Glimpses of My Testimony: Part 1

 God has placed a void in our hearts that only He can fill. But the enemy has laid out an intricate web of lies, lies that have never changed since the book of Genesis, only repackaged. Searching for God within the New Age movement only left behind emptiness. God wants to reveal His love and truth, but that truth is found in God’s word, and is manifest in His Son, and revealed through His spirit.

One of my earliest memories as a child was waking up alone in my bed, watching a full-bodied apparition of a woman approaching me, her eyes meeting mine. Her face I will always remember. This spirit appeared to me for a reason, the battle was just beginning. Often throughout my childhood I would encounter supernatural events that seemed to only target me. I was plagued by horrible nightmares and apocalyptic dreams that I can still vividly remember today. All of this fueled my desire for the supernatural; I knew there was more to this world than meets the eye, and I searched for what I could find beyond the veil.

I grew up in a Christian household. My mom from a catholic background, and my Dad a born again Christian. I attended church on Sundays with my family, and would say I believed in Jesus. But just because you believe someone exists, does not mean you know them. During this time in my life I felt such a seductive pull to study the occult. I became obsessed with anything metaphysical; hauntings, astrology, tarot cards, psychics, angels, and any hidden knowledge I could find. I thought Biblical Christianity was too narrow minded, and God couldn’t possibly be contained in just the Bible. I was a rebellious teenager, and although searching for spirituality, I certainly didn’t care for morality. There were times I would sink into deep depressions, and encounter an eerie presence around me at night. I was always very sensitive to the supernatural, and I have no doubt during this time my gifts were being used against me, and spirits were beckoning me to follow into darkness.

Looking back through the years it is easy to see God calling me, but I never stopped to listen. As a teenager I attended a youth group at church, and became friends with a kid there who professed to be “born again”. He would often talk with me about Jesus. I found him a bit strange, but never-the-less interesting. I enjoyed our conversations on the phone, and he would always seem to call me whenever I needed it most. The more I dove into the occult, the more depression I would experience. On some of my darkest days, my friend would call me, and it was almost as if Jesus was speaking through him to me. One day we got on the topic of the supernatural and I told him about the apparition I had seen. He Simply told me,  “that spirit you saw was not a ghost, it was a demon; there to plant a seed of interest so you would follow darkness”. His comment sent chills up my spine, but also angered me. I didn’t like his answer, but it would be seared in my memory, and I had no idea how prophetic that remark would become.

I was always searching for a smorgasbord of spirituality, and so I hated the word “religion”. I felt more enlightened because of my open mindedness to look outside the Bible. But as time went on I was plagued by the grips of deception, and would feel such a weight of darkness suffocating me, often fearing my own room at night. I remembered my mother had a Jesus prayer hung on her wall, and I grabbed it to hang in the corner of my room. That night I prayed to this Jesus I really didn’t know.  I slept in perfect peace; something I hadn’t been able to feel in awhile. There was something about the name of Jesus. This would be my first encounter with the power His name holds to overcome.

Later in life, as I was in college, and after having my first couple of children, I began caring about what type of values I would raise my kids with. I began really searching for what it was I really believed. I took world religion classes, and loved philosophy. I was intrigued by Buddhism and Hinduism. I loved the peaceful spirituality, and the body mind connection. But yet, I still loved Jesus, and somehow knew he was important, but thought it would be great to just intertwine them all. During this part of my life I was still struggling with depression, and anxiety to the point of panic attacks at times. I had been taking antidepressants for years, and they worked for the most part, but I wanted to look for more holistic measures, because of my keen awareness to the spiritual realm.

I began getting into yoga and meditation practice. The breathing, the postures, the connection I felt to God was amazing. I loved it. I was learning about chakras, and reiki healing. It seemed so peaceful. I found something that I wanted to share with the world, and was determined to become a psychiatric nurse, and then get certified as a yoga instructor, and perhaps reiki master. I wanted to heal people, and I had really good intentions. In fact, one of my really good friends was a yoga instructor and reiki master. I couldn’t wait to enroll in one of her teacher trainings.

I was at a period of my life where I did want to know who Jesus was, but I thought I could worship him in metaphysical ways, such as yoga and meditation. I was becoming very good at meditating, and felt like I could completely shut down my mind. Sometimes I would go to sleep at night and feel like my spirit could float right out of my body. There were other times I could shut my eyes and yet still see everything around me. It was as if I had supernatural sight. This was described often in teachings about opening your third eye. I thought I was becoming more awakened, but actually I was becoming more blind.

As I became more interested in yoga, I was preparing myself to sign up for an upcoming teacher training. As I read the itinerary coming up for that weekend, I notice we had to read and study the Bhahavada Gita. This was a Hindu religious text, and even though I loved the spirituality, I suddenly felt weird about the whole thing. If I was going to be teaching exercise, why did I need to study it’s religious roots? That’s when I began to pray and ask God if this was really the right path for me to be on. I told God I wanted to help others with mental illness, and honor Jesus. What would he have me do? This one prayer to God would be one of the biggest turning points of my life.

I continued with yoga, and tried incorporating God into my spiritual routine, and meditations. I thought that there would be nothing wrong with simply adding Jesus into my Eastern spirituality. In one particular class during a long meditation, I started praying for the Holy Spirit. That’s  when I suddenly saw the most brilliant colors, and left that yoga studio feeling almost high, but better than any drug. It wasn’t long after that I was obsessed with yoga like never before, and even felt an almost uncontrollable urge to break out into yoga poses. I started feeling energy surges through my whole body, and they would increase every time I got my body into poses. Amongst this new high, I also began having frightening visions, and experienced sleep paralysis. I began going to this yoga studio that was very spiritual, and the yoga instructor was speaking of kundalini yoga, and was radiating with such happiness and peace. Everyone in the room was deep into their practice, when suddenly I felt a very thick presence and an uneasiness fill the room. For the first time my attention was turned to all the Hindu idols that filled every corner of the studio, but this time I had a deep knowing that they were evil. They were false god’s, and I could see how our every posture paid homage to these demons. I left that night and never wanted to go back.

I’ve always been sensitive to the spirit realm, and doing spiritual forms of yoga, and meditation that altered my consciousness had started awakening kundalini power. I began having sensations and vibrations travel up my spine. I would also experience a lot of lower back aches, and other times feel completely disoriented. Visions kept coming, and at one particular instance, as soon as I lay down to go to sleep, I shut my eyes; only to experience a vision of a demon staring down at me. At another time while laying on my couch, I felt something come over and touch me on my forehead, right where your third eye would be. I began feeling tormented. One morning I was standing in my bathroom, while feeling these sensations further travel up my back, and an immense sense of doom. In that moment I screamed out for Jesus, and to my surprise, those sensations stopped! I stood in shock as my back no longer hurt, and there was a peace that cleared the air. I began to cry and pray. Once again, that name I leaned on since childhood was my place of protection.

I remembered my prayer to God as I embarked on this yoga journey. I had asked him for truth, I had asked if this was the path He wanted me on. In a single moment I felt like my eyes began to open. I was now realizing truth, and that truth was found in no one else except Jesus. I knew Jesus was calling me to follow him, but I was devastated at all the deception I had found. What was I to do now? If yoga and meditation could be dangerous, what options were left? Would I just become a practitioner, and only offer psychiatric medication to people? But as I would come to find out, Jesus was the only spirituality my soul needed. I would spend weeks researching the new age movement, and the rabbit hole never seemed to end. As I studied the history of yoga, I realized the true intent that it was brought to the West for. It was actually a deceptive mass missionary effort to lead people away from true Christianity. Also I realized in the field of psychology there was a well known phenomenon called kundalini syndrome, even listed in the DSM-IV, which is a book of psychiatric disorders. However, It was looked at as a spiritual issue.  Kundalini syndrome was defined by psychotic and schizophrenic type symptoms. I couldn’t believe something being pushed as just exercise had very dangerous implications, and never any warning offered.

The enlightenment I sought after was an emptiness,  a type of death. This was very different from Jesus. Jesus came to give life, and he never asked us to blank out our minds and alter our consciousness. In fact we are to be always be sober minded and alert, filling our mind with His word which is life sustaining. A huge eye opener for me was reading the book by Johanna Michaelson called The Beautiful Side of Evil. The Bible warns us that Satan comes as an angel of light, and evil truly can be beautiful. “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee is not darkness” (Luke 11:35).

God is real, and His presence is beautiful. He has healed me of my depression, and put His spirit within me. The journey has been long, and I would later find out that even the churches aren’t immune from occult influences, but my love of truth has kept me under His wing, and he has restored everything the enemy has tried to steal from me, and I don’t deserve His love at all!!! There is so much in this world vying for your attention, so many distractions luring you astray, but Jesus is waiting to lead you back to Him. If you don’t know him, seek until you find him. HE is the true vine…….

 

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