Miracles from Heaven: An Amazing Story that Almost Wasn't Told
Christy Beam taught 5th and 6th graders before becoming a full-time mommy to three girls. Her middle daughter, Annabel, spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals, battling a rare digestive disorder, until a bizarre accident in the family's yard. Annabel fell three stories headfirst inside an old tree, and walked away from the accident completely healed.
Beam wrote a book about the experience and now Beam's book is a movie, starring Jennifer Garner. Miracles from Heaven hits theaters March 16. But Beam says it was a book she initially refused to write. "It sounds crazy," she says. "God laid it on my heart to write the book. I said, 'No God, I'm not a writer.'" But shortly after telling God, “Thanks, but no thanks,” Beam met a friend for lunch. She hadn't seen this friend in 15 years, and it ended up being a divine appointment. "She sat down and, within five minutes, she said, 'God's laid it on my heart that you need to write a book about Annabel's journey,'" recounts Beam. "She said, 'God wants you to know it's not a matter of if you're going to write the book, it's when.'"
That day, Beam went to the store and bought a laptop to officially launch her writing career. "I had no idea His plan would be so much bigger," she says. "I never imagined he would use as something to witness to so many in such an amazing way."
One of the people Beam says she was able to share her faith with was the actress that played her in the movie, Jennifer Garner. "She's so warm and has been so accepting of the whole thing and taking it all in," says Beam of Garner. "I feel like this whole story was able to share Christ's impact with everyone involved. I feel like everybody was challenged a little bit and brought closer to Him." Garner has said in various media interviews that starring in the movie prompted her to return to church with her children.
Beam says she hears from at least 30 people every day who say her family's story has impacted their lives. And Beam makes a point to respond to each message after her morning prayer, coffee cup in hand. "My goal is to respond to 20 at a time," says Beam, "but I try to reply to every one of them the best I can. I feel like God has given me the opportunity to be His arms to these people and reach out like Him reaching through me. I feel like I'm His extension. If they're reaching out to me, they're reaching out to Him, and I don't want them to feel like it's falling on deaf ears. You are important and valid and special, and I recognize your need."
Beam's website includes a place for people to share their own stories of God's faithfulness. Many submissions read like their own Hollywood movie scripts -- stories of miraculous healings and examples of supernatural protection. Beam believes firmly in miracles, but there was a time when she was convinced that they only happened to other people. When her daughter Annabel's health was at its worse, she was on ten medications a day, crunched over a heating pad on the couch. "She lived a horrible life in and out of doctors' offices. It never occurred to me that [miracles] would ever happen to me. Now my heart and vision is so changed," she says. Beam says looking back, she can see God's hand on many areas of her life and her daughter's illness, but she missed His blessings because she was too overwhelmed by the bad things happening. She encourages other people to be more attentive. "Recognize it for what it is," she encourages. "It may not be a huge miracle, but it's a miracle."