My walk in darkness began when I was about three. I was sexually abused by my father. Unable to cope with the trauma, I developed alternate personalities to carry out the everyday demands of life. I retreated from life as much as I could, and had no real friends until Eighth grade.
Growing up in a hostile, abusive environment, I became addicted to seconals as a teenager, and I experimented with a great many drugs. My preference was always LSD. I dated and married abusive men. There was much violence in my life, a lot of death, a lot of horror. I never knew peace. Because my father read the Bible a lot, and shouted scriptures, I was confused about Jesus.
I became fascinated by the occult. I believed that my will, if strong and directed properly, could change anything. This is one of the foundations of witchcraft, which I started to embrace. I found the study appealing at the time, though difficult.
I began to be haunted in my dreams by a woman dancing in a way I had never seen before. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Supposing she must be another witch who wanted to teach me something, I began looking for her.
I was getting sick. Physically, the doctors could find nothing wrong. I was getting thinner, and increasingly, the spirits I thought I controlled were beginning to control me – taking over the body, while I was somewhere on the ceiling watching the horror they inflicted.
I called my best friend, who knew Jesus. She said, ‘The Lord will bring a sword between us if you don’t come out of witchcraft.’ She had never known I was involved in witchcraft. I had kept her from knowing my beliefs. Then she asked me to visit a church where she knew they weren’t afraid to help abused women. She asked me to promise to just sit through one service. I promised. She knew I would do all I could to keep my word.
I’m glad of that promise, because it was the only thing that kept me in my seat. I had been in and out of all kinds of churches, but none of them affected me because they were spiritually dead. The presence of the Lord was not there. But it was very different in this place! I was ill before I reached the door. Nauseous, and in pain – tearing pain – I rode an emotional rollercoaster. It was like some bad drug having an alien affect on me. Suddenly, I wanted to hurt people in the church. I wanted to hit them and tear the skin off their faces. I knew I had no personal problem with these people, to cause all these feelings to erupt. Then, when the haze of pain began to clear, who should I see dancing before the altar worshipping the Lord but the woman in my dreams!
Now, beside the promise, I had another reason to fight to stay. I was beginning to realize that there must really and truly be a God, a supreme God, just like all the Bible stories. That woman in my dreams was here. I gripped the chair in front of me until my knuckles turned white, and I stayed.
The pastor was such a gifted speaker, that even the pain and nausea began to fade as I concentrated on what he was saying. He was talking about Jesus but in a real way – one that I could relate to in everyday life. He had my attention.
As he was beginning to draw to a close, he stopped, as though he could hear something that we couldn’t. Then he said, ‘There is someone here whose only wish is to die, because she is so tired. Rae? Rachel? Rachel, will you come to me?’
In one overwhelming second, I suddenly knew that this God loved me, called me by name, and wanted to know me. Without hesitation I stood up. I had tried committing suicide several times in my life. I was so tired; all I had really wanted was to die. But God knew this. He had to have told this man, who was a stranger to me and yet had called me by name. I had to get to the front of the church! But the spirits took over and the battle was on. They recognized the pastor, and told him in the ugliest voice ever to come from my body, ‘I know you!’
The pastor, must have somehow known by the Holy Spirit about these spirits. ‘You will stop tearing the child,’ he told them.
The pain stopped, but I began slithering like a snake. Then pray-ers in the church surrounded me. I couldn’t breathe. I discovered later that that is an important sign. When evil spirits quit trying to intimidate, and show off by making the person unable to breathe, they are about to exit the body.
When I accepted Jesus, I immediately saw a glorious Being that I could not lift my unworthy face to look at. But the light . . . ! I can’t describe it! There was a sword in his hands. It was covered in leaping flames. ‘Take my sword,’ he told me.
When I reached up for it I came into his world – Christ’s realm. I was whole, and crying a river of tears – me who before would never allow myself to cry. There was healing in those tears.
I was also aware of the fear that the demons were in in those final moments. The Bible really is true: Every knee shall bow before Jesus. He is indeed Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and the Savior of our soul. There is no life and no peace without Jesus.
This is my birth experience into the Kingdom of the Living God. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Fear was the first spirit to enter me, but one of the first things I learned is that God is love.