Friday, July 6, 2012

To Heaven & Back

I rarely find a book that I feel strongly enough about to share with others.   Of course, I love my fiction.   As any of my friends will tell you, I'm a huge fan of John Irving & Larry McMurtry, among others.    Of late, however, I've been on a non-fiction kick.  My summer reading up 'til now has consisted of reading journals & diaries from the Civil War, WWII & western frontier eras.   All of these are written by women.  I LOVE to know what other women were thinking as they faced adversities & different social situations.   What always surprises me is that people are basically the same now as they've always been.   Human nature is a constant.  

That being said, I recently stumbled upon another non-fiction book that literally has changed my life & the way I think.  That doesn't happen very often.  Overall I consider myself to be a pretty opened minded person; however, I have very well thought-out opinions and belief systems.   This book didn't so much as change those as it did give me a different perspective on life & death.

I am a professing Christian.   (Notice I didn't mention a particular religion.  I believe God CAN use ALL religions to reach different personalities.)   Admittedly, some of my beliefs may be considered sort of "out there" by some.   I have had many encounters with God throughout my life & have a healthy sense of my soul & spiritual things.   Maybe that's why I was so open to this particular book.  That being said, I've worked out in the world enough to also have a healthy dose of skepticism.  This book, I believe, is "the real deal".

It's a little book called To Heaven and Back. It's written by Dr. Mary Neal.   Dr. Neal is an orthopedic surgeon.  This probably is why her writing style is very concise and clear.  It reads sometimes more like a narrative than a story.   But, that's also precisely why it's so easy to read.   The story covers both her death experience after a boating accident over 10 years ago & also the loss of her son.   The thoughts & feelings she shares are both moving & real.   I rarely cry when reading books; however, this book moved me to tears, twice.  First, at the beauty of her descriptions of heaven and heavenly beings who accompanied her on her journey.  Secondly, at the rawness of emotion that was evident after the death of her son & her later revelations about his life.    As a mom of sons,  it's my greatest fear to lose them.

This book both affirmed some beliefs that I already have and also made me look at some things in a different perspective.     It also stirred my spirit and prodded me to do the things that I know God wants me to do with my life & stop procrastinating so much.  It's a great reminder that we are all too busy with "busy" things when we should be trying to find out who we are and what we're here for.

I've included the link to the book below.    Enjoy & God Bless you!

Take good care,

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