I had searched for truth all my life. I knew there was a God; an intelligent designer of this world that carried His fingerprint in all of nature. I knew Jesus was important, but the revelation that Jesus was God, and that there was no greater name in all creation, was the truth that had evaded me for so long. JESUS was the narrow path, and the only way to salvation. Most importantly there is no greater love than His, and I will never forget the first time I was forever changed from encountering His presence.
This was it. I knew that I was ready to give up anything that hinders my relationship with Jesus. That truth I always searched for…..I had found it. I had been deceived. I was following a lie. I had bit into that same apple that Eve had in the garden of Eden. That same apple was a fruit, and biting into it promised the knowledge of good and evil. It separated me from God, and made me go within myself. Following the New age movement never gave me truth, it only gave me the illusion of truth, and self-reliance. But now more broken than ever, my only strength came from reliance on Jesus, and the veil of spiritual blindness was coming off.
Ohh how I could now see…..and that view was not always pretty. Seeing things in this world for how it really is, is pure darkness. But wow does God’s light shine the brightest in the darkness! And his light had become a lamp unto my feet…leading my way to safety within His arms. I still had so many questions, but I knew it was time to follow Jesus wherever that path led me.
I began going back to church, and started to read the Bible for the first time. Even while at church I always felt a sense of disconnect and loneliness. I had been through so much, and didn’t feel I could relate to the average church-goer, or so I thought. I wanted to experience more. I eventually left the first church, and ended up at a small church that considered themselves a five-fold ecclesia. It appeared different and interesting to me. They operated in the prophetic, and I craved the supernatural, so I decided to try it out.
The church was much more welcoming and warm to me and my family, and so I thought I had found my final church home. That following week they were having a “Friday flow” worship night. It was a unrehearsed night of prayer and prophecy. As I walked in that first Friday night, the room was dim and people were in their seats praying, while waiting for the pastor to get some revelation and prophecy over them. I had never experienced this before, and so I sat quietly in my seat praying to God, begging to know him, and ready to surrender all my brokenness. I hungered to know Jesus, and to understand His word.
As I sat in my seat, suddenly something miraculous happened. It was as if a warm blanket of peace fell around me, consuming me in it’s presence. PEACE……peace that surpasses all understanding. A sudden knowing that God’s presence was there, I was not alone, and I never would be. It was during this time that the pastor called over to me….asked me to come up to the alter. He laid hands on me and prayed. He told me that Jesus had begun to reveal himself to me, and that I didn’t need to be afraid. He said I was a woman of justice, and although small in stature, I was mighty in spirit. As he prophesied over me, the words carried a great amount of truth. I felt God was with me. As I made my way back to my seat, I cried, and thanked God for His mercy. So much pain I had went through for so long. But now it was as if this prodigal daughter had felt the Father’s embrace for the first time. I WAS LOVED…..and no one could snatch me out of His hand.
Before that night was over an older woman approached me. she sat down besides me, grabbed my hand, and told me, “the enemy comes around you quite often. He is constantly trying to condemn you, and whispering things in your ear to destroy you. It is about time to tell Satan to get behind you”. She then gave me the biggest hug. I knew what she was saying was true. I always felt like my thoughts weren’t my own, and Satan really was the cause of my depression. But Jesus was restoring my soul, and I was now filled with a joy like never before.
I began feasting on God’s word, and was learning about the weapon of fasting. My first 24 hr fast was amazing! That night I was alone reading my Bible and ended up turning to Psalm 18:2: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”. As soon as I read that I felt God’s presence fill my living room, and I could barely stand. Next I felt an evil presence follow in after that, but yet didn’t fear. I began to pray while falling asleep that night, and I had a vision of the most hideous demonic faces. I knew that these were the faces God was delivering me from, and started denouncing every new age/occult activity I ever messed with.
The next morning I felt wonderful, and could sense the Holy Spirit all around me. I even had a light within my eyes that I hadn’t encountered in a very long time. They often say that the eyes are a window to your soul, and I barely noticed how dark mine had become. I felt free and alive. I wanted to dance and praise God, because now I was alive, and when I laughed it was now true freedom and joy. All of these things you take for granted while battling the beast of depression. I had finally committed my life to Christ, and was ready to take the next step.
I was ready to get water baptized, and even two of my son’s joined me. This was a precious time, and one where I was professing my public testimony and love for Jesus. As the waves crashed over me, I arose a new creation. I even felt cleaner that day. But it didn’t take long to encounter severe spiritual warfare after my baptism. I was attacked for months. The enemy was out to destroy my mind, will, and emotions. I had belonged to the enemy my whole life. My prior belief in Jesus just wasn’t enough.
“You believe that God is one. Good! Even the demons believe–and shudder”-James 2:19
Now that I had encountered the living God, and was ready to surrender my whole heart to Him, the enemy wasn’t just going to let go. I was terrified. I felt an evil presence around me, and struggled to sleep at night. The enemy was causing problems for me in every aspect of my life. I was caught in the middle of spiritual warfare, and God was allowing it for His own purposes. I was learning to use his word as my sword. I would often fall asleep, tears streaming down my face, and the Bible right besides me.
These were some of the worst times of my life, but I got to experience God’s absolute power, and had to realize that the battle belonged to the Lord. It only required my surrender. There was real inward change happening to me, and all I began to care about was if my life was pleasing to the Lord. I no longer craved alcohol or parties, and stayed away from all darkness. The enemy wanted to scare me away from seeking God, but God’s love and peace were greater. I had found the thing that I would live or die for. Nothing else mattered.
During this time in my life God had showed his mercy and delivered me from pain and years of depression. My search for God and love for the truth were sincere, so God honored that. He kept me close, but as time went on I went through many more painful lessons, and God would end up leading me away from the church I once loved. Once again I would need the Lord’s light to keep me on the narrow path of life.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–whom shall I be afraid”?–Psalm 27:1