McVea, 36, author of "Waking Up in Heaven," published by Simon & Schuster
, described in her book how her near-death experience transformed her spiritual life.
According to the Christian Post
, McVea's book "Waking Up in Heaven" tells the story of her life, her experience of poverty, child abuse, stormy relationships, abortion and doubting God.
According to McVea, in 2009, she was undergoing treatment for pancreatitis when she suffered an overdose of anesthetic during surgery. Her heart stopped for nine minutes. She had a near-death experience in the minutes doctors battled to save her life.
reports she said: "The moment I closed my eyes in that hospital room, I immediately opened them and was standing in heaven. I fail to find human words to described what I experienced while I was standing there."
In response to Carlson's question, "What does God look like?" McVea said: "I saw an immense brightness – a brightness I could feel, taste, touch, hear, smell – that infused me. Not like I had five senses, but maybe like I had 500 senses."
She implied she smelled God during her near-death experience, but Carlson did not inquire about that, instead she wanted to know what God said.
Unfortunately, McVea said she did not recall much of the conversation and suggested that she was "made" to forget. The Christian Post
reports she said that she would have preferred to stay in heaven but God wanted her to return to raise her young children.
She spoke about her decision to write a book exposing her personal life: "I had been bound in secrets my entire life since I was a child. This is very hard and when God asked me to tell the whole story I did not want to do it. I prayed and fought. There were even things in the book that I prayed, 'Lord please don't make me reveal this to the world.' In the end His answer was 'yes I need you to.'"
She said that although she had been a churchgoer most of her life prior to her near-death experience, she was a "doubter." She said: "All my life, I was a doubter. To close my eyes, open them and be standing in front of the Creator of not only the universe, but of me, I never wanted to leave that."
She continued: "I love to look at the kind of people that God chooses, myself included because I just look at who I was and how unequipped I would have felt 10 years ago if he told me that this was my life... I tell people literally if He can use me he can use any of us. We worship a God that is so powerful and loving that He literally stopped my heart, pulled me out of my body and brought me before the gates of heaven not just to tell me that He loved me but to tell me that he loved you so much that He told me to come back to tell you that."