As an aspiring author, imagine my total delight when I was asked to introduce a New York Times bestselling author at a charity event. Not only that, the organization’s director asked if I would be willing to spend the day with the author, driving her to a television interview, showing her around town and taking her to lunch. Best. Day. Ever.

I had my list of questions prepared and couldn’t wait to pick her brain while showing her a little North Dakota niceness.

It was the best day ever, but better than gaining new insight into the world of publishing, I gained a new friend.

That author was Crystal McVea, who has now written two books, Waking Up in Heaven, and the follow up Chasing Heaven.

Let me be pause and be bossy for a moment.

If you haven’t read Waking Up in Heaven, stop reading this and go read that. It flows like a fiction novel, but I am convinced after meeting Crystal that every word of it is true.

That book is balm to the soul of anyone who has lost someone they love, and to everyone else who wonders how there could possibly be a good God when so many bad things keep happening.

Crystal’s second book, Chasing Heaven: What Dying Taught Me About Living, is equally as awesome because it describes what happens when God puts a call on someone’s life.

That’s where kindness comes in.

Crystal now boldly ministers under bridges to the homeless and ventures into the dark of night to reach women working in the adult entertainment industry — all while teaching in a third grade classroom in Oklahoma.

Okay, enough from me, you’re going to look at things in a whole new light after hearing from Crystal herself in this week’s podcast.

You can listen on iTunes, Google Play or NPR.

To learn more about Crystal, go to