- Tom a pastor, and Sonja Burpo, a teacher, both with low income jobs find themselves struggling to make ends meet due to their run-in with a surplus of unwanted physical setbacks. Thus making a young family life difficult to sustain. The constant worry and stress of their own physical problems would turn out to be nothing compared to their, "not-quite-for-year-old" son Colton Burpo’s surprise unknown illness which later was diagnosed as a ruptured appendix. The emergency surgery left Colton sedated, and what is now known, and later told as a trip to Heaven. Colton's vivid discovery of Heaven is revealed as the the book progresses, Colton casually recalls "sitting in Jesus' lap" and meeting family members that he never knew of before. His child like humility helps many to find their place with God and bring a new life to the Christian faith.
"In earlier interviews, Todd said writing the book was never something they had planned, but that God had a hand in it, and led him, through friends, to getting it published" (Shultz).