Rebecca Crownover grew up as farmer, working alongside her grandfather on his farm in the summers between school years as a junior and senior high student. She earned a degree at Texas Tech, and married a farmer, seeing a clear trajectory to the way her life would go. But in 2009, tragedy struck as her husband suffered a terminal head injury while riding an ATV, and everything changed.
Now, Crownover is the author of the Texas Farm Girl series about life lessons learned on the farm, like “Reap What You Sow” (inspired by Galatians 6:7) about how the decisions we make today shape our tomorrow. But in between her husband’s death and her return to farming, she wrote a book called My Daddy is in Heaven With Jesus based on her conversations with her then 2.5 year old daughter, Acie.
For her daughter, who’d gone to church, heard about Jesus dying on the cross, and been taught about heaven, this was her way forward. But before Crownover could help her daughter grieve, she first had to survive the downward spiral of her own life in 2009, the subject of the new film, My Daddy is in Heaven.
For Crownover, the film is a raw experience, from the ATV accident to the ‘come to Jesus’ moment toward the end of the film. In producing the film, she had some interaction with the cast and crew, like Jenn Gotzon Chandler and Corbin Bernsen. Through this, Crownover saw the film take shape in front of her, and realized these actors were bringing her story to a new audience. “It was an interesting feeling watching them film,” she shared. “I spent some time with Jenn and honestly, she and I just clicked. I felt like she got it right away.”
“I feel like she’s sort of my double!” Crownover chuckled. “I feel so connected to her, and it’s beautiful and it’s amazing. I’m forever grateful to the hard work she did to share my story.”
Crownover calls Bernsen a blessing, saying that his passion for the film showed how powerful it could be, from his role as Acie’s grandfather to the way that family as a whole was emphasized.
“Sometimes, with our family, we take our frustrations out on them, but they’re there to help us pick up the pieces. I see that in the movie to show us how important family is and how much they welcome us back,” the author/farmer proposed.
While Crownover has dealt with the intense grief of the immediate days after her husband’s death, her path forward was through caring for her daughter and farming the land. She’s practical, hopeful, and direct when she shares advice for those experiencing intense loss for the first time.
“Take your time. Dont give up to hope. It’s so hard to go through the first few days, and months, and first year. You take one step forward,” she said. “If you want to be happy again, you can be. Look into counseling or resources that help you; surround yourself with family.”
For Crownover, overcoming has been about her family, and her faith. She shared that Jeremiah 29:11 was her favorite verse, one she treasured in the days immediately following the crash and one she still holds close today.
“God wants us to be happy and has a huge plan for us. This journey of life is sometimes hard but if we have a bold faith, God will get us through it. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves from what we overcome.”
Now, audiences can learn from Crownover’s story in My Daddy is in Heaven, available on March 13 via Digital.