A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

173. Waking Up In Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again. by Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski

Waking Up In Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again.  by Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Apr. 2, 2013, Howard Books/Simon & Schuster, 239 pgs +readers guide

Age: 18+

"On December 10, 2009, Crystal McVea, a thirty-two-year-old mother of four, stopped breathing. Her face turned a dark shade of blue, then black. Her mother screamed for help, and a nurse tried to revive her . . . to no avail. Today, Crystal does not remember what happened in that hospital room during the nine minutes she was unconscious and unable to breathe on her own. She has no memory of the panic and the rushing nurses and the loud cries of “Code Blue.” She simply remembers drifting off. 
And she remembers waking up in heaven. For most of Crystal’s broken life, she felt utterly beyond the reach of God— if God was even real. Then came December 10—and the nine minutes that changed everything. Waking Up in Heaven invites readers along on a journey to witness the relentless pursuit of God in a life that was shattered and seemingly beyond hope, an awe-inspiring account of love, forgiveness, and redemption, and the healing power of God’s presence. 
And that is why I want to share my story with the world. Because I was a skeptic and a sinner, and I didn’t believe in God or in heaven. But God is real. Heaven is real. And God’s love for us is the realest thing of all."

Received a review copy from Simon and Schuster Canada.

A heart-wrenching, phenomenal book that tells the story of the life and death and life of a woman who lead a hard, lost life, then encountered God and is now living a joy filled life.  Crystal died for nine minutes and went to Heaven and this book is about that, but it is first and foremost about her life prior to that experience, which lead up to the moment of her death.  Crystal had a very hard life and always questioned the existence of God.  Her life was filled with sexual abuse, absent and neglectful parents, promiscuity, abortion, death of loved ones, feelings of worthlessness and whenever a little light shone on her broken life it felt to her as if another calamity was just beginning to happen.

All throughout the story of Crystal's life she inserts a chapter here and there to tell her story of being in Heaven.  It is beautiful and breathtaking.  Many ways it is like what we expect and have heard from others, but Crystal has a natural quality about her which conveys the awesomeness without trying to philosophize or theologize, like so many before her have done in their books.  She simply tells what she say, what she felt and what she can and can't remember.  No excuses.  I am a Catholic and Crystal is not but I found her vision of Heaven to be everything that my religion teaches us it is.  No where during her entire discussion of what she saw, felt and afterwards her thinking back upon it did she stray from the Catholic perspective of Heaven and I found this very exciting.  Thus can heartily recommend Catholics read this amazing journey.

I really appreciated Crystal's down-to-earth narrative voice of speaking humbly, telling her tale, not trying to answer the big questions, but only putting out there what she experienced, how she felt, in Heaven.  When in Heaven she was filled with God's love and she knew God's plan, she knew why things happen as they do.  On her return this enormous knowledge was simply gone.  As we know man is not meant to understand the mystery of God's way, but just think, when we reach Heaven we will feel the peace of enlightenment because God is just.  God is love.  God is good.

I love reading books like these.  I don't always agree with everything the person concludes about their experience once they are back and thinking with human rationalizing, but I do believe in their journeys and that God is giving us something to ponder, to perhaps make changes in our lives, or to continue on our paths because Heaven IS waiting for us.  

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