on. Who would worship a God like that whether he/she exists or not?
In all these books, the credibility of the witness is important so we can decide what we think of their story. And here, Crystal McVea runs into some trouble. Listening to her life story (unavoidable if we want to find out what she experienced) she came across to me like one of those people who changes themselves to match whoever they are involved with/married to at the time.
So, when she meets and marries her current husband (who, though she was done with men forever, happened in less than four months - she introduced him to her six-year-old daughter after only a month!) and he is a devout Christian, life changes.
She runs into two cases of demonic possession in otherwise normal friends, something her husband is prepared to deal with, is prompted by God to leave a hundred dollar tip on a one dollar bill (something her husband finds out is the answer to a prayer) and, last but not least, a trip to the pearly gates. If Occam's Razor applies (the principle that the simplest solution is usually correct) this testimony seems much more earthly inspired than divine.
But Crystal tells us multiple times in the introduction, we will only believe her if we chose to. I guess that's true with everything, but, for me, her case did not add anything persuasive to the discussion one way or another. Skip this one.
I have listened to many, many Audio Books. All different subjects and many on NDE experiences. This book was different and refreshing to me, maybe because there are so many NDE books and stories that are similar that this one stood out to me better because she cared enough and was brave enough to tell her life story, that is a big thing for someone to do and should not be discounted. She is not a writer nor did she set out trying to write the next best selling novel, this is a simple thing really, a true life story. Maybe it is because I am around her age, I experienced similar things growing up and I could relate. Maybe because I am a mother as well. I suppose if you do not have children you may not understand how heart wrenching some of this is. The way this is written pulled me right into her life and I cried more times than I would want to admit. Her telling her life story is what made the difference for me. Because of this is why the rest made sense and was great. You are completely missing the point if you think this book is to be about just her NDE, that is not the case at all, this book is meant to be so much more. It is meant to help people, all kinds to stop thinking and judging so critical, stop your eye rolling at people, and just open your eyes to the bigger picture here. It is about all of it, the true purpose of not just the faith we should have but the proof as well, to serve a purpose of showing this in such a basic and simple way, there is more to life, there is more to us, and more to life after life. If you read enough of all of these subjects, Edgar Cayce and the other many books relating then you can start to piece this all together for yourself. Who is anyone to judge anyone else? You feel what you feel and that is fine, but being so overly critical that you miss the point entirely is just sad. Hopefully others will get it, and see the simple thing this book offers and appreciate the story of it. Not everyone is ready for Quantum Physics, or even an Edgar Cayce book, this is a great book for the majority of the public stuck on TV these days watching too many reality shows and crap. This book would be helpful for many I feel. Open your eyes a little to see more of life. You do not have to live on the streets as a prostitute to have lived a hard life, and her story and emotional pain is severe compared to most of us who grow up pretty regular.
Karen of Northern Michigan
I love books about Near Death Experiences. This book, however, had very little to do with that and was mostly about Crystal's challenges in life.. While I applaud her for not letting life pull her down, I have to say, many people have gone through many of the same challenges she has, including myself, but I doubt any one would want to read a book about my life..
It became way too evangelistic for me half way through.. If you are an evangelistic Christian, you'll probably really enjoy this book, but if you are someone who doesn't like religion trying to make people feel guilty and shameful for living a life, and blaming all things bad on Satan, then you'll probably be really annoyed by parts of this book...
If you are looking for books having to do with NDE, you might want to pass on this one. She alludes to her visit in Heaven and talking to God here and there, but there's really very little information about how this happened to her or what the experience was like.. I mean, she talks about it, but not in depth and not very much...The book is basically a biography of her life..
Heven is for REAL
A Loving God cares for one of his own
That she finally believes that God is real and that he knows her and loves her!
I liked hearing her story read in her voice.
I was wanting more of her experience in heaven, so if this is what you are reading the book for you will be disappointed. The story of her life was very interesting and I'm so happy she was finally able to accept God in her life.
I'm not sure who would enjoy this book especially if they've read/listened to the numerous other NDE books out there. I've read many of them where the focus is on the experience & this book was about her life history. I was excited about starting it, but its nothing like the other books unfortunately. It's more her autobiography, much, much less about her NDE experience.
Focus much more of the story on her NDE experience & much less about her life's story. Also, her narration was difficult to listen to & monotone.
A good narrator would be a big improvement. Story might be more bearable. I couldn't finish this book. It was boring & too long.
Not really. Not what I expected at all. Waste of money & time.
I would recommend this book to someone that believed in this subject. I do, that's why I read it, but I know many people that wouldn't.
I don't think I want to draw a comparison with any other book. This is similar to several books I've read, but doesn't compare.
Crystal McVea reading her book makes the story sound truthful. You know she believes every word she says.
No, I had to remember to get back to finish this book. I wanted to finish it so I could get on to another book.
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