Glimpses of My Testimony: Part 2

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

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…….

 

The Journey Begins

There are two forces operating within our world; one is darkness, and one is light. Darkness often masquerades as light, coming to deceive and tempt us.  This epic battle is as old as time, and goes back to the garden of Eden. God had one way planned for humanity and required our ultimate obedience. It is through that obedience and walk with God that keeps us close to him and our feet from slipping. We are always offered what is forbidden, and that apple doesn’t look bad; in fact, it looks beautiful, shiny, and sweet. It appeals to our human appetite. It appears GOOD! But as we bite into it, we are being destroyed, and suffer separation from God. We have been warned that the way is narrow and few will find it. We as humans are searching for meaning, but apart from God’s true light, we stumble in darkness. There are many different spiritual paths, littered with lies, but one is often overlooked because we have an enemy that has made sure to blind our sight.

Follow me on my journey from the spiritual blindness of the new age, yoga, occult, and mysticism, to the path that you will find when you seek, and knock. This is the path to truth, to God’s marvelous light……..this is the path to finding JESUS!

Thanks for following me on this journey! This is a personal blog that will be connected to a book I’m writing about my testimony from new age to Christ, and then my time spent in a New Apostolic Reformation Church, which became eerily similar to the new age I had just left. God has remained faithful through it all, and it is His word that I cling to.

“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will

have the light of

life”. –JOHN 8:12

post