Encouraging Testimonies

Living in God's forgiveness


From Chapter 6 of A Twist of Faith


Valerie learned it the hard way. She thought she had found the power to succeed, but the "Jesus" she met as a child turned out to be a counterfeit spirit who tormented her for sixteen years -- until she met the real Christ. 

            As far back as Valerie remembers, her family went to church. But at home, her television diet included "Bewitched," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "Red Hot," and "Wendy, the Little Witch" -- all shows that sugar-coated witchcraft and demonology. On Saturday mornings she watched captivating horror films. No one warned her about occult  dangers. So when she was invited to play the Ouija board during a Halloween party at the home of a kindergarten classmate, she had no reason to refuse.

            The instructions told them to start by inviting a spirit to come, so they prayed that the board would send someone. Then they put their finger tips on a smooth heart shaped disc called a planchard and asked the spirit to tell its name. The planchard began to move. They stared amazed as it spelled Saint Paul. Could this be the Paul in the Bible? A real dead person? It answered YES.  "How did you die?" asked Valerie. "CRUCIFIED," spelled the spirit. The children didn't catch the lie but, after a while, they did notice that it only answered Valerie's questions. "Why do you only answer Valerie?" asked one of the girls. This time it answered her -- and spelled psychic. 

            Psychic? Valerie didn't know what the word meant, but it sounded important. She must be really special! Not only did she have special power from "Jesus," he sent her three invisible spirit friends. Named Patty, Jane and Maureen, they sounded like teenage girls as they talked and argued inside her. "We were pals and hung out together," explained Valerie. "My parents thought they were just imaginary friends." 

            Prompted by her spirits, Valerie was always on the lookout for psychic literature. When Valerie's older sister bought the Witches' Spell and the Encyclopedia on Witchcraft and Demonology to fulfill a book club commitment, Valerie was the first to study them.  No one connected the onset of her daily "petit mal seizures" with her occult interests.

            By the time she was seven [yes, Valerie was a precocious learner], she was deeply engrossed in astrology, yet no one in her family seemed concerned. She knew that lying and stealing were wrong, but psychic things seemed innocent enough. After all, they seemed to work and didn't hurt anyone. They had to be from Jesus.

            Each day, Valerie read her horoscope. The predictions were confusing sometimes, but when she looked hard enough for matching real-life experiences, she always found something. Later, with hindsight, she could see how those general predictions became self-fulfilling.  Her attention was fixed on what she expected to see and her imagination was ready to comply. 

            Valerie's first grand mal seizure came during her first communion. She was sitting with her friends in the church, when she suddenly felt ill and stood up. Her body stiffened and shook with violent convulsions. It seemed as if something grabbed her, contorted her body, and threw her to the floor. Her startled friends thought she was dying. Dimly conscious, Valerie sensed that her hands clutched the air like claws and her gown was being pulled up over her head, making her feel violated and ashamed.

            Strangely enough, her second "grand mal seizure" hit during her confirmation. Before she had time to confirm her faith in God, she lost consciousness. She remembered nothing afterwards, but the seizures became a regular part of her life. A doctor diagnosed and medicated her as an epileptic, but nothing stopped the convulsions. 

            Valerie was fourteen when her mother died and her spirit guides convinced her to try suicide. "You'll go to heaven anyway," they coached. "You're a good kid." A miraculous intervention hindered her death, but life became increasingly painful. Sometimes she found herself speaking in "counterfeit tongues" -- or barking, growling and saying nonsense words that shocked her peers. A series of physical and sexual attacks increased her fear and isolation. Alone, she would console herself with her three spirit pals who were training her for the craft.

            In college, Valerie became a "white witch" and learned to "cast circles in Jesus' name."  Her spirit guides told her to marry Keith, a warlock obsessed by the occult role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Trained to do their will, she agreed and was soon engaged.  Her obedience was rewarded with a well-paying job as a fortune teller. "I still thought I was doing God's will," said Valerie years later. "I called myself 'a witch for Jesus.'"

            In spite of all the medical tests and prescriptions, the daily seizures grew worse. One day a theology student named Martin happened to see her convulse. When it ended, he helped her back on her feet and took her home. Inside her apartment, he noticed her shelves full of Wiccan manuals, crystals, amulets and other occult paraphernalia.

            Frightened, he said, "Valerie, this is a bad thing you're doing."

            "No, it's not," she answered. "What do you know about this? You're into your craft for the Lord, and I'm doing mine."

            "I'm going to pray for you," he replied.

            "Okay, pray for me. It won't hurt."

            From then on, Martin often helped her through the seizures.  "Valerie," he said one day, "Come with me to my church."

            She agreed. The next Sunday, sitting in a pew, an awareness of God's holiness swept through her. Suddenly, she saw -- as if through His eyes -- the evil she had embraced. "I felt so filthy and ashamed," she explained later. "I just wanted to cover myself up. It was as if God told me, 'Change now, or you'll never be safe. Your heart will become so hardened you will never be able to hear me.' I asked God to forgive me for all the awful things I had done, and I knew He did. I knelt on the floor and sobbed with joy. The change was incredible. I felt so different, so clean inside."

            Back at her apartment, Valerie knew what to do. "I've got to get rid of some stuff," she told Martin. She threw everything -- books, crystals, amulets, ritual music, "even the rock and roll stuff" -- into a big lawn bag. She wanted a brand new start, and thanked God that she had already broken her engagement to Keith.

            Two years later Valerie married Martin. They moved and found a Bible-teaching church. Finally Valerie began to learn the truths about the God she had mistakenly assumed she knew all her life. Visiting her pastor one day, she told him about her own dark journey.

            "Did you ever go through deliverance?" he asked her.

            "No," she answered. "What is that?"

            He explained that she needed to renounce every occult practice she had embraced and be freed from all demonic connections.  She was more than willing, so they agreed to do it on the spot. In prayer, Valerie disclaimed everything she could remember: the Ouija board, astrology, spiritism, divination, necromancy (communicating with supposed spirits of the dead), channeling, the tarot cards and spell working -- the "abominations" mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:9-12.  She trusted God to break every link to occult forces.

            The spirits resisted. Valerie's chair began to sway and horrible demonic voices began to speak. "We're not leaving," they mocked. "You have no power." But the pastor called their bluff and, with the authority of Christ who commissioned him, he commanded them to get out. They had to obey and Valerie was finally free. What Jesus did for the child in Luke 9:42, He had done for her: "the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit [and] healed the boy. . . ."

            Before the session ended, Valerie confessed her own readiness to welcome spirit guides, her Wiccan profession, and her part in leading others into darkness. One by one, the Holy Spirit brought the memories to the surface of her mind so she could take every sin to the cross and receive the pardon and cleansing Jesus had bought with His own life.             "Thank you, my Lord," she whispered as the words of her favorite psalm began to flow through her mind:


            Have mercy upon me, O God,

            According to Your lovingkindness...

             Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

            And cleanse me from my sin. . . .

            Create in me a clean heart, O God,

            And renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . .

            Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

            And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. . . .

                        (Psalm 51:1-2, 10-17)


            God answered her prayer -- and gave far more than she asked. Not only did the real Jesus fill her with His life and love, Valerie never had another seizure, nor did she face the unusual withdrawal symptoms when she stopped the medication.

            Filled with the Holy Spirit, she was able to forgive all who had hurt and abused her.  One by one, she extended His forgiving love to them -- to some only in the secret of His presence, to others by mail. For how could she -- who had been forgiven so much -- refuse the same kind of forgiveness to others? 

            Often, since then, the beautiful promise of Luke 7:47-49 has come to mind:   "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. . . . Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."  Jesus, who is the Truth, had indeed set her free.[xxxi]

               Freedom is the heart-cry of feminism -- freedom from authority, injustice, moral boundaries --  and freedom to chart your own way. The next chapter will show why no freedom can be found in the feminist movement.

To see the conclusion to this chapter, click on A Twist of Faith

See also Christian Persecution Stories


basis for faith in...

God's  Kingdom

the feminist vision

The Bible

Imagination (or experience)

Spirit-given insights into truth

Experience (or imagination)

Experiences that affirm Scriptures

       Selected Bible verses that affirm the experience


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