I love reading Christian biographies; they remind me that God can do amazing things in and through his people. Here are two books that chronicle two remarkable women, which I came across in my publishing work with Authentic Media (we secured the Commonwealth rights for them). The first is a story of someone who dies and spends time in heaven. When I first heard that yet another heaven book had appeared, I was skeptical. But I started reading Waking Up in Heaven and was gripped, for Crystal’s life has been filled with drama even without the otherworldly journey.
As a young child Crystal suffered repeated sexual abuse, and could never feel clean – she got baptized four times as a teenager in her quest to slough off the old self. She got pregnant at seventeen and had the baby, but at nineteen had an abortion. Married at twenty but divorced after six months when she found out he was a drug addict. But when at last she found a really good guy to marry, and her life seemed sorted, she fell into a deep depression. Why? She didn’t feel worthy of her husband and his love (rooted out of the feelings of shame and self-hatred that she had endured all her life). And that’s when she died for nine minutes and experienced a life-changing transformation in heaven… You’ll have to read it to find out more!
I should mention another heaven book: Dr. Mary Neal’s To Heaven and Back. She’s an orthopedic surgeon, and her prose is not chatty like Crystal’s, but her scientific medical stance makes for a compelling read.
Another life-changing journey is that of Katie Davis. In her year before going to university, she went on a shortterm mission trip to Uganda. She fell in love with the people and the place, and knew that God was calling her to return there. But how would her family and her boyfriend react? At first she left the comfortable surroundings of her home in America for a year to immerse herself in Uganda; the plan was then to return to her life – her family, her boyfriend, her studies. But as the time drew to a close, she knew she had to stay. And she had to begin a family made up of one parent and otherwise destitute orphans.
In the years since, Katie has settled in Uganda and is in the process of adopting thirteen girls. A crazy path in the eyes of the world has been her following the call of Jesus. Radical obedience and the sharing and receiving God’s love.
What stories of God’s transforming love are you reading?
Publishing info: Waking Up in Heaven, Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski (Authentic, ISBN 9781780781136) and Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis and Ben Clark (Authentic, ISBN 9781780780894)