'Miracles from Heaven' mom: I thought about keeping story 'to myself'

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |

BURLESON, Texas (Christian Examiner) – Miracles from Heaven has inspired millions around the world through a bestselling book and a hit movie, but according to the real-life mom behind the story, she considered keeping it to herself.

Christy Beam says friends were urging her to write a book about the miraculous incident involving her daughter, and that even when she was writing it, she didn't realize how it would be received.

The movie – out on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats this week – recounts how her young daughter, Annabel, suffered extreme abdominal pain due to a chronic condition known as pseudo-obstruction motility disorder, and then was healed via a freak accident when she fell into a hollow tree. Family members feared she had been killed, but instead she was fine and her abdominal pain gone. Jennifer Garner played Beam, while Kylie Rogers played Annabel.

Her book landed on The New York Times bestseller list, and the movie (rated PG) opened in the Top 3 and grossed $61 million in its lifetime, surpassing expectations.

"When I started writing 'Miracles from Heaven,'" she told the Christian Examiner, "I thought it was because God wanted me to do it, because it would help me heal – there was so much in me that needed to come out. [And then I could] wrap it in a bow in a pretty box and say, 'That's over. I've lived it. I'm done brewing over it.'

"But that wasn't [God's] plan. The plan was for it to turn into this beautiful book that has gone international and has touched so many lives. In the beginning, I never thought it would be for this. But when it came to that fork in the road where I could have kept it to myself, I felt like it was selfish and irresponsible of me to keep it to myself."

In fact, Beam believes her daughter was healed in such an amazing way simply so the story could be told to the world.

"When people began to say, 'You really need to get this story out there. This book needs to be in people's hands to give them hope and encouragement,' I had this overwhelming sense of hurry. People need this. They need hope."

The movie, she said, brought back lots of emotions.

"It was so hard to watch it. It was so hard to relive it again," Beam said. "And Jennifer and Kylie did such a brilliant job. It was just like being there again, reliving it again, re-opening scars that you thought had healed. And there were times where there were things that had happened and they were funny, and I can look back and laugh. But, then, ultimately, I loved it. It is so well done."

The DVD, Blu-ray and digital versions include several featurettes, including one about the Beam family and their pastor.

"Miracles from Heaven" is rated PG for thematic elements. It has no sexuality, violence or coarse language.