For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
Saturday was my mother’s birthday.
As a way to spend some time with our mother on her special day, my sister and I took her out to breakfast. Afterward, we went back to Mom’s house to sit at the table over coffee (iced tea in my case) and chat.
Naturally conversation drifted to what we were each doing right now. I told them about how things were coming along with Escaping the Cauldron (previewing press releases, getting a peek at finalized book cover images, reading the galley). This led to a conversation about those years in the occult.
You see, my husband and I were separated for five of those eight years so the children and I lived with my mother most of that time.
My mother is a Christian. The Lord brought her to saving grace years before I was born. She is a prayer warrior and woman of great faith. I’m sure you can imagine her shock when I first told her I was a witch.
To her credit, my mother didn’t react any differently toward me. She welcomed me home (even though I told her I would be practicing magick—not to mention I was a medium, working on psychic development, and would later become a ghost hunter). My mother never shook her Bible at me. She never told me I was going to hell. What she did was ask questions, try to understand why I’d chosen to leave Christian faith behind.
More importantly, she prayed.
But she didn’t stop there. My mom got her pastor to pray(which I knew) and some of her friends (which I didn’t know). There was one sweet lady of faith at her church who has prayed for me and my husband since we got engaged. She continued to do so throughout the long years of our separation. I don’t know if my mother confided to her how I’d veered off the spiritual path but it wouldn’t have mattered. God called this woman to pray for me—and she does to this day.
Here’s the part of that conversation with Mom the other day which struck me.
I was recounting for my mother and sister how toward the end of that eight years, I was so deceived I didn’t realize I was being spiritually harassed by the very spirits who were supposed to be my “guides”. It had become my “new normal” to have unseen hands pull my hair, knock on the bedroom window while I was meditating, push me from behind, etc. I believed this was part of being a medium—ever increasing spirit communication and paranormal activity surrounding me.
My mother looked at me as I was recounting this.
“You know I prayed for you that whole time, but I also prayed for peace and protection in my home. God never allowed any of those spirits to bother me. I had no idea that was going on.”
Isn’t that amazing? When I thought about what my mother said, I realized my husband (who was praying for me too) never experienced the harassment. Neither did my younger daughter ( to my knowledge). My older daughter did (she reported hearing footsteps and was frightened by an apparition one night around that time) but I’d shared so much of what I was doing in the occult with her it’s not surprising.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” Psalm 91:14 (NIV)
Here’s the thing—God was protecting me as well.
Deep down, I knew what I was doing was wrong, even though I wouldn’t acknowledge the truth in my brain. I wanted to be a “Christian” witch (not truly possible, btw) because in my heart of hearts—I loved God (as He is known in the Bible).
The Holy Spirit pursued me the entire eight years I was a witch, medium, and ghost hunter. I wanted to go my own way so in the end the Lord allowed me to experience the consequences of my actions. But when I finally came to my senses, repented of my sin, and renounced all those activities (rebuking and kicking out the spirits I’d invited into my life and family)everything stopped.
That’s how good and merciful God is! My mother’s (and husband’s and sister’s and other’s) prayers were answered—in so many ways as I look back on it now. What I’ve learned is God protects His children, even those who straying far away from Him for a time. Thank you, Lord, for watching over all of us.
Have you ever looked back on your life and realized God was sheltering you from something—especially when you had wandered or were praying for someone living with you who had wandered from the faith?
What did you learn from that experience?