Thursday, September 04, 2014
Waking Up in Heaven by Alex Tresniowski and Crystal McVea
Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again, Alex Tresniowski and Crystal McVea. New York: Simon and Schuster/ Howard Books, 2013. e-book, 232 pps.
Crystal McVea fancied herself a skeptic. She was a school teacher and mother of four living in Oklahoma when on December 10, 2009 her heart stopped. She claims that she spent nine minutes with [christian fundamentalist] god in heaven which changed her life.
Sexually abused at a young age more than once, Crystal McVea could not relate to a loving father-god. She did like Jesus but as a child did not think that her salvation "took." In the book Waking Up in Heaven, she tried repeatedly to make a case for herself as having been an especially willful child but I couldn't see it.
She went to live with her father in the summer before seventh grade. Two years later, after a quasi-suicide attempt involving vodka and pills, she returned to her mother's house. Things were not peaceful back at mom's. Mom had bad taste in men and invited an abusive alcoholic man back into her household.
Crystal McVea discovered boys. She was sent to a sort of juvie hall for a month because she missed curfew once. After getting out, she drank some and smoked weed. She went to an alternative high school, got a job as a waitress, had several love affairs, fought with her mom, and then got pregnant at the age of seventeen. She got pregnant again at the age of nineteen but aborted that one. Life went on.
She got pregnant yet again and married a wild guy. This one liked to drink to excess. He also loved drugs. Her second child was born. A divorce happened. She got a job.
The next fellow had a motorcycle accident which resulted in serious injuries to her first child J.P. The little guy lost complete hearing in one ear and was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury sometime after his emotional outbursts started. This necessitated hospitalization for him, now four years old, in a children's psych unit. Fortunately, Crystal located a new job at an insurance company with an accommodating boss who allowed her to arrange her schedule around the needs of JP.
Crystal McVea met her future husband Virgil [but not via the insurance company job]. Things got calmer for her and her kids. Virgil was a practicing christian. [The other boyfriends weren't and so therefore they were all Bad News]. Crystal still wasn't sure that god liked her very much. Even so, there was a bunch of intense dreams about her brother who was drinking in an alcoholic fashion. He got three charges for driving drunk. He kind of faded out of the book as quickly as he faded in.
The McVeas met another christian couple and became friends. The woman claimed that her mother had joined up with a satanic cult when she was but a child. That woman had been passed around the men and raped repeatedly. One day, she went to pray for Crystal McVea and boom, a demonic possession-- no, not one of her alters-- happened. The alleged demonic possession of the christian woman friend happened a second time but luckily husband Virgil knew exactly what to do.
Then god prompted Crystal McVea to leave a large tip at a pizza place. The waitress needed the money.
Courtesy of Virgil, god then made Crystal McVea pregnant with twins. The twins were severely premature and fragil but survived. Crystal McVea was still not happy, even after they passed their first earth birthday.
Crystal McVea was hospitalized and operated on but then insisted upon going home too early. She was back in the hospital that same evening and that is when her heart stopped.
In heaven, Crystal McVea first met her own two special guardian angels. She loved them. Then god showed up. Then her aborted fetus-- now a happy little girl-- came along. Crystal McVea was restored back to life in the hospital and she renewed her christian walk.
sapphoq reviews says: To my way of thinking, Crystal McVea did not really qualify as a skeptic. Although she backslid on many occasions, she had no discernible contact with any community of non-believers or secular humanist thought. The blurb for the book was a far better example of writing than any found in the book itself. Sensational and not worth reading despite the hype. Not all books written by christians are this bad. Give Waking Up in Heaven a miss. I was glad that I was able to read it at the library instead of paying for it.