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on April 14, 2017
I liked the frank voice of the writer and her colloquial way of talking to the reader worked for me.

I read reviews saying she goes on too much about her personal life, but since I love memoirs, I didn't think it would be an issue for me. And it wasn't for the first two-thirds of the book, but by the end--the details of her difficult life became excessive and I began skimming pages at a time. I think there should have been better editing. The Bible quotes were superfluous.

Given her early abuse, I was surprised she didn't get PTSD.

It's advisable for any author to check the Kindle version of their books. It was very irritating to have the heaven chapters in a font so light, I could barely read it. You don't want the reader to have to work so hard, especially reading the most wonderful part.

I think she is an amazing person. Her forgiveness and love for others, especially those who abused her, is jaw-dropping. I loved the little girl God showed her in the end. A soul part who left when the trauma began if you ask me!
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on December 26, 2013
I have bought this and several other books about NDEs and found this one lacking in content in which it is categorized. The author states from the beginning she has liked to talk too much since a child...which is what this book felt like. I actually started to skim through parts hoping I would get to the part in which I bought the book for. That BIG moment I was hoping all the chatter led up to never arrived. I felt like this book was more of a diary she needed to write to get out her past as part of her recovery more than information about what Heaven was like. Her experience about Heaven consists of part of one chapter where she sees angels and God and sees herself as a child before getting to the gates. That's it. The rest of the book is a auto-biography about her struggles and hardships and how she slowly started to overcome them. I believe everything she states and I truly wish she didn't have to suffer the hardships she did as well as I wish no one has to endure the hardships she has, however this is more of a self help book than a book about a NDE. I give it 2 stars because although it has very (very, very) little content about NDE and Heaven, I believe this can be helpful to those who have been victim of sexual abuse, domestic violence, had an abortion, etc. I think this conclusion played out in her book as well. Those most touched by her testimony were those who endured the same hardships as her therefore they had someone to relate and talk to. If you are one who is looking for detailed accounts of Heaven and what happen after we leave this world I would say pass on this book. If you have endured some extreme hardships in life and want to relate to someone who has been through the same and can reassure you God still loves you and sees you as his perfect child,then yes, I believe this is worth the read.
28 people found this helpful
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on February 19, 2014
My husband passed away recently but in 2007 he also had a heavenly visitation. He made many of the same comments regarding heaven as did Crystal. I remember him telling of his experience and saying 'God' and then saying 'Jesus'. When I queried him as to 'God or Jesus' his answer was much the same as Crystal's, 'They are one, you can not separate them'. He also shared her trepidation in sharing his vision, that people would think he was crazy. Crystal's testimony gave me so much comfort as well as expressing God's great grace for his imperfect people. It is difficult to be the one 'left behind', but Crystal's testimony, as well as Marv Besterman's testimony 'My Journey to Heaven: What I saw and how it changed my Life' , and Dale Braxton's testimony on Beyond the Grave 2 have brought a healing to me that would have otherwise been hard to receive. You are drawn by their compassion for their family, yet their overwhelming love of God and desire for heaven being utmost. It draws me to the place where the overwhelming love of God also needs to be my reality and my anticipation now is also to enter the heavenly realm. LOVED it. A really 'down to earth, realistic life story testimony that many can identify with.
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on June 22, 2017
I would like to thank Crystal McVea for her obedience in sharing about not only her glimpse of heaven but her life in a completely vulnerable and honest way. By openly disclosing her experiences, such as childhood sexual abuse and family violence, we can be certain that she knew pain: spiritually, physically, and emotionally. When people endure severe trauma, they often try to unsuccessfully cover it up or heal it through addictive behaviors or unhealthy relationships, and Ms. McVea certainly made her fair share of mistakes which she honestly admits to, but then there is Grace. She gets to be in the presence of God for some brief minutes! Even after this, she still struggles with faith and obedience, as we all do, but her account gives all of us hope that Grace is ours, too, if we are open to it and allow it to fill and restore us! No matter our past, we can know we can be forgiven and will spend eternity in heaven.
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on May 6, 2014
A friend at my Church suggested to our prayer meeting group one evening to buy this book and read it as he deemed it to be worth every penny of the cost for it. So I did. My take is that I could hardly get passed the half way mark of this book before I either had to put it down for days on end or eventually try to skim through all the chapters desperately searching for the entire story of her, Waking Up in Heaven. There was only 1 or 2 very, very brief descriptions of what occurred to her in the hospital followed by chapters thereafter that go on and on about her life autobiography. Her parents, her rebellious teenage years, her lack of faith, etc. I wouldn't mind a chapter or two of telling readers what her up-bringing was like and the utter hardships she experienced to explain her lack of faith within God, but after that, I wanted to get to- The Heavenly experience part with God. I felt like all she was writing a book about was trying to unload all of her unhappiness story first and foremost rather than to just give other Christians a peek at what God had shown her and said to her. I don't believe God was saying make an autobiography of every feasible detail of your life, but instead, he said to her to share this experience with others. That was is why I wanted to buy it. Even if my friend at Church thought this was an intriguing and fulfilling book, I pretty much regretted buying it.
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on March 5, 2015
This book affected me to the core of my being. Last year in 2014, I had to have surgery to have my gull bladder removed due to the fact that oily t was full of stones. While I was under anesthesia, I saw Jesus. He never spoke to me, but I knew why He was there without any words having to be so said. God is our greatest protector when we are afraid. I was frightened to have that surgery performed and my Father in Heaven knew it, so right He was with me the whole time and He made sure I knew it. This book only confirms what I already knew. Crystal thank you for baring your soul to share God's glory and His love for us. I love you Father God with all my heart, strength and mind.
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on September 22, 2014
As a believer, I was interested in what Crystal had to say. My mother had a similar experience when I was nine years old.

I found the story interesting...what believer wouldn't. The message was presented well without too much information, only what she remembered (as she was directed). I believe that something so awesome would be difficult for our limited mind to grasp, let alone explain. Crystal's problematic life only adds credence to the story. While the added examples of God's messages Crystal received and passed on were not related to the death incident, they were important to the receivers. They were confirmations that God exists. It took courage to tell this story. My only negative is that it was too long.
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on May 22, 2013
I do so love to read "encounters with God, heaven" stories, they invoke a sense joy and peace that I can't seem to find anywhere else. Yet this story is so much more; it serves as an authentication that The Creator is inextricably intertwined in our lives always and in all ways.

Mind you, the meat and potatoes of this kind of story for me is always - what did the author learn, feel, think, say and do in Her presence, and even more importantly, what was exchanged in the divine realm? What was learned, what was conveyed? This piece is laid out such that the events that took place in Nirvana are interspersed throughout the book as distinct chapters each only several pages in length. The protagonist uses her story, that is, the story of her life to frame the events that occur in Paradise.

Crystal lays bare her soul for all to see, she deftly describes in some detail the sins of her past (keep in mind that the term "sin" in the original Greek, merely means "to miss the mark,") and do you know what? God forgave her! The author exposes her weaknesses, and you know what? God forgave her and strengthened her! Ms. McVea implores us to see her through her own eyes as unworthy, unredeemable, as a veritable pariah in His kingdom. Do you know what? The great I AM saw her as perfect and wrapped her in an conditional love that language can only fail to describe.

My only misgiving about this piece is that Crystal states near the end of the book that ".......we are born in sin...." and a bit later she also states that "......we are all His perfect little creatures...." I affectionately but firmly disagree with you, Crystal, we were not born in sin, just love.

4 stars on the board 4 1/2 to be honest, and I hope to meet you someday Ms. McVea!
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on May 29, 2017
I think everyone believes at some time that they are so terrible that not even God can love them. This wonderful story filled my heart with the certainty that He not only loves me but He is using me and the many Blessings He has bestowed on me. I cried for Crystal and laughed with her and am SO grateful she shared her story with me. I will share it with many friends and even strangers, even though I seldom meet on. I think that`s why He gave me the gift of gab . 😁
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on August 28, 2014
I was amazed, when reading this book, how much I recognized the a similarity of her experience with mine. I didn't die and go to heaven, but I experienced hearing him talk to me, telling me He had work for me to do. I didn't know what to do or think, but when my mother developed terminal bone cancer, that I realized he wanted me to help her come back to him before she died. We had 6 months together,during which she regained her faith and was able to look forward to being with God. I was so grateful for.those 6 months. It was as much a gift for me as it was for her.
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