Life is challenging. It is always full of ups and downs that can make or break you. At times, our situations seem to back us into a corner, and that is when we are most likely to make the wrong decisions. However, bringing the devil into the situation is never the answer. I knew that, but I did it anyway.
Recently, the LORD reminded me of a time in my life when I had been ready to turn my back on Him. He did it to show me how far I had come in my walk with Him, how I had spiritually matured in the past ten plus years. To tell the truth, I had actually forgotten all about it, or perhaps I had purposefully moved it to the back of my mind because of the foolishness of it. I was a young Christian then, having only become Born Again a few months prior to the incident. I liken becoming Christian to marriage; you first meet the person and fall in love with them. You then make the covenant or promise to spend the rest of your life with that person, to bond yourselves together in holy matrimony. The honeymoon is a wonderful time, and all is blissful, but once reality hits and problems begin to surface, it becomes harder to remember the vows you made to each other. Well, when I heard the Truth, I desperately wanted Jesus in my life. I made Him the LORD of my life and was mostly happy in the few months that followed. However, I soon found myself in situations that left me flabbergasted. I couldn’t understand why so many horrible things were happening to me. I didn’t know it then, but the devil was coming after me fully loaded with all my weaknesses, hurts, insecurities, and painful memories to bring me down.
I would say that the attack started about two months after I was Saved. I have always been a sensitive person, feeling things that others cannot. As a child, I experienced and saw things that I couldn’t explain and my parents shrugged off as an overactive imagination. Sometimes, I would be too frightened to sleep because of the vivid dreams I would have or the ‘things’ I would see during the night time. This continued on into my adult years, but I largely ignored it as best as I could. When I became Born-Again, these dreams and ‘feelings’ stopped, or, at least I thought that they did. So when the first attack came, it left me scared and confused. It was a dream about being chased, where I was running for my life. I remember waking up in a cold sweat, not understanding why I was having such a dream. I received the interpretation of the dream some hours later, and it just made me feel worse. The dream was warning me that the devil wanted to take my salvation away, that he was after me. I took the matter to the LORD in prayer, but the devil certainly didn’t stop there.
Suddenly, I was the focus of rumours, ridicule, and false accusations. Strangers began to laugh at me out of the blue, literally pointing at me and laughing. I thought that I was going mad at one stage, that I was reading into things that were not there until a woman stopped me on the street and called me a monster. I remember going numb and walking away, hardly aware of where I was going. This had never happened to me before, and before long, it became an everyday occurrence. Whether I was walking with friends or walking alone, people would begin to point at me and laugh, calling me all kinds of horrible names. Many times I would rush to the bathroom to see what they were talking about, but all I saw staring back at me was, well, me. I couldn’t understand where all of this was coming from, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I believed that they would also laugh at me or would not believe that such an odd thing was happening. The only days that I escaped such ridicule were when I refused to leave the house.
Rumours started to surface about me and being a reserved and respectful person, I was shocked. I was confronted by my parents regarding these rumours, and I had to defend myself, but they didn’t seem convinced at first. Apparently, I attended a church that had frogs and snakes coming out of people (they exist, people), and I was carrying on with the type of men that my parents would not approve of. This may seem small to others, but with my parents, it was a major thing. I was basically bringing dishonour upon the family name by my supposed antics in college, and they were embarrassed to hear about it from other family members. During this time, I was still having nightmares nearly every day, hardly sleeping for fear of what I would see. My marks started dropping, and with always having been an academically strong student, it affected me terribly. Thoughts of failing soon consumed me, but no matter how much harder I would try to do well, I just couldn’t do it. My health also began to worsen with my endocrine disorder affecting my entire life. Hair loss, acne, unexplained weight gain despite my small portions of food, hirsutism, persistent swelling of my face and limbs, fatigue, hormones that were all over the place… I was a mess. As my self-esteem and confidence dropped, so did my will to live.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, my family was also being targeted by some witches. I cannot believe that there are still Christians who do not believe that there are witches or the damage that they do. I don’t know about witches in other countries much, but in Africa they are hardcore. In my case, they have all been women who were jealous about what my family has, so they sought our destruction. Crazy, right? I cannot tell you the number of times they have attempted to kill my mother, bewitch my father, or bring about the ruin of my sister’s and I. Imagine having to rush your mother to the hospital at one in the morning because she’s gushing blood from her nose and mouth and can hardly breathe? To make matters worse, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her despite having done numerous examinations. Or perhaps sitting on your bed at night playing games on your phone when you suddenly hear a loud voice speak into your ear and ask you what you’re doing? Or your cousin waking up in the morning only to find that the palm of his hand had been stitched and having no recollection of it? For those who do not understand what this means, it’s basically the first stages of a witch turning a person into a ‘zombie’, not the flesh-eating ones you see on TV, but the walking dead. They put something into the hand and stitch it closed, ready for the next stage. It sounds crazy, but it happens. Put it this way: when it comes to the forces of evil, expect anything to happen.
I was pretty much feeling rejected by GOD at this stage, and although He had ‘interfered’ (thank you, LORD) in my suicide attempt, I still believed that He had rejected me just like everyone else had. My depression was so great that I literally just wanted to curl up into a ball and just die. Every single area of my life had been affected, and I was not coping. So, I decided to make a deal with the devil. I told him that he could have me if he would but destroy the people who had hurt me and were hurting me. I wanted those peoples’ lives ruined, I wanted them dead. I actually cringe as I remember the darkness that had taken over me at that stage. I even had thoughts of taking those people out, putting an end to their lives myself. I wanted the satisfaction of them knowing that they died because of what they had done to me. Revenge sounded sweet to me, sweeter than anything I believed that GOD would give me. But do you know what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I cannot even begin to understand the hedge that GOD put around me that day. I knew that the demons were about, listening to what I was saying, but they couldn’t do a thing. I was sinning, but they couldn’t take advantage of that open door and fully take over my life. But I didn’t think in that way at the time, I just assumed that the devil was also rejecting me. Jesus must have told those demons not to touch me, and obviously, they listened. They must have been mad, though!
Jesus showed me mercy, He showed His love for me and saved me. Again. I didn’t deserve it, but He saw past my evil intentions and words to the person who was hurting inside and was lashing out the only way she thought would bring her relief. When I had calmed down, I knew that I could never have hurt anyone, and I was deeply remorseful of everything that I had thought or said. I eventually repented of it and then began the long walk to my healing. Fast forward ten years, and I am certainly not that person that I used to be! GOD has done an amazing work in me, having transformed me into someone that I cannot even recognise, but He knew that I would become. However, learning and the change that comes with it is never complete. As long as we are still in the flesh, we continue to have temptations, but we know that we can overcome them because sin does not have a hold on us in Jesus’ name. We have the victory, it’s as simple as that. I am walking proof of GOD’S mercy and grace upon my life, of His love for His people. He meant it when He said that He would never leave us or forsake us, and we can all take comfort in that truth.