I grew up in church all my life. When I was 17 years old I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I loved Jesus with all my heart. I was in church everytime the doors were open. It was a rare occasion that I would miss a service and when I was absent it seemed like my whole week was unbalanced.
I graduated high school and started college while walking hand in hand with the Lord. When I was 20 years old and still in college I became good friends with someone much older than me. He was going through a tough time and he confided in me about some controversial issues he was facing. Being a good friend I listened and tried to help. Eventually, I ended up in the middle of his problems. I started slipping away from God because I didn’t understand how to stay friends with this guy and serve God at the same time. Later on, I stopped going to church and I also stopped all contact with this person whom I thought was a friend. Walking away from a bad situation was the right thing to do, but walking away from God was like killing a part of myself. It felt like someone reached inside of me a yanked something out. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t make myself go back to church. I just stayed in a state of denial.
At 27 years of age I was so far away from the Lord that I experimented with Witchcraft. My experimentation became a lifestyle. I used Tarot cards on a daily basis, I talked to a “Psychic” in person, I had an altar where I lit “special” candles and I used the ouija board. Let me be the first to tell you that ouija boards actually DO work. It’s NOT the people playing with it that are moving it. But don’t be fooled like I was into thinking that people who have passed on are the ones talking to you. That’s not it at all! You will come face to face with Satan himself because he’ll be the one talking to you! He’ll tell you lie after lie and convince you that you’re talking to a dead family member or some wise person whose passed away long ago.
Using the ouija board started out as curiosity then quickly became an addiction. I would spend sometimes up to four hours at a time twice a week using it. That was actually eight hours per week spent in DIRECT contact with the devil. After awhile I started to experience strange things. For example: In the middle of the night I’d awaken by the sound of someone running down the hallway and opening or slamming the front door. I would get up to check it out, but there was nothing to see. There were times when I would hear someone walking up my bedroom steps and walking across my floor towards me in bed. I would turn around thinking it was my mom, but no one was there. I would lye in bed and feel the entire bed shake as if it were pushed. Shadows would move across my walls when there was nothing to cast a shadow. A lamp that sat securely on my desk catapulted out at me. These were just the beginnings of more terrifying things that were yet to come. My life was like a never ending Hollywood horror flick and I didn’t know how to make it all go away.
You may be saying to yourself right now, “why didn’t you just turn back to the Lord?” It’s because I really didn’t know how! At this point my mind was not my own. You see, by stepping into the devil’s playground I unknowingly gave him permission to control me. I was terrified! Everything escalated out of control. I was afraid to go to bed because I was tormented every night. I’d get up during the night to use the bathroom and I’d feel something walking behind me or hovering over me.
I actually know what the presence of evil “feels” like. If there’s a bad spirit around me every hair on my body stands on end. There’s also a “whoosh” feeling that starts in the pit of my stomach and moves straight up my body. It feels like the “going down” feeling on a roller coaster. This started happening more frequently and it got more intense to the point where it took my breath away. I knew for the first time what it meant to be paralyzed in fear. If the spirit moved to the left then the “whoosh” feeling went from right to left. If it moved directly toward me then if felt like it moved through me leaving me gasping for air. This was the turning point in my situation. Up to this point it had been going on for about a year and a half.
One day I was reading a “New Age” book that a friend loaned me when suddenly I felt the need to put it down. I went to pick it back up again and this voice inside of me sharply said “NO”. I didn’t know what to make of it, so I tried picking it up again and the voice inside said, “I TOLD YOU NO!” Pardon my choice of words, but it “freaked me out” so much that I promptly gave the book back to my friend after I told her what happened.
After that, changes started to quickly take place. I was in my room when I suddenly had the unquenchable desire to listen to Christian music. So, I found my sister’s old Carman tapes and I listened to them one by one, over and over again. As the music was playing I looked over at my Tarot cards and I just couldn’t stand to see them. Something big was happening in me that I didn’t yet understand. I had such an urge to get rid of every occult thing I had and that’s exactly what I did. I threw every book, symbol, card, candle, etc into a huge garbage bag and put it outside into the trash can.
That night I went to bed and had a dream that changed my life. Jesus stood next to me and said “I’m so jealous. You have time for your friends, you have time for your work, you have time for everything else, but you don’t have any time for me.” Then he put his arm up to his head and he started to weep. At that moment in the dream, all of the pain and sadness that he was feeling was transferred directly into me. I immediately knew that I’d been searching everywhere for answers when the answer was right there in front of me. I broke down and started to sob. I woke up and I continued to cry. I had an encounter with God and I knew he was my solution. He lead me to a wonderfully, spirit filled church where the people are radically saved. I walked into that church on December 24, 1998 and re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ and I walked out a new creation!
I bet you’re thinking right now that at that moment all of my problems were history. Wrong! Satan doesn’t give up so easily. Everytime I would enter the church building I would get a splitting headache. I wasn’t able to look down at my Bible to follow along because it would get worse. I’d walk back to my car after each service holding both sides of my head because the pain was so severe. This happened week after week. I ended up purchasing a book on spiritual warfare and discovered my problem. Sometimes people who have practiced Witchcraft end up getting a “mind control” spirit attached to them. I was experiencing the classic symptoms.
I came home from church one night with my usual headache and the usual antics were happening in my room. At this point it was still really hard for me to talk to God because I was dealing with a lot of guilt. I fell to my knees crying. With my face buried in my pillow I began to pray. This was the first time since I’d come back to Jesus that I poured out my heart to him. I went as far back as I could remember and repented of everything. I was trembling in fear because of all that was going on around me. I know we don’t have to plead with God, but I did anyway. I begged him to take it all away. He knew how scared I was because I didn’t hesitate to tell him. After I let everything out I realized that my headache was gone. The terror I’d been feeling from the start had been replaced with such indescribable peace. Peace that passes all understanding! There was a barrier of protection and the loving warmth of Jesus’ arms all around me. I stayed very still and quiet for along time and just nuzzled right into him. That night I went to bed without a care in the world. I knew my Jesus took care of everything. I had the most peaceful sleep for the first time in almost 2 years. And it’s been that way ever since! Oh sure, Satan still tries to play the same games with me, but now I know how to deal with him. He can’t touch me because I have complete authority over him in Jesus’ name. What an awesome God we serve! He deserves all of the glory and honor and praise! He had to stretch way down to lift me out of Hell. I’m thankful that God has long arms!
I hope this was encouraging for you to hear. I’m telling you this because prayer works. If you’ve been praying for the salvation of friends and loved ones don’t give up! If you’ve been praying for a backslider don’t give up! He brought me back because someone was able to break through and touch Almighty God in prayer. It is never too late for anyone. Don’t ever give up praying. It may not look like God isn't doing anything, but he is. He’s looking for mighty warriors who are willing to stand in the gap and pray for lost souls. II Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Don’t give up on God. He’s not slow, he’s just on a different time table then we are. He’s never early or late, but he’s always right on time!(Email Katina: Halo770@aol.com GOD BLESS YOU!)