March 1, 2016

Miracles Are Real!

This blog post is part of a Megan Media and Sony Pictures blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. #MiraclesFromHeaven

Remember watching movies as a child and wanting to be a part of the movie? Serious playground conversations were devoted to discussing whom each person would play in the movie. You acted it out. You sometimes felt like you were that character, whether your mom knew it or not.

Ah the simple joys of childhood! Watching Miracles from Heaven brought me back to that place. The scenes in this movie felt real to me. But they were real to me for a whole different reason. I lived it.

Let me take a step back. Miracles from Heaven is not based on my life. However, my life experiences are similar. Eerily similar.

Little Anna Beam got really sick one night. It didn’t stop. Her mom took her to see doctor after doctor. She was in pain every day. Her poor tummy was distended. She received diagnoses like “lactose intolerant” and “an acid problem.”

At 11 years old, I started experiencing severe pain in my intestines. I threw up every single day. I lost a ton of weight. I could only tolerate certain foods. My doctors did test after test, and every time, we were told they had no answers. No diagnosis. Maybe I was lactose intolerant. Finally, after several years and more tests, I was told I had an acid problem. The acid pill helped heal my esophagus from so much throwing up over 6 years, but that was a symptom, not the root cause.

I didn’t receive an answer for another five years. By that time I was so skinny, I was about 100 pounds in college at 5’6”. I could barely eat more than some applesauce without being in pain.

Our stories parallel each other’s in so many ways. It was almost astounding! But what most drew me into this story was watching how this little girl’s disease affected her entire family, especially her mom. Seeing her mom fight for her daughter, when she was told she was wrong, that nothing was wrong with her daughter. When people blamed her own “sins” for her daughter’s illness.

I remember watching my mom go through this journey. Your child, your baby, is sick and there’s nothing you can do about it. For a mom, this experience must be excruciatingly poignant, wanting to make your baby better and not being able to. Watching your child suffer, and not being able to just kiss the boo boo and make it better. And then navigating the system, getting to the right doctors, getting people to believe you.

My mom was told by my friend’s parents and several teachers that I was anorexic. I went on our 8th grade trip and felt like I had to “prove” to my teachers that I ate, when my stomach was in knots.

I can’t tell you what happens to the little girl in her story, but I can tell you that faith plays a major part in the movie. I am not particularly religious, but I do have very strong faith. I believe good things will happen, and I make good things happen.

The film’s producer, DeVon Franklin, found this story when the book was just starting to be written. It was sold to Sony before the book was final! He worked closely with the family to tell their story, and to show all of the miracles this girl experienced. Miracles aren’t always big. They happen every single day, if you know where to look. So much of our life passes by, and we don’t see it. But after watching this movie, you will look for them,and you will find them – every single day!

Even better, this movie features a strong female lead (Jennifer Garner) with another female lead, her daughter in the movie. The Director is also female, and Latin. Absolutely love seeing all of these women involved in making such a heart-wrenching tale that will make you laugh, make you cry, and change your perspective. #MiraclesFromHeaven is a miracle in itself!

Check out the movie in theaters on March 16th, and be sure to bring a large box of tissues!Advertisement

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