As a teenager, Andrea’s heart was filled with hate and she was blinded by anger. She slipped into a spidery web of mental illness, fear, superstition and darkness. Her story is an amazing one of discovering truth, grace and forgiveness.
Believing the lies whispered in my ear
After that night, my life started to change. My friend Matthew started taking me to church and for about a year I started learning about Jesus and had Christian fellowship. My mind is very foggy about that time of my life. I was on medication for the bi-polar condition and I was involved in another abusive relationship. I was very depressed. But I know my faith in God was cemented. As I recovered from drug addiction and struggled to survive with an abusive partner, I reached out to the Lord and He was there for me. When no one else was there, God was. The only problem was that I did not agree with many of the things the church was teaching. I did not realize it then, but now I see the devil was driving a wedge between Jesus and myself as part of his counter attack. He did not want to lose me to Jesus and so he started whispering in my ear things that were not true, and I believed his lies.
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land …” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
Struggling to find my feet
I also had some well-meaning Christians reaching out to me. What they didn’t realize was that their methods were overbearing. For someone who was struggling to find their own feet and identify in Jesus, it was too much to have someone constantly on my back about the Lord. If anything, these people put me off my faith rather than encouraged me in my spiritual growth. I wish I would have had the strength of character back then to politely ask them to back off, but I didn’t.
Devil putting up a fight
In one year God had taken me out of drug addiction, chaos and mental illness but the devil was also putting up a good fight. I walked away from the church I was involved in. I believed I was doing the right thing (and in some ways I was), but I did not seek out another congregation. Instead, I decided that Christianity was one of many ways to God, and that I wanted to find out ‘What God is’ rather than ‘WHO is God.’ It is one of the devil’s craftiest schemes to get a child of God sidetracked.
Falling back into darkness
I met a guy who was interested in paganism (goddess based religions), mythology and other areas outside of Christianity. I was enamored by this man and for the next four years hung on his every word. He was never able to offer me more than friendship (and looking back his friendship was very destructive), but I was blind to all this at the time. From being around him I started to study paganism and other religions. I believed in a goddess who was multi-faceted and started to practice rituals in honor of the goddess and the elements. Without realizing it, I was back under the control and domain of the devil.
Tarot cards, spirits and auras
In the early days it seemed I had discovered something beautiful and ancient. I came to believe that Christianity was just a newer version of paganism, with the character disguised in different forms. This is how deceived I became. I learned about the psychic realm and started working as a psychic. I did tarot readings, read auras and worked with spirit guides. I also taught psychic development to others. I also read many self-help books and received a lot of counseling to come to terms with all the things that happened to me growing up. Let me say here that even though the counseling and therapy helped me a lot, it was not until I was ‘born again’ in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit that I truly began experiencing peace, joy, love and other fruits of the Spirit. Before I knew it, seven years had passed from when I had my first nervous breakdown.
My belief system being reshaped
As a psychic I believed I felt I was helping others. My readings were more spiritual than anything else. I advised people on their spiritual development as well as predicting future events. I prided myself on the accuracy of my readings and in my role as a spiritual advisor to others. I had a deep, vast knowledge of the world’s religions, and was able to mix and match my beliefs to create an overall understanding of life, or so it seemed. I came to believe in reincarnation, and that ultimately there was no right or wrong because every experience in life was a lesson from which we could learn and grow from. I believed every soul was constantly learning and so it didn’t really matter what you did, because every experience was valid as an opportunity for learning. As an entity that was constantly evolving from this life to the next, we have to go through a variety of experiences in order to achieve ‘enlightenment’.
God was there for me
God began to break through my spiritual blindness when I became pregnant with my son. I met my son’s father under strange circumstances and my instincts told me to stay clear of this man. Yet a number of tarot readings, interpreted dreams and ‘coincidences’ all pointed to him as my soul mate. Rather than listen to my head I listened to these phenomena and we were intimate. A few weeks later I found out he was married. A week after that I found out I was pregnant. It was then that I began to see how deceived I had been by all the psychic stuff. During the pregnancy, as I watched all my ‘friends’ slowly drop away or turn against me, I started to reach out to the Lord. Once again I had no one else, but God was there with me. I still did not have a totally clear understanding of the spiritually and emotionally crippling effects the occult, mental illness and drug addiction had launched against me, but I was starting to realize I had gone off track. I asked the Lord for strength, guidance, an easy birth and a healthy baby. He answered my prayers. As much as each day was difficult, Jesus was with me every day of my pregnancy, and I could feel His presence making me strong and calm – keeping me positive and encouraged.
The grace of God
I continued to pray after my son was born. One night I found myself saying, “Thank you, Jesus, for dying for my sins and rising again.” I was shocked at myself! I realized I believed in the risen Christ! I didn’t understand how or when, but I now believed! From that point on God began to pave the way for me to come back to Christ. I know I am the prodigal daughter who has come back to the Father, after squandering my life in the world (See: Luke 15:11-24). I can now look back on my life and see where I went wrong, and I know it is only by the grace of God that I survived my time in the darkness. My heart’s desire is to be used by God to help others who do not know Jesus, especially those who are slaves to addiction or the occult. I am so grateful for what I have in Jesus; not only have my sins been forgiven and I have eternal life, but I am being filled with joy, peace, love, patience … and I am slowly learning self-control.
Only one book is needed
The first thing God asked me to do when I came back to Him was to get rid of all my occult/ New Age / self-help based books. I could relate to the Bible when it says in Acts 19.19: “A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.” A drachma was a silver coin worth about a day’s wages. According to an insert in the New King James Bible, the total value of the scrolls would be about $364,000 of today’s American dollars! It was difficult to give up my books and all the things related to my work as a psychic, but I understood that what Jesus offers us is greater than anything I could find in those books. Really, we only need one book to guide us in this life, and that book is the Bible. We are to “have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7).
Is the Bible truly the only book we really need to know about God ? To know how we are to have right relationship with Him and others? The answer to these questions is ‘yes’! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Jesus continues to work in me
Since I became born again, Jesus has replaced my old friends with a beautiful, sincere, loving and supportive Christian family (church). He has healed me of my addictions, including cigarettes, and is healing me of my addiction to over-eating. Food is still an issue for me as I use it to stuff my emotions down. I am also very overweight but I know God is working through me, and that in time this issue will be another area where I can testify about Jesus to others.
Many blessings if you turn to Jesus
I am here to tell you that anything outside of the Lord Jesus Christ is just a cheap imitation. There is only one living God who created all things. God has a plan for every single person on Earth. When someone goes to a psychic, they are ignoring God’s plans and instead seeking the advice of demonic spirits. By putting our faith in demonology (psychic phenomena) we are opening ourselves up to occult powers, and turning away from the blessings Christ has planned for us. By inviting the occult into our lives we are sowing seeds of destruction for ourselves, our loved ones and our children, and even potentially their offspring.
Drugs, witchcraft and mental illness
Mental illness, drug addiction and the occult are very much linked. The practice of taking drugs alters our perception and is a form of witchcraft. Indeed many pagan religions use drugs and altered states to connect to the spirit realm. Many people who have mental illness are well aware of the spiritual realm. They experience demons, angels and many other things as part of the confusion of the condition.
A dangerous and explosive cocktail
The devil convinced me that my illness was a blessing. This lie was aimed at my pride by convincing me my condition was a ‘gift’. This allowed me to be in denial about the harmful effects it had on my life. The force of denial is so powerful, especially when your ego is being fed with status and glamour. Only the light of Christ can reach those who are so far gone in the dark. The combination of the bi-polar with the psychic realm and goddess-based beliefs, as well as drug use, was catastrophic. The sad thing is most of the people I came across who worked as psychics, healers, and people in the New Age movement were the victims of addictions and mental illnesses. Depression and anxiety are prevalent. As much as they claim to be helping others, when I looked beneath the surface there was always something else going on (greed, pride, selfishness, competitiveness).
The spider web of reincarnation
The Bible makes it very clear that each person only gets one life and after that they must stand before God and face judgment and from that point onwards, either heaven or hell is their destination. As a Christian I know that all my sins were washed away because Jesus Christ suffered for my sins on the cross and I will not be judged for them. There is forgiveness for sin. Reincarnation has a person going through many lives with no forgiveness for sin. The hope is that as you progress through your ‘lives’, you will slowly evolve upwards. In each life you are dealing with the actions you supposedly carried out in previous lives. This is referred as karma. Reincarnation holds out the supposed hope that someone may escape this process of going from life to life if they become a guru and reach ‘nirvana’ in one generation. Nirvana is a supposed state of blissful nothingness!
Dangers of believing in reincarnation
“Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The danger in believing in reincarnation is twofold. One, there is no sobering fear of judgment for our actions before a Holy God when we die. Secondly, it encourages people to be completely self-serving. If every experience in life is just a lesson we need to learn then we are accountable to no one. We then rationalize; what does it matter if we hurt others, betray our families and friends, and indulge our every whim? We can chalk these things up to just another experience to learn from. This is where the deception comes into play, and where the devil plays with our ego. For we are called by God to be more than our whims. We are called to be a reflection of His greatest Glory, Jesus Christ and His love.
We are called to reach beyond our own selfish desires and strive to reach out to others in love and compassion. We are called to look into our hearts and lives, seek out our faults and bring them to the Lord for forgiveness and repentance. We are given one life on Earth in which to serve God, and it is only through understanding this that we reach true enlightenment with Jesus as the source of light and truth in our hearts and lives. It is Christ who allows us to go beyond our human limitations and reach a level of existence greater than anything we could have ever imagined on our own.
My aim in life
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). I desire to be a servant of the Lord and by His grace to reach out to others who are trapped in darkness.
MY JOURNEY TO LIFE
Asking God to take control
It was in October 2004 when I finally gave up trying to run my life my own selfish way, and admitted to God that I had made a mess of my life and asked God to take over the reigns. I promised to do only as He wanted me to do.
The Alpha course and a praying mother
And so the process began. First of all it was the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. Then it was doing my best to reconcile with my baby’s father. (That’s when I learned that it is obedience that matters, not the result.) And then I did the Alpha course. My mother had been praying for at least four years for me to do the Alpha course. Thanks to God, my mother, and the Alpha course, I was Born Again! I finally accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and committed myself to Him. Since then the Lord has been filtering out all those dark feelings; the anger, the pain, the hurt, and the pride. It has been a long labor, but since that day the Holy Spirit entered my heart and I was born again, I have been filled with much peace and joy, and slowly, ever-increasing compassion and love.
Thanks be to God for shining His light
In front of my friends and family, on May 1st, 2005, I was baptized in water, to show the world that my life belongs to Christ. I wanted my old life washed away. I wanted to show the Lord how grateful I am for all He has done for me, for keeping me safe in the palm of His hand even when I went exploring the darkness, and for shining the light so that I could find my way home.
My knight in shining armour!
I am now willing and honored to commit myself to Christ. I am overwhelmed by His love and Grace. Jesus is the relationship I rely on. He is the friend who will never abandon me, the Man who will always be there to listen and comfort me. He is the reason for the joy in my life and the peace in my Heart. He is my knight in shining armor, sent to save me from all my sins, the darkness and the lies of the Devil. He is my Lord and Savior!
My painful experiences of the past helping others
Knowing that, by putting my faith in Jesus, instead of in the world, I am saved from all my sins! Since being baptized, my church has asked me to share my testimony with the Youth Group. It seems that God is finally putting to good use all the intelligence and experiences I had wasted in the past! My church believes I will be helping others come to Jesus, and in my heart, this is all I want; for others to find the beauty of the Kingdom. Slowly my life is starting to come together, and I am excited that even though I can’t see where I am going, God is holding my hand and lighting the way.
The good news of forgiveness through Jesus Christ
Jesus can do the same for you, if you’ll allow Him to. What I’ve discovered in my personal relationship with Jesus Christ is that God is the same from beginning to end, He is the One true God, expressed in three persons; God the Father, God the Son (Word), and God the Holy Spirit. He is the righteous judge and the loving Father. When He came to earth as the Son, He was given the name Jesus and He was the long-promised Messiah, the Christ. Jesus Christ showed us how much He loved us, by going to the cross to shed His innocent blood for our sins. He took the wrath of God that sinners deserve upon Himself, so they could be freed from God’s wrath throughout eternity. He lives in born again believers through the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and purpose to follow His commandments.
If you can relate in any way to my testimony — if you have been deceived by the devil into looking outside of Jesus Christ and the Bible for your faith — then I challenge you now to turn away from your error. Turn from your sinful rebellion and invite Jesus to come live in your heart. He will show you where you went wrong, forgive you for your sins and show you the right way to live your life. Not only will His love and Spirit guide you in this lifetime, but you will also be welcomed into the eternal Kingdom of God as one of His children. That’s a place where we will be celebrating the glory of God forever. I hope to meet you there.
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
Christian Counterstrike Series by Andrea
Reincarnation, neo-paganism, understanding spiritual warfare, freedom from the occult, New Age teachings, drugs and mental illness.?
Come to know your Creator (animation)
The Reason (music video)