Friday, November 7, 2008

Testimony of Annie Fintan - A Former Occult Member and Ex-Witch, now in Christ & serving in Deliverance Ministry at Refuge Ministries

From the time I was very young, I felt that I was different from the other kids that I knew. I was incredibly sensitive to things of a spiritual nature. Without having an explanation, I often knew things that I had no natural way of knowing. I knew there was a spirit realm, because I had seen spirits. Since I knew of their presence, it seemed only natural to seek what I could learn from them.

I grew up hearing Christianity presented in many forms, but none of it ever sank past the surface. I heard the teachings of how Jesus was God’s Son and that He had died for our sins so that we could one day live in heaven with Him. I knew the hymns, and even memorized a few Scripture verses. However, none of it was real to me. I watched the lives of those Christians who taught of a Savior, and they seemed empty and shallow.

In my early teens, I left any consideration of Christianity behind, and began searching for truth elsewhere.

I committed myself to learning all that I could of the spirit realm. Years were spent exploring several different belief systems, but never embraced a particular one. I was quite eclectic in my practices, but was never very humble in my opinions.

My outspokenness eventually caught the attention of a woman who had years of experience in the occult. She followed a European Tradition, and I was immediately impressed with the position and power that she had. The opinions I expressed seemed to interest her, and she respected my boldness.

After spending a lot of time getting to know each other, she offered to assist me in my spiritual search.

Within a matter of months, I traveled to the UK to meet other members of a European coven. I was impressed with what I found, and eager to learn what I could from them. There was a darker side to this tradition that appealed to me. It offered a sense of power and mystery that I craved.

My journey eventually led me to Ireland, and when I set foot on the Emerald Isle, I immediately felt as if I had come home. I loved everything about the place. In the Celtic beliefs, I found a spirituality that made sense to me.

I was still influenced by aspects of what I had learned in the UK, but primarily I became a Celtic Pagan. The tradition that I learned had been passed down through generations, too secretive to ever be written down. I met many different gods and goddesses, and sought their assistance in my journey. Truth and knowledge were my pursuit.

I traveled back and forth between Ireland, the UK, and the United States for the next couple of years. I was relentless in my pursuit, always attempting to gain a little bit more knowledge, power, and position. The rest of my life became secondary to my search.

However, I eventually began to realize that I wasn’t finding fulfillment. That little bit more was always just out of reach. I knew that something was going to have to change in my life, but was at a loss when it came to figuring out what I needed. I was prepared to take my own life, rather than meet failure.

While I was back in the States, an old acquaintance introduced me to some of her friends. I knew from the moment that I laid eyes on them that there was something different about them. I could sense that Something within them made that difference, and it raised my curiosity. These people were Christians, but unlike any others I had ever met. They invited me to their home for dinner, and that was the beginning of a whole new world for me.

They offered me friendship and love, and as our relationship grew I watched their lives closely. Without any grandeur, they possessed a spirituality that I admired. I began to learn everything I could from them, looking for the source of their peace.

The following months were a very confusing time for me, trying to maintain my own relationship with the entities I served, while interested in the claims of another God. Unconsciously, I was trying to live with a foot in both worlds.

It was around that time that I stumbled across Jeff Harshbarger’s testimony. His claim of being set free from Satanism drew my attention, and I contacted Refuge Ministries. Jeff and I began to talk, and I immediately recognized a difference in him as well.

I was thrilled to have found someone who knew the world in which I was involved, someone who had actually been there himself. Gradually I began sharing my dilemma with him, and began asking my questions. He and his wife offered support and friendship during a time when I felt that no one could possibly understand my pain. Their unconditional love saved my life.

Stepping back from day to day activities, I took some time to analyze my life. I had traveled the world, gained power and respect, but could not find peace. I wrestled with uncertainty for quite some time, walking a razor thin edge between hope and despair.

I was drawn by the idea of a God of love, a God above all other gods. I began to urgently study the Bible, wanting to know as much as possible. The more I sought after His Truth, the more it became clear to me that this was what I had been looking for all along.

After carefully considering the matter, I made the decision to completely commit my life to Christ. The months that followed were filled with a whirlwind of changes. Daily my relationship with God grew stronger, and I found the freedom that He alone could offer.

The years I spent following the left-hand path are a constant reminder to me that there are others searching for the same things I did. God has gently filled me with the desire to share with them what I have found. Just like those who took the time to provide me with the help I needed, I want to make myself available to help others in any way I can.

Jeff and Liz helped make that possible by inviting me to become a staff member at Refuge Ministries. Together, we instruct others about the dangers of the Occult, and other forms of Paganism. God used Refuge Ministries to change my life, and I know He is using it to change the lives of others.


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