Waking Up in Heaven

A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again

Waking Up in Heaven

An inspirational memoir of near-death experience, rebirth, divine mercy, and faith from first-time author Crystal Leigh McVea.

On December 10, 2009, McVea, a thirty-two-year-old mother of four, went to the hospital for a routine procedure. While undergoing treatment, her face suddenly 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 only remembers drifting off…and waking up in heaven.

This unexpected meeting of a self-described sinner and skeptic with her God changed everything. Raised Christian, she had left her faith behind after childhood abuse and the subsequent struggles and suffering of her troubled teens and early adulthood. She longed to believe but felt abandoned, broken, and undeserving.

A moving autobiographical testament to the power of divine love and forgiveness, Waking Up in Heaven shares the message of hope, healing, and compassion McVea brought back from her brush with God.

This brave, honest account of years lost to shame and guilt will inspire those who’ve stumbled along their own spiritual journey, with the uplifting reminder that no one is beyond the reach of grace and redemption, and that, in the words of the author, “God is real. Heaven is real. And God’s love for us is the realest thing of all.”
  • Howard Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476711874 | 
  • April 2013

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Waking Up in Heaven

The remarkable story of an everyday woman, plagued with guilt and skepticism, who was dramatically changed by the nine minutes she spent in heaven.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Waking Up in Heaven includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Crystal McVea. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Waking Up in Heaven is the firsthand story of Crystal McVea and the day she died for nine minutes, went to heaven, and stood before God. In this remarkable autobiographical narrative, Crystal shares with readers her experience of walking with God toward the gates of heaven—a place so full of light and love that she did not want to return to Earth. But Crystal was revived—miraculously—and came back to consciousness in a hospital room with frantic doctors, nurses, and her own mother. Crystal’s encounter with God made her a believer, despite her troubled, dark past. In Waking Up in Heaven Crystal shares her story—the good and the bad—in the hopes of spreading God’s message of love and redemption.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Waking Up in Heaven opens with a letter from Laura Schroff, author of An Invisible Thread. How does this letter help frame Crystal’s story? What do you think made Laura pay attention to Cryst see more

Articles About This Book

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Posted by Off the Shelf Staff

Do you believe in reincarnation? Do you think this one human experience is all that we'll ever know? Can the dead contact theliving? Can the living speak to the dead? Did you ever think you saw or felt a loved one near you after they'd passed on?...

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About the Authors

Crystal McVea
Photograph © Splendor Photography

Crystal McVea

Crystal McVea is the author of Waking Up in Heaven. With a deep rooted passion for the needy and lost, Crystal speaks around the country at conferences and events bringing a message of hope and redemption. She is a schoolteacher and lives in her home state of Oklahoma along with her husband Virgil, a US Army veteran, and their four children. To learn more, go to CrystalMcVea.com.

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Alex Tresniowski
Photograph by Lorraine Stundis

Alex Tresniowski

Alex Tresniowski is a former human-interest writer at People and the bestselling author of several books, most notably TheVendetta, which was purchased by Universal Studios and used as a basis for the movie Public Enemies. His other titles include An Invisible Thread and Prepared for a Purpose.

 

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