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A Trip to Hell Changes Former Atheist

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“You know it’s over, you’re done,” Frankie Frayley said. “You know you’re not getting out. You could have listened to your mom, to your dad. You could have listened to all your friends that told you that there is a God and that you should follow the Lord, but you didn't, and this is where you are now.”

Frankie Fraley grew up in a Christian home, though personally didn’t believe in God, thinking it was all just fantasy. But after being hospitalized with a COVID-19, he soon came to a harsh realization.  

“I could feel myself falling,” Frankie said. “I fell for a long way until I hit what felt like concrete. You could hear people screaming. And I just remember thinking, ‘I guess somehow I have died and now I'm in Hell.’ When my girls were born, they were born premature. In Hell, I got to watch that not turn out so well over and over and over. Like, the nurses come in and say, ‘Oh, they didn't make it.’ It's like the worst things that could have ever happened to you in this life now happen every day in Hell. There's no hope for tomorrow. The sun's not coming up again. It's over. This is your home now, and you are absolutely, completely miserable.”

Meanwhile, his wife, Ashley, was afraid she would lose Frankie as his condition worsened and he was put on a ventilator. She too identified as an atheist due in part to having been hurt by professing Christians. But in that moment, she found herself praying to a God she didn’t believe in.

“Hearing his doctor basically say that there wasn't much they could do for him was the scariest thing that I have ever heard,” Ashley said. “I went straight to my bedroom away from the kids, and I just dropped to my knees. And I just felt in my heart, I can't even explain why because I didn’t believe in God, but I just felt in my heart, ‘You need to turn to God.’ I said, ‘God, if you can help him then I will change, please help him.’ I just felt this peace that you cannot even explain come over me. I heard Him in my heart say, ‘You don't have to worry. I'm going to heal him.’ Everything just clicked for me. He's real. This is all the proof that I've ever wanted in my life.”

Days past, and Frankie wasn’t getting better. Ashley was undeterred, though. She continued to pray, believing for his healing. Up to this point she’d struggled with depression and substance abuse, isolating herself. But now she began reaching out to other believers asking for them to pray as well.   

“The fact that I was able to ask people for a prayer for Frankie and that they were coming through, it was kind of like redeeming my past, like where I'd been hurt by the church,” Ashley said. “It felt like God was showing me, ‘These are my people. This is what they're supposed to do.’ And it was just so comforting, and people showed up for us in a way I’ve never seen.”

As Ashley rallied people to pray, Frankie was still lost in Hell.

“All I could think about was my wife and my kids,” Frankie said. “I was really worried that they might end up here. Right in the middle of all this, this anguish, I felt being almost physically grabbed and pulled up. I just remember going up really, really fast and it’s like nighttime, almost like flying through space, and then just stopping. It was God who’d pulled me out. It was just such a relief. Finally, I don't have to wonder about this anymore. ‘Is there a God? Is any of this real?’ Yeah, I'm finally there with Him.”

Miraculously, Frankie’s condition then quickly turned for the better. Once awake and off the ventilator, he and Ashley shared with each other about their encounters with God.

“Hearing what Frankie experienced was even more confirmation for me that God is real, God loves us, and he cares about us,” Ashley said. “God had changed both of us at the same time.”

“To hear her say or acknowledge in any way that there even was a God, that that alone made me just weep,” Frankie said. “I was just very, very overjoyed knowing I'm going to get to try this again. I don't have to make all these same stupid mistakes. I finally get to go tell my kids about God.”

Frankie fully recovered over the course of the next month and Ashley was delivered from her depression and addictions. They have since started praying together and taking their family to church. Now that they know the truth about God, they’re eager to share His hope with the world.

“Just as soon as I was able to speak good enough to be understood, I was telling anyone that would listen about God, about what I'd seen,” Frankie said. “‘Hey, did you know about Heaven and Hell and God and Jesus? All that's real, did you know that?’ It’s not very often you hear about someone being that far gone getting a second chance. I'm insanely grateful to God to even just be here at all.”

“I am so grateful to God that He let us have Frankie back,” Ashley said. “I believe my family went through this because God loved us enough to chase us down and say, ‘You're not going to continue living this empty life that is leading to nowhere, you’re coming home to Me.’ It really gives me peace to know that no matter what could come our way, God's there and He's listening to our prayers. He loves us, He cares for us, and He's already got it all taken care of.”

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About The Author

Isaac Gwin

Isaac Gwin joined Operation Blessing in 2013 as a National Media Liaison producing domestic hunger relief stories. He then moved to Israel in 2015 where he spent the next six years as a CBN Features Producer developing stories throughout the Middle East. Now back in the U.S., Isaac continues to produce inspiring, true life stories for The 700 Club.