From Annie Fintan, Refuge Ministries, February 19, 2005
I was a Witch
for seven years......
From the time I was very
young, I felt that I was different from the other kids that I
knew. I was incredibly sensitive to things of a spiritual
nature. Without having an explanation, I often knew things that
I had no natural way of knowing. I knew there was a spirit
realm, because I had seen spirits. Since I knew of their
presence, it seemed only natural to seek what I could learn from
I grew up hearing Christianity presented in many forms, but none
of it ever sank past the surface. I heard the teachings of how
Jesus was God’s Son and that He had died for our sins so that we
could one day live in heaven with Him. I knew the hymns, and
even memorized a few Scripture verses. However, none of it was
real to me. I watched the lives of those Christians who taught
of a Savior, and they seemed empty and shallow.
In my early teens, I left any consideration of Christianity
behind, and began searching for truth elsewhere.
I committed myself to learning all that I could of the spirit
realm. Years were spent exploring several different belief
systems, but never embraced a particular one. I was quite
eclectic in my practices, but was never very humble in my
My outspokenness eventually caught the attention of a woman who
had years of experience in the occult. She followed a European
Tradition, and I was immediately impressed with the position and
power that she had. The opinions I expressed seemed to interest
her, and she respected my boldness.
After spending a lot of time getting to know each other, she
offered to assist me in my spiritual search.
Within a matter of months, I traveled to the UK to meet other
members of a European coven. I was impressed with what I found,
and eager to learn what I could from them. There was a darker
side to this tradition that appealed to me. It offered a sense
of power and mystery that I craved.
My journey eventually led me to Ireland, and when I set foot on
the Emerald Isle, I immediately felt as if I had come home. I
loved everything about the place. In the Celtic beliefs, I found
a spirituality that made sense to me.
I was still influenced by aspects of what I had learned in the
UK, but primarily I became a Celtic Pagan. The tradition that I
learned had been passed down through generations, too secretive
to ever be written down. I met many different gods and
goddesses, and sought their assistance in my journey. Truth and
knowledge were my pursuit.
I traveled back and forth between Ireland, the UK, and the
United States for the next couple of years. I was relentless in
my pursuit, always attempting to gain a little bit more
knowledge, power, and position. The rest of my life became
secondary to my search.
However, I eventually began to realize that I wasn’t finding
fulfillment. That little bit more was always just out of reach.
I knew that something was going to have to change in my life,
but was at a loss when it came to figuring out what I needed. I
was prepared to take my own life, rather than meet failure.
While I was back in the States, an old acquaintance introduced
me to some of her friends. I knew from the moment that I laid
eyes on them that there was something different about them. I
could sense that Something within them made that difference, and
it raised my curiosity. These people were Christians, but unlike
any others I had ever met. They invited me to their home for
dinner, and that was the beginning of a whole new world for me.
They offered me friendship and love, and as our relationship
grew I watched their lives closely. Without any grandeur, they
possessed a spirituality that I admired. I began to learn
everything I could from them, looking for the source of their
The following months were a very confusing time for me, trying
to maintain my own relationship with the entities I served,
while interested in the claims of another God. Unconsciously, I
was trying to live with a foot in both worlds.
It was around that time that I stumbled across
Jeff Harshbarger’s testimony. His claim of being set free
from Satanism drew my attention, and I contacted Refuge
Ministries. Jeff and I began to talk, and I immediately
recognized a difference in him as well.
I was thrilled to have found someone who knew the world in which
I was involved, someone who had actually been there himself.
Gradually I began sharing my dilemma with him, and began asking
my questions. He and his wife offered support and friendship
during a time when I felt that no one could possibly understand
my pain. Their unconditional love saved my life.
Stepping back from day to day activities, I took some time to
analyze my life. I had traveled the world, gained power and
respect, but could not find peace. I wrestled with uncertainty
for quite some time, walking a razor thin edge between hope and
I was drawn by the idea of a God of love, a God above all other
gods. I began to urgently study the Bible, wanting to know as
much as possible. The more I sought after His Truth, the more it
became clear to me that this was what I had been looking for all
After carefully considering the matter, I made the decision to
completely commit my life to Christ. The months that followed
were filled with a whirlwind of changes. Daily my relationship
with God grew stronger, and I found the freedom that He alone
The years I spent following the left-hand path are a constant
reminder to me that there are others searching for the same
things I did. God has gently filled me with the desire to share
with them what I have found. Just like those who took the time
to provide me with the help I needed, I want to make myself
available to help others in any way I can.
Jeff and Liz helped make that possible by inviting me to become
a staff member at Refuge Ministries. Together, we instruct
others about the dangers of the Occult, and other forms of
Paganism. God used Refuge Ministries to change my life, and I
know He is using it to change the lives of others.