(RNS) Miracles From Heaven finished its first weekend in the No. 3 spot at the box office, bringing in $1.9 million on opening day and, more important to Christy Beam, a message of “hope and encouragement” to its audiences.
Beam is the real-life mom played in the film by Jennifer Garner. And Miracles From Heaven shares her family’s story: how her middle daughter, Annabel, was diagnosed with an incurable digestive disorder, how the 10-year-old fell three stories into an old, hollowed out tree and how — spoiler alert — she experienced a miraculous healing.
The Christian mom of three, who lives with her family in Texas, shared how truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, what not to say to those struggling with illness and what it’s like to have Garner play you in a movie.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: So how much of the movie is true, and how much is artistic license?
A: They adapted it from my book, Miracles From Heaven. That is the true story. It’s the blood, sweat and tears poured out onto the page. Most of the events (in the movie) are very true; they’ve just taken a little dramatic license with them.
In the book and in the real story, Annabel doesn’t come out of the tree unconscious. She actually assisted in her own rescue, which was very crazy because she was nonresponsive for a very long time. Things like that were different, but the heartbeat and the message and those type of things that we want people to walk away with are spot-on.