Annabell Beam was twelve when she fell inside of a rotten tree trunk, and hung upside down for hours, waiting for rescue. In the process, she experienced Jesus and was cured of a devastating digestive disease.
In 2015, Christy Beam wrote Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing to share her daughter’s story with others seeking hope and faith. Quickly optioned by Sony Pictures, the Beams’ story will debut on March 18, with Jennifer Garner as Christy and Kylie Rogers as Annabell. Christian Cinema checked in with Christy Beam to discuss how their story became a major motion picture.
The Beam family’s faith is a central aspect of their lives and finding the right production team was important to Christy. “We wanted to make sure that God was the center of the story, in all of the little acts of faithfulness we experience and in the big one, too,” Beam explained. “Those were the same ideals that DeVon Franklin and T.D. Jakes had. We knew it would be centered on God and that Jesus’ name would be used.”
Beam’s favorite moment in the film involves her whole family, at a moment when Annabell’s pseudo-obstruction motility disorder has her hospitalized. “My husband Kevin and the other kids came in to surprise us,” she shared. “Annabell has given up and she’s ready to die so she can be with Jesus, where there is no pain. They literally save the day by showing up and surprising us.”
I asked Beam how she and her husband dealt with the pain of watching their daughter suffer, not knowing that she would be cured. “As hard as it was to watch her suffer, God loves her so much more than we do,” Beam affirmed. “He had a better plan for her life. In the interim, we stayed together and tried to live life everyday.”
“We didn’t let Annabell’s disease define her. We just didn’t know if there would be an end.”
Annabell’s digestive system did not fire synchronically, so fluid was not moved through the body the way it should have. This was quite painful, as the top part of her stomach became paralyzed and she was hospitalized nine times in the year prior to her miracle for a total of forty-five days. But after her experience in the tree trunk, Annabell was weaned off of her ten medications and the specialists deemed her cured.
The film’s message of faithfulness, both to God and by God, helps the audience see all of the little miracles that we sometimes miss along the way. Beam says that it’s a message of hope and encouragement to those who feel like they’re alone in the fight. Seeing their story play out on screen has been quite the experience for Annabell, now seventeen, and her mother.
“We went to see the film, and my husband and I were anxious. I think the other kids were kind of nervous, too,” Beam said. “But Annabell is so humble and full of grace. She just sat there, eating popcorn and taking it all in! I was a wreck, crying at different parts. When we got to the end, we asked her what she thought. She said, ‘I was sad at parts but I knew how it ended!’”
Writing the book was cathartic but seeing it unfold on screen was tough for Beam. Still, she sees the experience of her daughter’s healing as an opportunity to bless others. “I was called to be my kids’ mother and her caregiver, and I’m still their mother,” Beam affirmed. “But now it’s given me opportunities to share our story with others, to remind them it’s not about waiting for big miracles but seeing how God moves in the everyday. Our experience puts an exclamation point at the end of the sentence!”
Now, millions of people will see the Beams’ story play out on screen, similar to that of the Burpo family in Heaven is For Real. I asked Beam what she would say to someone who approached the film with doubts, and she answered clearly: “I know Annabell’s story before and what she was like. So you can have your doubts but I know 100%, without a doubt, that her story is true.”
“God healed that girl, more than just physically. That day, God healed all of her!”
Now, audiences will have a chance to see for themselves, to be inspired and grow in their faith. It’s the story of a girl who fell in a tree and ended up in heaven, who discovered that miracles come in all shapes and sizes. Just ask her mother.
Watch the Official Trailer for Miracles From Heaven (ft. Jennifer Garner):
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