One day in December 2009, Crystal McVea died. Nine minutes later, she came back to life. And what she experienced during those nine minutes changed her life forever.
You've probably heard many stories about people "dying" and "going to Heaven". Certainly, many other books have been written about it, and countless news stories and television shows have investigated whether or not these people are telling the truth or if the "white light" they see really has to do more with how their brains are coping without oxygen than a visit to heaven.
I don't care if Crystal McVea's story of going to heaven and meeting God is real or a figment of her dying brain's imagination. It's really the story of her life and her faith that intrigues me the most in her memoir Waking Up in Heaven.
The book starts off detailing what happened to Crystal that December day in 2009. But then it takes us back to Crystal's troubled childhood, the many injustices she suffered as a small child, her up-and-down relationship with her mother (and father, and stepfather, and her mother's boyfriends), and her struggle to understand and believe in God.
One passage really stuck out at me in the beginning, so much so that I'm sharing it with you here:
"Only many years later would I realize that - even in the darkest moments of my life, even when my belief in God was at its absolute lowest point - I never stopped speaking to Him. Our conversations may have been filled with nothing but questions and curses and doubts and demands, but they were still conversations...For whatever reason, even when I didn't believe He was listening, I kept the channels open, and I had my talks with God." - 46-47
Does that describe your relationship with God? I know it describes mine. No matter how angry I get with God, I don't totally block Him out. I still talk to Him. I still voice my concerns.
(I'm reading a separate book right now of daily devotionals, and several of the devotionals talk about how it's okay to be honest and upfront with God about how you're feeling. He already knows how you're feeling anyway, so trying to hide it and be all "Whatever your will, God" is disrespectful to God.)
Crystal is very brave to share what she shares in this book, from the terrible things that happened to her when she was growing up to her experience meeting God during her nine minutes in Heaven. Again, I feel like this book isn't so much about Crystal going to Heaven; it's more about how Crystal struggled and struggled with her faith and God never gave up on her.
GIVEAWAY: If you want to read this book for yourself, I have one paperback copy of the book to give away! Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thing is about spring and you'll be entered to win. You have until April 10 at midnight EST to leave a comment. Then I'll randomly pick one of the comments to win! Good luck!
This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.
Waking Up in Heaven is published by Howard Books. It is available to purchase now. I received a review copy of the book for my honest review.