"I Literally Went From Death to Life"
When first-year student Michelle Coleman and her husband decided to attend Rhema in September 2021, the devil threw one fiery dart after another to discourage them. The sale of their house fell through. Michelle was injured the day they arrived in Tulsa, which resulted in her having back surgery. The engine on her relatively new and otherwise perfectly running car blew up unexpectedly. On top of everything, their dog died.
Two months after having back surgery, Michelle was hit with COVID. It started mildly but progressed fast. She ended up in the emergency room with double pneumonia and an inflamed colon.
Although the virus relentlessly attacked her body, Michelle says, "I was not prepared for how that demonic disease would attack my mind."
While in the hospital, Michelle didn't understand what was going on with her mind. The doctor told her she had "COVID brain"—a side effect of the virus. The condition can cause extreme brain fog, lack of concentration, severe depression, and anxiety, among other symptoms.
Before contracting COVID, depression and anxiety had never been a part of Michelle's life. But the effects of the brain fog plunged her into what she describes as the darkest time of her life.
"There was such a heaviness and darkness in my mind and heart," she says. "I started crying around the clock. I couldn't be alone. I was gripped with fear, angst, paranoia, and a whole gamut of strange things I had never experienced."
Feeling like she was left with no other choice, Michelle told her husband they needed to quit school and move back home. That is, until one Tuesday during Exaltation.
Exaltation is part of the RBTC experience. It is where Rhema students, faculty, and staff gather once a week for a time of worship, exhortation, and corporate prayer. It was during that time that Michelle received her healing.
"I was in Exaltation, and Mrs. Denise [Hagin Burns] was praying," she says. "She spoke about coming from a place of a victor and not a victim. She talked about kicking the devil out. Then she started praying and said, 'Someone is burdened and heavy and feeling and thinking things they never have before. Suicide, fear, depression . . . ' "
Michelle immediately knew that word was for her. She continues, "[Denise] took authority over that thing and commanded it to go. Then she talked about speaking to the darkness until it leaves. She told us to receive it, and I did."
Although Michelle didn't feel any different afterward, she knew the darkness that had taken hold of her was gone.
From that day forward, she proclaimed her victory. Through the tears and overcoming the fear, Michelle declared that she had the mind of Christ. She confessed the peace of Jesus and the joy of the Lord was inside her. She spoke truth and did not relent.
"I thanked God every chance I got for everything He had done. I sang, shouted, and prayed in the Spirit daily, and I started coming back to myself," she recalls.
During a video call a few days later, Michelle's mother noticed a change in her daughter.
"My mom was on the phone in tears. She said, 'You're back!' I see it in your face! I thought we were going to lose you. Thank you, Jesus!' "
Michelle was back! She had initially been told the side effects could last a long time. But after almost a month of suffering physically and mentally, she was free!
"It was as if the darkness was never there. I literally went from death to life. It's as if the virus was never in my body," she shares. "It has been a journey . . . but God! In every situation, He has shown Himself and made a 'Red Sea' way for us. God is so good, and being here [at Rhema] has already changed my life so much."
For more information about Rhema Bible Training College, visit rbtc.org.
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