While I hate to discredit someone's personal life story, so much of Touched by Heaven just did not jive with me. This is a touchy review, as spiritual encounters are touchy themselves. The fact is, several things I have witnessed or experienced in life could be explained away, or laughed away, or totally unbelievable to someone else.
I felt like things didn't add up. The book starts with Nancy Ravenhill's memory of being five years old and the first time her dad beat her. Her recollections seem too much, right down to exactly what she was wearing and what she was thinking. Her thoughts that day seem too advanced, as though she is portraying her adult thoughts now onto that day.
To me, it didn't make sense that she lived her life for five years and then suddenly one day her dad turns on her saying it is her fault that her mother spends all her money on her. And then her mother goes on to buy her more things each times she is beaten in order to make that up to Nancy. It may be a vicious circle of an unstable family but it seemed odd. Especially when Nancy recounts how her mother used to lie in bed with her each night while they read Bible stories together. Except for the nights following the beatings, then her mother wouldn't show at all. Portraying her mother in such a loving way, but then to go on to say that her mother never tried to intervene with the beatings or come to her afterwards to soothe her seems out of character.
Nancy paints her father in a very unflattering light. I believe he could have been an angry man, and also an abusive one. But when she states that her dad paid for her college tuition to "get her out of his care and away from him" I don't understand how she could view it that way. Could he have just been caring for his daughter and paying for her college tuition?!
Nancy also recounts when she lost so much blood during childbirth that she died and went to Heaven. Yet, she asks God to send her back to Earth. Never have I read a near-death or death experence where someone wants to come back to Earth. It is always the opposite. After seeing the beauty of Heaven no one wants to return.
Even after having several personal experiences with seeing Jesus, even after seeing Heaven, Nancy still has a fear of death. I can't imagine fearing death after seeing Jesus himself.
Or the fact that Jesus apparently showed her the spiritual world of the demons when she was six years old. That seems unfathomable to me.
Basically, I got a weird feeling from this book. I've read several spiritual near-death books and like and believe about a quarter of the ones I've read. This book goes with the other 75% for me.
It was a quick read though. So you may just want to read it to see what you think of it.
This book was sent to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.