Heather's Review: I truly love near death and death experiences so this audio book was an automatic draw for me. The thing that I was not expecting was the bravery and tenacity of the author in sharing her story over and over again. Not just the story of how she died for nine minutes and came back, but the details of a very sad and troubled life as a child of sexual abuse.
Crystal's memoir, contained in seven CDs, is told in her own voice. It details how being a victim of abuse pulled her into a spiral of shame and secrets that only God could take away. Her descriptions of God's unconditional love and his message for her is beautiful. I cried listening to Crystal describe how He made her feel absolutely and completely whole, loved-- innocent like she was as a three year old little girl.
This is definitely a mature adult title since it goes over dysfunctional family dynamics, a traumatic accident, drugs, abuse and abortion. However, Waking Up in Heaven has a message of profound hope. It is a tale of how one woman had a life changing experience and allowed it to shape her future. Crystal follows God's "nudges" for her. She walks up to complete strangers in the grocery store to tell her story. She's a braver woman than many of us.
I admire Crystal's husband Virgil with his faith and unwavering support, as well, the way they have allowed this experience to serve others in need. I would recommend Waking up in Heaven to anyone who has felt abandoned in moments of trial or who wants to know that God loves us in spite of any choices we have made.
Sure, there may be cynics-- or those who believe Crystal's story is not real, but I for one am not one of them. There is truth and "beauty from ashes" in this book.