Miracles From Heaven, the latest in a series of faith-based films focusing on the afterlife, features the amazing story recounted in the bestselling book by Christy Beam and will hit theaters March 18, 2016, a week before the Easter holiday.
Directed by Patricia Riggen, Miracles From Heaven is being produced by Joe Roth, Bishop T.D. Jakes and DeVon Franklin, who are the same people behind the 2014 hit film "Heaven Is for Real," which grossed more than $101 million at the box office.
The upcoming film will star Golden Globe-award winning actress Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson (Grey's Anatomy), John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2), Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included), and Queen Latifah.
It tells the story of Annabel Beam, a little girl from Texas, who visited Heaven and met Jesus after a devastating fall. She was also miraculously cured of a life-threatening digestive disorder after the accident. Her incredible story of faith, hope, and overcoming adversity is retold in her mother Christy's memoir, Miracles From Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing.
In an interview with the Gospel Herald in April, Christy shared how in 2011, Annabel fell headfirst 30 feet inside a hollowed-out cottonwood tree while playing with her sisters on the family farm in Texas.
Despite the tragic fall, Annabel bore no signs of injury, and later told her parents that she went to heaven and sat in Jesus' lap after the accident.
"Annabel turned to me and said, 'Mommy, I went to heaven when I was in that tree,'" Christy recalled. "All I said was, 'Really.' That's all I could get out of my mouth. She continued, 'Yeah I sat on Jesus' lap and He said it wasn't my time.' She went on to share everything that she had experienced and everything that He had said and how it had made her feel. Jesus had said, 'Annabel, the firemen are gonna get you out, and when they do, there will be nothing wrong with you.' She told him, 'I don't wanna go, I wanna stay with you, where there is no pain.' She didn't hurt in Heaven--she felt the best she'd ever felt her whole life. Jesus responded, 'I know you do, Annabel, but I have plans for you on earth that you can't complete in Heaven. But I will send my guardian angel to protect you, and she's going to light the tree for you and stay with you.'"
Throughout her young life, Annabel, now 12, suffered from pseudo-obstruction motility disorder and antral hypomotility disorder, forcing her in and out of hospitals for years. However, after the tragic fall, the young girl was miraculously asymptomatic.
"[Specialists told us] 'She's asymptomatic, she's on zero medications, she doesn't need my help anymore, she's released,'" Christy said. "They can't explain it, but they all agree that she's fine--there's nothing wrong with her, she no longer has any of the disorders that she had before...We believe that she was healed in the tree after meeting Jesus."
Although excited about the upcoming film featuring her family's story, Christy hopes people will read her book, as it is a precise account of what happened.
"If you haven't read our book, Miracles From Heaven, I urge you to do so!" she wrote in a recent Facebook post. "The movie comes out in all major theaters March 18 it will be wonderful but it is an adaptation of the book. The book is EVERYTHING we endured... poured out on paper. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!"
Christy told the Gospel Herald she hopes her book will serve as an encouragement to others and also serve as a reminder that God is faithful -- even in the little things.
"It doesn't have to be one big huge grand miracle that happens to help you realize that God is faithful," she said. "He is there, He is real, He is active in your life. It is all those small acts of faithfulness that He is trying to show you daily of His love and His reality there for you. It may not mean you get a grand miracle, and that's ok, because sometimes all those little acts of faithfulness that God is showing you daily are miracles themselves."