Give Jesus a Try
(Please listen to Machelle’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
I used to be an international flight attendant. I was in the country of Bahrain. And since January 1, is New Years, I partied all night, drank all night. I woke up that morning, completely hungover, as usual. And I rolled over and out of my mouth I said, “Michelle, you have to change.” But I didn’t really know what that meant. So I did what I normally did–was binge watch YouTube.
So I opened up my laptop. And during that time, I absolutely loved watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Okay, so I clicked on a suggested Christmas movie. And you know how YouTube on the right hand side gives you the suggestions based off what you’ve been watching? But my suggestions, this time, were like Hallmark movie, Hallmark movie all the way down. And then right there in the middle said, “How a Muslim became a Christian.” And then Hallmark movie all the way down. And I was like, that’s really weird. I mean, because there is nothing Muslim, nothing, Christian, nothing like anything that I would have ever watched. And I traveled to the Middle East, about like, 20 times a year for the last five years at that time. So that’s a lot of times I’ve been in Middle East. I’ve never seen anything Jesus related.
Okay, so I watched that first Christmas movie. Once that ends, (remember, I’m binge watching because I’m obsessed with Hallmark) and so I clicked on another Christmas suggestion. And typically, everything else usually rearranges, but this time, it didn’t.
All the other Christmas movies did. But “How a Muslim became a Christian” remained right there in the middle. And I remember thinking to myself, What in the world is this? And then out loud, I said, “Why are you here?” So I tried my hardest to watch that second Christmas movie. But every couple minutes, I kept looking at “How a Muslim became a Christian,” and then being like, Okay, wait, I need to focus on the movie. And then my eyes just kept going back and forth, back and forth. And so finally I said, “Okay, fine, I’ll just click on you.” I end up watching this 46-minute video of this pastor. And he starts talking about his sin struggles and, and how he was before Christ and, and how his household was and how he used to act. And I felt like him and I were having this one-on-one conversation. But not only that, I could audibly hear in my head, “give Jesus a try,” over and over and over again. So at the end of the video, the pastor does what I now know is an altar call. And says, “If you’d like to give Jesus a try, then come down to the front.”
And I remember sitting there like, well, I’m … because I’m by myself in my hotel in the Middle East. And I’m like, Well, nobody really has to know. If nothing happens, nothing happens. But just based off of his life, and kind of where my life is. I mean, I guess I’ll just go ahead and do it. So I repeated the prayer that the pastor said, and I told myself, you have to be all-in, like no half-sies, right? So I repeated the prayer. I was totally in,
I gave my life to Christ. And then instantly when I said yes, God came in, and just hit my heart. I’m crying, I’m bawling. I’m feeling like the most amazing love I’ve ever felt in my life. And in that second, I could completely feel that the Lord just, he took away greed, flew off pride, gone, I was a major alcoholic, it was gone. I had constant suicidal thoughts, like, on the regular, I always thought about wanting to kill myself, because I never thought I was ever good enough. And I always thought that, and I found all my identity in, like, men and what they thought of me and what people thought of me and the clothes I wore. I mean, I was just tormented by identity. And that just flew off and completely left. And I could feel it was like 500 pounds lifted off of me. And I felt like I was completely floating. Like, I literally thought I was high, like I’d just smoked some weed. I did. I thought I was like, high. But I wasn’t. It was just the glory of the Lord coming, and just completely rescuing me from all the heavy weightiness. And that was just the peace of God just coming in. And I literally felt I was floating.
And I remember I started screaming, I was crying. And I was like, “God, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me, please forgive me.” It was kind of towards the end of the video. And the pastor was just blessing the congregation goodbye. And I distinctly remember him saying, “As you’re driving home tonight, if there’s anybody in your life that’s going to ruin your new walk with Christ, you need to let them go.” And instantly I had all these people come to mind, all the athletes I was dating, all the married guys I was dating, I shouldn’t like, I mean, just even like girls I was hanging out with that were bad influences, people I used to smoke and do drugs with and I mean, just like all of this. And so I texted them, and I said, “Hey, you know, I can no longer be friends with you.” And so I texted all of them, and then, and blocked and deleted their numbers.
So fast forward six months later, and I’m getting my hair done in my apartment. And I just felt led to rewatch “How a Muslim became a Christian.” So I never saved the video, but I still found in my history. So I knew it was the right video. So that came up, and I watched it everything, else–everything seemed to be the same. Except for at the end, the pastor just blesses the congregation goodbye. And so I was like, “Wait a second, he never said anything about letting people go, it’s going to ruin my new walk with Christ.”
I just kept rewinding it because I know it was like the last two minutes, and I kept rewinding it and rewinding it, and he never said that. And so I remember telling somebody, like a year later said, hey, this is what happened. And they were like, Michelle, that was the Holy Spirit speaking to you. And I was like, oh, my goodness, because I had, I had no idea. I didn’t know anything about the Holy Spirit.
I had constant suicidal thoughts, I never thought I was ever good enough. I found all my identity in men and what people thought of me and the clothes I wore, I mean, I was just tormented by identity.
So that’s just kind of like how I started. So that’s, that’s like, all I know is like Jesus and Holy Spirit. And just through that, you know, just like making connections and becoming a missionary. So, during that time, I was asked if I wanted to go on a mission trip. I didn’t know even what a mission trip was. I just knew that people did mission stuff because you love Jesus, and you just want to share your heart for Jesus. I end up going on this mission trip to this community where these people literally live in a trash dump. Their homes are not really houses, they’re more like huts kind of pieced together with with whatever they can find–pieces of glass, like windows, you know, maybe broken, just whatever to do to make shelter–wood, metal sheet, I mean, just really anything. And I remember walking around, and there was all these pigs, and you see all these needles, and they have the, like, the worst respiratory issues because they have to burn the trash there. But I remember just not being emotional about it, but just literally feeling the Father’s love for these people. And I just felt like he was just giving me the courage and the boldness to be there and not just be so moved by their circumstance, but be moved by the heart that He has for them. So he gave me those eyes. I had his eyes. Like forget about all the smells, forget about all that, I want you to focus on them, and minister to them.
And so, I was told that we were just going to go to this woman that volunteers at this children’s nonprofit that’s there to kind of help the kids get away from all that. They call it the Yellow House. So we walk about 20 minutes. We get to her house, and and give her a hug. There’s really nowhere to sit except for in the bedroom. So we walk into her bedroom, and I end up sitting down across from this small little twin size bed. And I look over and there’s an old man that’s underneath the blankets. He’s shivering cold and he looks like he’s dead. We have an interpreter and he’s talking to this woman. Come to find out that’s her husband. So they’re just kind of talking back and forth. And I’m looking at him and I hear the Holy Spirit tell me, “Pray for him.” I’m with about three others, we’ll just call them missionaries. And so I interrupt our interpreter and I said, “Hey, I feel like the Lord really wants us to pray for him. What’s wrong with him?”
He had stomach cancer, and he’s dying. And he’s 92 years old. I said, “Well, is it okay if we pray for him?” And so he says, “Do you want to pray for him right now?” I said, “I feel like when the Lord says that, we wouldn’t ask if we really want somebody to pray, that we should probably pray right now.” So his wife says, “Go ahead, pray for him.” We put our hands on on his stomach. Like I said, he looked dead. He had no color in his face or anything. And I just said, I didn’t really know. And I just said, “Jesus. you know, Lord, we just love him. And we command healing to take place. Spirit of infirmity, I command you to go right now in Jesus’ name.” I kind of looked at everyone else. And I said, “Sounds good to me.” But I didn’t know what else to do. So kind of sat back down and we start talking with his wife, and then all of a sudden, probably within like, ten minutes, it was like Lazarus rise. Dude sits up. Okay. And we were like, oh, like, we’re like, freaked out, right? Because I’m like, he literally came from the dead. Okay, cuz he looked dead, it was like it was the radical thing. So we’re totally freaked out. And he’s sweating. And he has color all over his face. Like you can actually see the pink in his lips. And he rips off his blanket. And in Portuguese, he says that he’s hot. And he has no pain. And we were like, “What in the world?” So our interpreter, like walks over. And he helps sit him up. Um, you know, because he was trying to get up and puts him against the wall.
It was getting kind of dark. And so they said, “Guys, you know, it’s kind of dangerous over here. So we should probably leave.” So he stands up, gives us hugs, and walks us out. And as we’re walking back to the Yellow House, some of the locals that came with us like to take pictures. They were engaging in this, like serious conversation. And I couldn’t understand what they were saying. So I asked our interpreter, and I said, “What are they talking about?” And he said, “Oh, they’re saying that they think it’s crazy. Because he’s been bedridden for five years. And he’s never walked in five years.” And we had no idea. He totally walked us out.
And we left the next day. And I mean, he was he was just on my heart. And so I asked our our other interpreter as we were driving to the airport, I said, “Can you check on him just to see how he’s doing? Because like, I mean, I couldn’t sleep last night.” And I was like, I need to know. I need to know. This guy was 92 years old, the oldest man in this community. Everybody knew who he was. And I said, “I need to know, like, how he’s doing, because I just never seen anything like that and never seen that love. Ever. Ninety-two, he’s supposed to die. I mean, he’s old. And he looks like he’s like a new man.” And so they said, this was a Sunday. And I got a report that he got up that morning, and walked 20 minutes, all the way to the Yellow House by himself. Without any assistance. He’d been bedridden for five years. People don’t have muscles. But he walked for 20 minutes, okay.
And then I got a message on Facebook two weeks later that he got baptized. And I just thought it was just crazy that the Lord saved the ninety-two-year-old man. And I really feel like he did that to show that community that God still loves his people. He still loves everyone. He still is in the restoration business, in the love business, like just to give them hope that he’s real. And it was just, man, it just, it just wrecked me.