It costs you something, doesn’t it? Listening to God. It demands you die to comfort and to your own wisdom, to playing it safe and to living up to societal conventions.
What if you weren’t even sure about God? Would you do what He asked?
Born and raised in a small town called Třinec in the east of the Czech Republic, Míša belonged to a loving family with turbulent tendencies.
“My parents had a lot of arguments and my dad’s usual reaction was to get drunk,” she recalls.
Growing up, Míša’s family lived with four generations in the house: her siblings and parents, grandparents, and her great-grandmother, Helena. The result of a past generation, Helena was the only religious person in the house. You could see secularization happening as you looked down the generational lines. Despite not understanding her great-grandmother’s convictions, Míša was devastated when she passed away before Míša entered high school and “the purest and kindest soul I had in my life was gone.”
Despite the Czech Republic being a highly secularized country, often unwelcoming to religion, Míša found herself attending a Christian high school. As a modern Czech, it was difficult for her when teachers at this high school taught that many scientific findings weren’t real and that everything that she’d always known wasn’t true.
“I felt like every conversation that I had with Christians was just their strategy to change who I was. I hated it,” she shared.
Summer break after her first year in high school, Míša was in Poland with her family visiting an aunt. One day she became sick and decided to stay in her aunt’s flat while her family went on a trip. She laid on a sofa and, for a few minutes, fell asleep.
Míša had a dream. In this dream, her great-grandmother was sitting on someone’s lap. Míša couldn’t see the person’s face, but he was so much bigger than Helena. She was looking at Míša in this peaceful and kind way as she did when she was alive and said,
“It’s the right way."
Míša woke up and started crying. Even after the dream, she wasn’t convinced, but “I was willing to listen,” she said.
During her next year in school, Míša found herself at an event after school where students were telling their stories about how they got to know God.
“I decided to go because that day it was my friend who was telling his story. He was talking about his dad having a stroke. He said that doctors told them his dad didn’t have any chance to live a normal life, that the damage to his brain was too big. But the whole church prayed for his father and now he is perfectly healthy.”
This testimony struck her. She went home that day thinking how cool it would be to have a story like that. She thought that maybe if she had something like that happen in her life, then maybe she would believe in God.
That day Míša prayed quietly in her head, “God if you exist, give me a story like Filip’s.”
The next day was normal at school, but when she came home Míša found her mother in tears. Her father had been in an accident at work.
Together they ran to the hospital to find him with blood all over his head, unable to speak, and unable to remember anything. Doctors told them, “We are not sure If he will survive the night - we will see.”
They were not allowed to stay with him so they went home and Míša stayed up all night, calling all of her Christian friends and asking them to pray.
He did survive the night, and after few days Míša realized how similar this story was to what she had heard at chapel. Her dad was healing faster than doctors expected. They said it was a miracle that he was perfectly healthy in a few days.
At first, Míša was angry. Why would God want to hurt her father? But she began to realize that He did exactly what she asked Him to: give her a miracle story like Filip’s. The hospital released her father on Míša’s birthday, giving her the best present she could have imagined.
As high school came to a close, adversity became the theme of Míša’s life. A broken heart, friends who betrayed her, an affair and excessive drinking from her father, and mounting depression of her mother’s culminated during her final year while she studied for university exams and cared for her sister, leaving her sad, drained, and hopeless.
One evening when Míša went to check on her mom who hardly moved from bed most days.
“I went to the bedroom to see how my mom was doing. She was crying as every day, so I hugged her. Then I went back to my room and suddenly I felt like I should go to the pub and say to my dad, ‘Come back home.’ "
If you’ve ever tried to take a drunk person home from the pub, you’ll know it’s almost impossible. Those people usually want to stay there, they are aggressive and scream.
On her way to the pub, Míša cried and prayed, not actually knowing why she was going. “I felt like there was no chance that my dad was going home with me,” she says.
When she arrived and entered the pub, Míša’s dad and his friends stopped talking and stared at her. Still not understanding, but acting on hope, she asked him to come home.
To her surprise, he just stood up and left the pub with her.
When they came out of the pub, he started crying. He grabbed Míša’s shoulders and started shaking her,
“Who called you? Who told you?” he shouted.
Míša didn’t – couldn’t know what he meant. So he told her.
About 30 seconds before Míša had entered the pub, her father had turned and said to his friends, “If anyone loved me, they would come for me.”
That’s why everyone had stared at her, why they were so supportive of him leaving, why he really wanted to go home.
Míša’s father just wanted to feel that someone actually loved him even though he’d made so many mistakes in his life.
He asked again, “WHO TOLD YOU?” and Míša replied,
“God told me, I just hadn’t realized it before.”
The next day, when he was sober, he woke Míša up with a sentence: “I believe God told you.”
Since then, everything has changed. Míša started to go to Church, her sister found her way to God, her mom and grandma started believing, and her dad and grandpa are asking questions, on their way to understanding what faith is about.
God used Misa before she was even sure she had this God thing figured out.
He showed His greatness to her in many ways as she grew, and to others when she took a chance and said yes to what God asked. And she’s continued to say yes, looking for ways to find Him over and over again.
“We are all still on our way, we are learning to trust God, to get to know Him, sometimes we forget about Him, sometimes we are mad at Him because things are not as we want them. But I guess that’s normal and that’s what life is about – still being on our way.”
Photos from Unsplash.