Authors: Joshua Frost
told you,” Mom replied calmly. These incidents marked gradual changes in my parents’ marriage. Slowly the two of them became more of a ministry
Little did they know, however, that this was just the beginning of the change.
In 1992 on the Day of Atonement, my parents were sound asleep when a lightning bolt struck in our backyard and a blinding light burst into Mom and Dad’s bedroom. Suddenly a man stood at the end of my parents’ bed. And not just any man. This was an angel, and around him emanated a presence which my mom later described as “the terror of God.” Of course, my siblings and I somehow slept through all these fireworks!
What I do recall was having a mom for a few weeks who was in a bit of a permanent daze. The one “visit” had turned into a string of visits over nine weeks. Mom spared us kids most of the details but would simply tell us that an angel had visited her the night before. Later, I found out that God had revealed to both Mom and Dad that He wanted to visit my mother, alone. Not my dad, not the two of them together—just Mom.
It was a strange season, yet it seemed normal—mundane, even. Mom would get ready for bed early. As evening wore into night, I remember our dog would seem agitated and look up at some invisible
on the ceiling. Then the next morning, Mom would seem fine but a little distracted. What I didn’t know was that she was experiencing so much of God’s power that, after some encounters, Mom would check her own pulse because she didn’t know if she was still alive or not!
This all changed the Goll family at the most fundamental level. Dear, gentle, serene Michal Ann was undergoing a personality transplant! Gone were timidity and the fear of man. Suddenly present was a tremendous unspoken authority. It was like we got a new, upgraded mom. Both my parents wrote about the changes and challenges Mom’s transformation brought to their marriage.
Suddenly, Mom was not so quiet! And sometimes Dad missed the old Michal Ann. But they both agreed that what God was doing was good and that they would allow Him to re-form their relationship.
The Turning Point
Let’s return to the year 2000, the turning point when my dad promised that he would never again pressure me about the prophetic words from before my birth. It was like my faith muscle suddenly came alive again. In response to this freedom, I took a break from going to church with my family and started going to church with some friends in a completely different stream of Christianity. (Can I just say that, for most PKs, a season like this is a very good idea?) My faith was becoming my own for the first time.
This new freedom also enabled me to start learning from, dare I say it, my parents! It suddenly felt natural for my mom and me to form a friendship around reading the Bible together. Mom was no theologian like my dad, but she did teach me to
the Bible. She said, “Don’t worry about how many pages you read. Read until you are full.” I want to devote this next section to my mom because Valentine’s Day was her birthday. And it happened that Valentine’s Day also became the day I first encountered the Holy Spirit.
Aside from my nominal acceptance of Christ at age five, the first time I ever prayed to
specifically was in the spring of 2004. That’s right. It is totally possible for someone to grow up in the church, surrounded by miracles, prophecies, and angels and not know Jesus. Selah.
Somehow God had absolutely
this sarcastic, movie-loving PK into attending a ministry school in Pasadena, California. After five months in the school, I began praying to Jesus and asking Him questions.
I started seeing prophetic pictures in my mind’s eye. This was a weird experience for me because, remember, I had not had a dream from God, had not had any sort of vision from Him, since I was seven years old. I had become convinced that God did not speak to me.
I woke up on February 14, 2004 at 7 a.m. to attend our school’s morning prayer meeting. I had been to several of these meetings and not much enjoyed them. What did I know about praying? They were mostly a showcase for the good “prayer people” to strut their stuff. One moment I was sitting there silently. The next moment, to my surprise and everyone else’s, I was yelling. “I am not satisfied! I am not satisfied with a half portion of passion. I want a full portion of passion, and anything in me that wants less, cut it off!”
That evening I went to my dorm room. I was sitting down, and a friend came in. We started talking about what we thought heaven would be like. I looked down, and my left foot was twitching. “That’s strange,” I thought. A few minutes later this twitching spread up my leg and escalated to outright shaking. Word spread to the other seven guys from my dorm, and suddenly my room was full of faces watching me, some understandably laughing. Then the shaking hit me so violently I knocked the chair I was sitting in against the wall and fell to the ground, writhing.
Internally, my mind was scrambling. “What is going on, Jesus?” I thought. “Is this just spectacle?” Then the question from age seven returned:
Does God want to control me?
Still thrashing, and with all my peers around me, I focused on one leg. Could I stop one leg from shaking? The leg steadied. Yes, I could resist this shaking if I wanted to. I could say no. And at that moment, while shaking on the outside, I felt deep peace on the inside. God just wanted to roughhouse with me! And so I let Him.
This encounter with the Holy Spirit lasted for two hours. Eventually a deep groaning came out of my mouth, and I ended up giving a prophetic word to a schoolmate I did not get along with! My classmates in response started interceding for our school and for each other, and then all eight of us entered into the most transparent and joyful time of confession I have ever experienced. I went to bed at 5 a.m. that Valentine’s Day, tired, covered in rug burns, and very much a new man.
I told my parents all about it the next morning. Their joy for me soared through the roof. I felt a new emotion then. I think you would call it
For the first time I was proud to be part of this bizarre Goll family! I was proud that it meant being a person of encounter. And most of all, I was proud that Jesus wanted to know me. Though it took twenty years, my Lord was committed to pursuing me until I was His.
Anyone Can Inherit
My life contains a lot of unique or even sensational elements (angels, miraculous births, etc.) that you may or may not relate to. However, I hope there’s something good at the center of my story that
relatable—my desire to pass on the blessings of my parents to the next generation. For me these are things like the fear of the Lord, simplicity of worship, hearing God’s voice, servanthood, and God’s compassionate desire to heal. But in order to pass these bounties on, I must first inherit them for myself.
What’s on your list? What do you want to inherit? You may come from a family with lots of spiritual blessings or maybe just a few. That will work fine—Jesus loves to multiply! You may be the first in your family to know the Lord. Perfect—God wants to make you the first of a mighty line! And if it helps, look around for a godly family you admire and ask the Lord to deposit some of their strengths in you. Ultimately, these blessings don’t spring from a parent or from any man but come “from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). And I believe God is on pins and needles, waiting to hear what His kids are going to ask Him for next.
Pope John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio: The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World,”
, 2010, Cooperators in the Love of God the Creator,
James W. Goll and Michal Ann Goll,
(Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2007), 25–35.
From the time I was a small girl, I have been asked the same question over and over again. If I had a nickel for every time I smiled and gave my answer to that very question, I would be rich. It was a question that I did not know how to properly answer. “What is it like to have Georgian and Winnie Banov as your
My honest answer was always the same. I would smile and say, “Normal.” Sometimes I could sense that my response was not the answer the person asking the question was looking for, so I would add something extra, “I mean, they are totally amazing, but they are still normal to me.” I knew my parents were wonderful, influential, and inspiring people. I knew they did amazing things, and I knew that I was a part of it, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. It was simply what we did. It was our life.
I have to assume, however, that “normal” is subjective to each person. Most American babies don’t get their passport at two months old and celebrate turning six months old in South Africa, like I did. It never seemed weird that we traveled the globe, preaching the gospel, loving on the poor. Living out of a suitcase, eating in restaurants morning, noon, and night, and homeschooling was our normal. That was my normal, and I loved it.
I should back up and start from the beginning. I was born in Dallas, Texas by emergency caesarean. My mother began to hemorrhage at 7½ months pregnant while my parents were attending a conference. Doctors thought my mother had placenta previa, which meant that her placenta was blocking the birth canal and she would need to have a C-section. When they performed the procedure and I came out colorless, they realized it was actually placenta accreta, which meant my umbilical cord had not been properly attached to the placenta; instead it had attached itself along the wall of the uterus. I was getting my nutrition intravenously through micro-fine connections all the way around the uterus. So when they cut her open, they severed my blood supply and did not know it. I was rushed to the NICU and my mother nearly hemorrhaged to death.
Once we were both stabilized, the doctors told my father that they had only read of this complication in medical journals but never seen it in person. From a medical standpoint, they said I was a miracle baby and I should have been lost shortly after conception. It seemed that God had great plans for me and I was not going to miss out on them. After a miraculously short visit in the NICU, we returned home to Tacoma, Washington where I was raised until the age of 12.
Prior to my birth, my parents met during the height of the Jesus Movement at a Bible college in Texas. They fell in love, were married, and committed themselves to serve the Lord together in a radical way. They traveled the United States preaching the gospel, doing street evangelism, ministering to children with their award-winning albums
Bullfrogs and Butterflies
, and later, with their band Silverwind.
After 13 years of legalism and spiritual oppression from their leaders my mom was burned out. She loved God, but was done with religion and did not want anything to do with it anymore. My dad had been trained to put ministry before family, so he would leave her at home and he would go minister alone. I was about two years old when they stopped traveling together. They lived together, but in a way they were divorced in their hearts. She was home working a job at Nordstrom’s and he was out on the road, and I grew up in the chasm between them.
As a result, my childhood was split between home and abroad. Half of the time I was home with my mom living a relatively typical life—going to elementary school; playing at parks and museums; spending time with aunts, uncles and cousins; and celebrating birthdays and holidays with our large “family,” which was a big group of our blood relatives and close friends. The other half, I traveled with my dad as he ministered at churches and preached the gospel to the nations. When I was nine, I had premier gold status with United Airlines because I had flown more than 25,000 miles in one year alone. We went to Hawaii, where my dad would speak to the students at YWAM. We went to Bulgaria and spent time with orphans. We took road trips all over the great 48 states.
One of my favorite parts of flying somewhere with my dad was the goody bag from my mom. She would pack me a special bag that I could only open after I had boarded the plane. It was my yellow Mickey Mouse duffle bag and it saw many, many airports. To this day it still smells like bubblegum. She would pack crayons and coloring books, stuffed animals, candy, and snacks. My generation did not grow up with iPads and iPhones. We self-entertained and used our imagination. I had flown so much that I memorized the entire United Airlines Safety Information emergency speech and I would recite it loudly in tandem with the flight attendant for all the nearby passengers to hear. When we would visit the YWAM bases in Hawaii, I would find the binder with all the students’ pictures. I’d pick out my favorite faces, memorize their names, and I would go seek them out. I had no inhibitions. I would introduce myself and ask them to be my best friend. They would take me under their wing and more often than not I would end up bunking in the girls’ dorms the rest of our trip. I absolutely loved traveling with my dad. My time at home with my mom was equally just at fun. I loved my life. My mom was happy when I was with her, and when I was with my dad, he was happy too.
I thought we were a happy family with a good life. I did not know that my parents’ marriage was crumbling and that they were headed toward divorce. Ministry burnout and religion had pushed a wedge between them and they were ready to call it quits. I never saw their fights or knew their struggles, however, and I continued to grow up happy. I was spending quality time with my dad as we adventured around the world making beautiful memories, and the rest of the time balanced at home with my mom, friends, and school.
In a way, I was leading a double life—half home, half away. That came to a screeching halt in 1994. There was a supernatural move of God happening in Toronto, Canada. It was an outpouring of the presence of God in a new and exciting way. My parents took a trip to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and my mom came back a different person. I knew something had changed when one day my mom forgot to pick me up from school. After waiting for hours I saw her car peel down the road, but it was not my mother driving. It was their secretary, Rebecca. I yelled, “Where have you guys