- (Photograph:Simon and Schuster)
The concept of heaven is no foreign concept to Christians, but every follower of Jesus Christ doesn't get the opportunity to meet God upon their death and come back to earth to recount their experiences.
Crystal McVea, 36, met her maker after her heart stopped over three years ago and now she is sharing her testimony about her experiences in the book "Waking Up in Heaven." However, McVea's story is not about a perfect Christian woman who went to heaven after making all of the right decisions in life.
Instead, McVea's memoir tells a tale of poverty, child molestation, bad relationships, abortion and the constant questioning of God that is sure to resonate with Christians, non-believers and everyone in between. Although McVea was not thrilled to dredge up the dark secrets from her past, she found writing the book with her life's most intimate details necessary in order to reveal how she managed to end up in heaven.
"I had been bound in secrets my entire life since I was a child. This is very hard and when God asked me to tell the whole story I did not want to do it. I prayed and fought," McVea told The Christian Post. "There were even things in the book that I prayed, 'Lord please don't make me reveal this to the world.' In the end His answer was 'yes I need you to.'"
In "Waking Up In Heaven," McVea details how all of the struggles throughout her life eventually led her to the intense light in heaven. There, she encountered spiritual beings and experiences that put her life into perspective.
Although McVea was baptized four times in her life, her memoirs detail the many struggles with her faith stemming from childhood all the way through adulthood. It took the teacher and mother going to the hospital to be treated for pancreatitis and dying on an operating table to discover God's purpose in her life.
McVea is not a fan of public speaking or being the center of attention. For that reason, she told CP that she is amazed at God's decision to choose her to write "Waking Up in Heaven."
"I love to look at the kind of people that God chooses, myself included because I just look at who I was and how unequipped I would have felt 10 years ago if he told me that this was my life," McVea said. "But then I see what he does through it and I get so excited because I tell people literally if He can use me he can use any of us. We worship a God that is so powerful and loving that He literally stopped my heart, pulled me out of my body and brought me before the gates of heaven not just to tell me that He loved me but to tell me that he loved you so much that He told me to come back to tell you that."
"Waking Up in Heaven" was written by Crystal McVea in collaboration with Alex Tresniowski. The book debuted on April 2 and was published by Simon & Schuster.
For more information about "Waking Up In Heaven," visit http://www.simonandschuster.com.