I was raised with Jesus in my life from an early age, went through all the Catholic rituals from birth to Confirmation and although my life was tough I still held a belief in God. But around the age of sixteen, shortly after I was confirmed, things started to take a turn for the worse. However, although I have strayed, I know that he was with me because otherwise I never would have survived the things I have been through.
When I was sixteen I met my best friend for the past ten years–her name is Joy. She too had been raised with Jesus in her life, except as a Christian. At the time I was going through a lot because I was a very rebellious child and I often fought with my parents. Joy would take me to her church (because as part of my agreement with my mother I stopped going to Catholic church once I was confirmed) and that is where I was first exposed to Christianity. I went to church with her a few times and even witnessed her baptism. Despite the fact that I did like the church I refused at the time to be baptized for some reason. Joy was twenty-two and I was sixteen. She had met a man who was much older than her who preyed on her and ended up being a very abusive person in the long run, causing her many disturbances and troubles over the past ten years that she has known him. He was baptized with her but clearly did not take it so seriously otherwise he wouldn’t behave the way that he does. Anyway, I too had found an older boyfriend; at the time I thought he was only six years older but as we were dating longer I found out he was actually ten years older than me. He was extremely verbally and mentally abusive–even sexually abusive towards me–and was trying to “mold me” into what he thought was the right type of woman. It was a terrible and painful relationship that took me three years to escape out of. Every day was like torture. He sheltered me from my friends and family, yelled and screamed at me on a regular basis, snooped all through my life all the time looking at my emails and cell phone calls but of course I could never do the same to him. And when I did and I discovered him doing things that were wrong somehow it was always my fault. Almost a year into us being together I discovered that he was ten years older than me and had lied about his last name after we were already living together and working together at the same job. It was terribly embarrassing when my co-workers revealed to me that the man I lived with was actually three years older than he told me he was. And because he was so abusive he refused to even apologize for doing so and instead made sure I never spoke about it to anybody. The next two years with him were absolute prison; he was trying to get his life together moving from job to job and place to place while sometimes even being reduced to living in his car that was in my name because he had many tickets and couldn’t register or insure a vehicle any longer. Whenever my birthday came around he would create some kind of argument or diversion to start a fight with me and make me miserable; one year he even choked me before my birthday party. And I was just a young woman. I really didn’t know any better. At this point I would leave a guy like that in a second or not even date him because I would know what type of person he is just by a small conversation, but I was young and wanted a relationship so bad and thought I was so much older than I was. It was at this time that my love and respect for Jesus and the followings of the church started to fade. This man turned me on to routine sex, marijuana, drinking and the need for a relationship.
Around the age of nineteen I started to pull away from him because I met some new friends. After he had made me lose two jobs and all the other trespasses he put upon me I couldn’t take it anymore and I started to gain confidence because my new friends treated me with respect and enjoyed my company–something I wasn’t used to. All this time I was still friends with Joy; she had become pregnant by her abusive boyfriend who was fourteen years older than her and had a child. He routinely made sure she was confined to the house and she was having a lot of trouble being able to rear her newborn on her own terms even though they weren’t married. Eventually she got away from him and started court proceeding against him to secure full custody of her daughter. I helped her with the process and even testified against him and his family who were just as crazy if not worse than he was. During that time he threatened my life saying he would slit my throat if I called her house one more time. I obtained a restraining order against him and simultaneously was breaking up with my own abusive boyfriend who I also had a restraining order against because he would track me down and start fights with me and my friends. He would even come to my friends’ houses and peek in the windows and watch us. It was insane.
The next several years of my life, although I was able to get through college, were very hard years for me. I stayed friends with Joy all the while and she would proclaim her faith in Jesus despite her own sad circumstances but I had lost nearly all my faith. I felt that he (Jesus) was just a prophet out of many and my viewpoints had shifted toward a new age perspective. Another boyfriend I had switched to practiced witchcraft and was also a drug dealer. He spiritually affected me in bad ways that kept my life in a place where no matter how good I did or how big my heart was, I was accosted time and time again with bad consequences. Even after we broke up those spirits remained with me and screwed with my life in many ways. When he finally left me, I was pregnant and had an abortion. I still didn’t stop drinking and smoking weed and the next few years of my life I was drugged at a bar, nearly raped but my friends saved me (Jesus in disguise) and I lost my grandmother and my dear uncle. Throughout this time I was pretty much just looking for love in all the wrong places. I had been abused and disrespected by several different types of men in my life. I had no respect for myself and my own body thinking I could “love freely” and just do whatever I wanted because the universe was just a place of random events I was desperately hoping to hit the jackpot in. I needed Jesus so bad but believed so much that I would never believe in him or Christianity after studying in college and convincing myself of my own reasons why Christianity was a negative thing.
For years I sold drugs and spent many nights partying and drinking with people I thought were my friends. Compared to some they are good people but unfortunately were faced with similar challenges as me and acted selfishly in a lot of ways. I had a big heart and took care of whomever I could. Even if my own life was in shambles I would help another any way that I could offer. Many nights I spent crying; many days I would live with this overwhelming pain in my heart that would bring me to tears on a regular basis. I commuted to school an hour away from my house and I can remember countless times that I spent sobbing over this and that, confused and lost. At some point I had met some older friends who I looked up to. They were a woman artist and her husband, a reiki master, who had helped me through the hard times and given me a lot of advice over the years. At the time they were a consolation and an escape from the everyday world where people seemed to completely misunderstand me. The man would do his reiki work on me; it wasn’t just reiki it was a type of spiritual work he created that included reiki, reflexology and shiatsu. And his wife, who was a painter, also practiced crystal healing and things of that nature. For years I believed they were truly helpful to me. After I had been saved I realized that the work they were doing on me was actually sucking my soul and my young energy which was providing them with what appeared to me to be a great lifestyle. After I accepted Jesus and went to visit them, the husband was performing his ritual on me and I called to Jesus to explain to me what was going on because something didn’t feel right and he told me everything that was happening. It was hard to face the truth because I really loved them but I realized they were performing work on people that would temporarily relieve their suffering but inevitably would remove a part of their soul. He told me that the woman was a witch and that she used her sexuality to imprison her own husband and get him to perform these rituals on people. This helped to afford them the lifestyle they presented to everyone else that seemed so great. That’s when I started to notice there were inequalities in their marriage and that she was bossy and sometimes downright nasty to her husband who was otherwise a very gentle and loving man. I feel bad for him now. I pray for them but am so glad that Jesus told me what they were really doing.
Right before discovering that I had attracted several witches and demon-possessed people into my life, a dear friend of mine who I had known for many, many years raped me on New Year’s Eve. He had recently come back from Iraq and while he seemed rather normal at times, we all knew he was a little crazy. Who isn’t? Before this happened I was falling in love with him and I wanted very much to keep our relationship pure so that we could always have a deep connection and trust in one another. That plan all went south after New Year’s and then I forgave him because I couldn’t fathom the idea of persecuting him through the law after knowing everything he survived and being his friend for so long. We fell into a false sense of love and were having a superficial relationship which I now look back on with sadness. I believe the devil was trying to trick me to completely steer me away from Christianity because he was a Christian and had gone to extreme lengths to convince me about Jesus. After what he had done to me it would have been so easy for me to run away from Christianity as hard as possible. Had it not been for the Holy Spirit and my friend Joy who was blessed with true discernment, I would not have come to God and I would probably be dead by now. Many things happened and I realized he too was demon-possessed and sick; instead of putting him in jail I tried to bring him with me in my taking on of Christ. He resented me for it and reacted very strangely for someone who claimed to be a Christian. I now understand why but at the time it was very confusing and hurtful.
It was during this time I realized that God exists and Joy helped counsel me through this rough time and into being saved. Since then, many things have changed for me. I am off drugs, I no longer go out and party, no longer have sex and no longer desire or feel the need to go back to that lifestyle. Many of my so-called “friends” have disappeared out of my life but the ones that have remained I believe have a chance at being saved at some point and I am thankful to the Lord for that. Now I live my life with Jesus in my heart and I practice and preach his truths everyday. Things are finally starting to get better for me and fall into place where it just wasn’t happening before no matter how hard I tried. All those spirits of witchcraft and anxiety have left me and I am a full-time participating member of a wonderful church, the same one Joy brought me to ten years ago. Truthfully, I have never been happier. Looking over my past, I knew death was chasing me and had I not found Jesus and taken this important step in my life I would be dead whether it be from some horrendous accident or from taking my own life. I have many letters that I have written in the event of my death that I now look back on and read and it sends chills up my spine. I am so thankful for my dear friend Joy who helped me and now we are Christian sisters and work together doing Christ’s work. Our friendship is exactly where God wanted it to be and we know it by the rewards we both feel. And I am so thankful for my church and the community that I experience there that I have never seen or experienced anywhere else in my life. God has truly blessed me; I am a living testimony of His power and how He can change one’s life in amazing ways. I used to dread my life and now I look forward to it; rich or poor I am always wealthy with the Spirit of the Lord.
Thank you merciful Jesus.