The film is based on the real life story of Don Piper, who, driving home from a minister's conference in 1989, crashed into a semi-truck which had crossed into his lane. Presumed dead, Piper lay on a bed covered in tarp, when a passing minister who had also been at the conference came to pray over Piper's body and sang to him, with Piper soon joining in. His arm had been severed and his leg was barely attached to his body, forcing Piper to endure a long and brutal recovery, which included being bed bound for thirteen months. Piper claims to have seen Heaven while he was unconscious, and believes he was on his way there before being pulled back to Earth. Piper has said he was infuriated at God, as his injuries meant he had to endure incredible pain before eventually regaining his mobility. After suffering in silence, he wrote the book which this film is based on, and became an accomplished public speaker. His account of the accident, and his life since, sold seven million copies and has been translated into 46 different languages.
This film is the first to be produced by Family Christian Entertainment, a new production company founded by Rick Jackson, the owner of Family Christian Stores, the largest Christian Retail Chain in the United States.