Salvation is through repentant faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work for us on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. I wasn’t raised by parents who knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I had minimal experience with believers while growing up, however, when God was pleased He revealed His Son Jesus Christ to me. It is likely that many of you can relate to my testimony that I am happy to share with you. May God use this testimony of His grace and love in my life to bring Him praise and edify His saints.
My first experience with believers was when I attended church, with my sister, at about the age of four. Since she is three years older than I am, she and I went our separate ways when we got to church. In my Sunday School class the Sunday School teacher shared the gospel and in her zeal segregated myself and another child who did not want to trust Jesus. She put us into the anteroom to replicate eternal separation from God in hell. The little boy broke. I was defiant and said that my dad was an atheist and we didn’t believe in God. I never went to that church again.
At another home where we lived, believers were our neighbors. I remember the woman talking to my mother about Jesus. She said that God could make it rain right there and then. All of a sudden there was a small dark cloud overhead that dropped some raindrops. This apparent display of God’s power and glory did nothing to move my mother from sinful unbelief to faith in Christ. I followed her example.
I attended VBS when I was a little older, mostly for the prizes. The teacher seemed really irritated when I wanted to get a puzzle for my baby brother who missed a day because he was sick. Again, I wasn’t impressed with VBS or the message. I don’t even remember the message. A couple of years later my brother and I attended our state’s fair, and a couple of men tried to get us in to a tent to watch the movie, The Greatest Story Ever Told. I promptly told them that our family didn’t believe in God. They asked what we believed in, and I said that we believed in ourselves. This is evidence of the sin nature led by Satan that works powerfully even in the hearts of children.
My father was an atheist. He was also a psychiatrist. I saw up close and personal the bankruptcy of the help that comes from man. Although there were times of happiness and distractions that lessened my sorrow and hurt (horseback riding) our family was still very sinful (dysfunctional in psychological terminology). My parents drank, took drugs, cheated on one another, and neglected their children, (four, one with special needs) even though my father made good money. Satan ruled our home with disastrous results.
My mother died when I was 12 years old. The official cause was suicide, and that was accepted since she had tried to take her life more than once. A year later my father remarried, and although his wife made an effort with all of us, we were pretty hardened by neglect and early independence, so she had a difficult time.
Before my mother died, she had an apparent change. Normally, locked up in her room, concerned only with herself, she came out of her room and expressed uncharacteristic interest in her family. We were all shocked. A few days later she died. Afterward, when her mother, my grandmother, came out to place a headstone on her unmarked grave, she told me that she had written my mother a letter, telling her about God. My grandmother doted on me, to the exclusion of my siblings. She gave me money and asked me to share with my siblings. When I said okay, she told me she wasn’t talking about the money. My grandmother was a great encouragement in my life. I was greatly saddened when she died of cancer a few years later.
Shortly after our time of mourning for our mother had subsided some, I read a few chapters out of the book of Acts in the Bible. When I asked my father about what I had read, he told me that Jesus Christ had been killed by the Jews. I mentioned that they said He was alive, but dad said it was just superstition. I believed what he said because he was my father and I idolized him. When I was a little girl I had a dream about my father, and he and I were somehow separated by a cavalry troupe. I said that Calvary separated us. My father was displeased with this slip and tried to correct me with little success. That episode seemed to sour my father towards me.
I rebelled at a very early age, and stopped living at home by the time I was 14. At first I attended a girl’s boarding school, it was there I told a friend that I wanted to know God. Later I became a ward of the foster care system. I attended four different high schools during the tenth grade and lived with four different families. One of the families was “Christian”, but the impact that it had upon me was that I took great delight in attacking their faith. One of their friends showed interest in me, perhaps the Lord encouraged him to care about me.
I stayed with the final family I lived with until I was almost 18. I left because the father made sexual advances towards me. I called my father for his assistance; he told me to threaten to tell his superior officers. That worked for a while, but I was scared and moved out. It was while I lived with this family that I became interested in witchcraft.
It was attracted to witchcraft as a means of controlling my out of control life and getting whatever I wanted. The program Bewitched made it seem so appealing. Once I verbally expressed interest in witchcraft, it seemed that people I knew would talk about witches they knew. Quite a few people seemed to know witches. That seems weird to me now. But by expressing interest in the realm of Satan’s rule he made sure that I had opportunity to get sucked in.
I was able to get books on witchcraft from the library and I read them. I was taking a speech class at the time and I gave a speech on witchcraft and shared that I had performed a spell that seemed to have the effect that I wanted, (though not really). One thing that impressed me from these books was the experience of the witches with drugs and with the devil. That seemed a little too scary for me, and a little too close to home. I had a weird experience when I was a couple of years younger with the devil while taking drugs. It was very surreal.
One night, it was always night, and it was always really eerie, my friends and I went to visit a warlock and the women, witches, who resided with him. I don’t remember much about him, other than he seemed really mean, but one of the women said that she had been a Christian, but was somehow caught up with this warlock and his witches. This memory is somewhat sketchy, but it is important. She was an artist, and showed me some of her drawings that she had made as a believer. One was the dove representing the Holy Spirit. Now all she could draw were demonic beings. This was all very weird. I wondered why she stayed there. I urged her to leave, but she was so fearful.
After that experience, I knew that I didn’t want anything to do with witchcraft that was controlled by Satan. So a classmate told me about a white witch that he knew. He made an arrangement for me to meet with her during the evening and took me to meet with her on a deserted ditch bank. It was really unnerving because she just popped out of the reeds that lined the ditch bank. That was scary, and I’m sure it was meant to intimidate me. She was dressed in a hooded light colored robe. She said that white witches have nothing to do with Satan, but once initiated, witches could never go back to being mere mortals. She said I needed to think about this and then give Harvey my answer the following Monday.
Was my grandmother praying for me at that time? I did get a somewhat cryptic card from her expressing concern. Did the other witch that I met make an impression upon me? It is hard to know where my ultimate answer came from. Although, I had expressed interest in knowing God, I was a hardened atheist who did as she pleased and what pleased me was sinning. I had no reason not to go forward with the initiation into becoming a white witch. Everything seemed primed and ready. The many opportunities for meeting witches that I had witnessed appearing seemingly out of nowhere were an indication of the devil drawing me in. My own growing interest that led me to check out books on witchcraft and attempt to perform spells proved that I wanted in.
Then the day for my decision came. Harvey met me in the hall and asked me if I wanted to join the white witches. What I told him visibly shocked him and he was left without an answer to me other than he would pass on what I had said and that I would never have that opportunity again. My answer to him was this, I told him that if Jesus Christ is real He wouldn’t want me to do this. That was all I said. That wasn’t a profession of faith. It was a vague but powerful calling upon the name of Jesus Christ and He set me free. For from that moment onward all desire to practice witchcraft ceased and the opportunities that I had witnessed for meeting witches just disappeared. As a matter of fact one of the individuals who had pointed me towards witches later denied knowing any or even mentioning that he did. Jesus Christ the Creator of the universe delivered a poor beleaguered sinful child from the deceit of the devil when she needed it even though she didn’t know Him. Praise His holy and merciful name!
Years later, as a young adult, I came to know Jesus Christ when He met with me. I called upon Him, knowing that He is the only way to the Father, and He met with me. He made a covenant with me exchanging His life for my life. He transformed me so that I wanted to read the Bible, pray and go to church, habits that I had no inclination for up until that experience with Jesus. He changed me, I called my husband and told him that I wanted to be a Christian, even though I expected ridicule because of my father. My husband however reassured me that many people believed in God, something that I just didn’t know. Jesus Christ my glorious Lord and Savior has continued to deliver me from the deceit of the enemy propagated by false teachers and has set me upon His rock and His truth which is the Word of God the Bible. Praise God for His mercy to sinners, His provision of the Holy Spirit, the wonder of His love given to us through His Son Jesus Christ, and the glory of His wonderful Word that establishes us in the faith once for all delivered to the saints. God bless us.
30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:30-36