From Chapter 6 of
A Twist of Faith
learned it the hard way. She thought she had found the power to succeed, but
the "Jesus" she met as a child turned out to be a counterfeit spirit who
tormented her for sixteen years -- until she met the real Christ.
As far back as Valerie remembers, her family went to church. But at
home, her television diet included "Bewitched," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,"
"Red Hot," and "Wendy, the Little Witch" -- all shows that sugar-coated
witchcraft and demonology. On Saturday mornings she watched captivating horror
films. No one warned her about occult
dangers. So when she was invited to play the Ouija board during a Halloween
party at the home of a kindergarten classmate, she had no reason to refuse.
The instructions told them to
start by inviting a spirit to come, so they prayed that the board would send
someone. Then they put their finger tips on a smooth heart shaped disc called
a planchard and asked the spirit to tell its name. The planchard began to
move. They stared amazed as it spelled Saint
Paul. Could this be the Paul in the Bible? A real dead person? It
answered YES. "How did you die?" asked Valerie. "CRUCIFIED," spelled the
spirit. The children didn't catch the lie but, after a while, they did notice
that it only answered Valerie's questions. "Why do you only answer Valerie?"
asked one of the girls. This time it answered her -- and spelled
Psychic? Valerie didn't know what the word meant, but it sounded
important. She must be really special! Not only did she have special power
from "Jesus," he sent her three invisible spirit friends. Named Patty, Jane
and Maureen, they sounded like teenage girls as they talked and argued inside
her. "We were pals and hung out together," explained Valerie. "My parents
thought they were just imaginary friends."
Prompted by her spirits, Valerie was always on the lookout for psychic
literature. When Valerie's older sister bought the
Witches' Spell and the
on Witchcraft and Demonology to fulfill a book club commitment, Valerie
was the first to study them. No
one connected the onset of her daily "petit mal seizures" with her occult
By the time she was seven [yes,
Valerie was a precocious learner], she was deeply engrossed in astrology, yet
no one in her family seemed concerned. She knew that lying and stealing were
wrong, but psychic things seemed innocent enough. After all, they seemed to
work and didn't hurt anyone. They had to be from Jesus.
Each day, Valerie read her
horoscope. The predictions were confusing sometimes, but when she looked hard
enough for matching real-life experiences, she always found something. Later,
with hindsight, she could see how those general predictions became
self-fulfilling. Her attention
was fixed on what she expected to see and her imagination was ready to comply.
Valerie's first grand mal seizure came during her first communion. She
was sitting with her friends in the church, when she suddenly felt ill and
stood up. Her body stiffened and shook with violent convulsions. It seemed as
if something grabbed her, contorted her body, and threw her to the floor. Her
startled friends thought she was dying. Dimly conscious, Valerie sensed that
her hands clutched the air like claws and her gown was being pulled up over
her head, making her feel violated and ashamed.
Strangely enough, her second
"grand mal seizure" hit during her confirmation. Before she had time to
confirm her faith in God, she lost consciousness. She remembered nothing
afterwards, but the seizures became a regular part of her life. A doctor
diagnosed and medicated her as an epileptic, but nothing stopped the
Valerie was fourteen when her mother died and her spirit guides
convinced her to try suicide. "You'll go to heaven anyway," they coached.
"You're a good kid." A miraculous intervention hindered her death, but life
became increasingly painful. Sometimes she found herself speaking in
"counterfeit tongues" -- or barking, growling and saying nonsense words that
shocked her peers. A series of physical and sexual attacks increased her fear
and isolation. Alone, she would console herself with her three spirit pals who
were training her for the craft.
In college, Valerie became a
"white witch" and learned to "cast circles in Jesus' name."
Her spirit guides told her to marry Keith, a warlock obsessed by the occult
role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Trained to do their will, she agreed
and was soon engaged. Her
obedience was rewarded with a well-paying job as a fortune teller. "I still
thought I was doing God's will," said Valerie years later. "I called myself 'a
witch for Jesus.'"
In spite of all the medical tests
and prescriptions, the daily seizures grew worse. One day a theology student
named Martin happened to see her convulse. When it ended, he helped her back
on her feet and took her home. Inside her apartment, he noticed her shelves
full of Wiccan manuals, crystals, amulets and other occult paraphernalia.
Frightened, he said, "Valerie,
this is a bad thing you're doing."
"No, it's not," she answered.
"What do you know about this? You're into your craft for the Lord, and I'm
"I'm going to pray for you," he
"Okay, pray for me. It won't
From then on, Martin often helped
her through the seizures. "Valerie," he said one day, "Come with me to my church."
She agreed. The next Sunday,
sitting in a pew, an awareness of God's holiness swept through her. Suddenly,
she saw -- as if through His eyes -- the evil she had embraced. "I felt so
filthy and ashamed," she explained later. "I just wanted to cover myself up.
It was as if God told me, 'Change now, or you'll never be safe. Your heart
will become so hardened you will never be able to hear me.' I asked God to
forgive me for all the awful things I had done, and I knew He did. I knelt on
the floor and sobbed with joy. The change was incredible. I felt so different,
so clean inside."
Back at her apartment, Valerie
knew what to do. "I've got to get rid of some stuff," she told Martin. She
threw everything -- books, crystals, amulets, ritual music, "even the rock and
roll stuff" -- into a big lawn bag. She wanted a brand new start, and thanked
God that she had already broken her engagement to Keith.
Two years later Valerie married
Martin. They moved and found a Bible-teaching church. Finally Valerie began to
learn the truths about the God she had mistakenly assumed she knew all her
life. Visiting her pastor one day, she told him about her own dark journey.
"Did you ever go through
deliverance?" he asked her
"No," she answered. "What is
He explained that she needed to
renounce every occult practice she had embraced and be freed from all demonic
connections. She was more than
willing, so they agreed to do it on the spot. In prayer, Valerie disclaimed
everything she could remember: the Ouija board, astrology, spiritism,
divination, necromancy (communicating with supposed spirits of the dead),
channeling, the tarot cards and spell working -- the "abominations" mentioned
in Deuteronomy 18:9-12. She
trusted God to break every link to occult forces.
The spirits resisted. Valerie's
chair began to sway and horrible demonic voices began to speak. "We're not
leaving," they mocked. "You have no power." But the pastor called their bluff
and, with the authority of Christ who commissioned him, he commanded them to
get out. They had to obey and Valerie was finally free. What Jesus did for the
child in Luke 9:42, He had done for her: "the demon threw him to the ground in
a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit [and] healed the boy. . . ."
Before the session ended, Valerie confessed her own readiness to
welcome spirit guides, her Wiccan profession, and her part in leading others
into darkness. One by one, the Holy Spirit brought the memories to the surface
of her mind so she could take every sin to the cross and receive the pardon
and cleansing Jesus had bought with His own life.
"Thank you, my Lord," she whispered as the words of her favorite psalm
began to flow through her mind:
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness...
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. . . .
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . .
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. . . .
(Psalm 51:1-2, 10-17)
God answered her prayer -- and gave far more than she asked. Not only
did the real Jesus fill her with His
life and love, Valerie never had another seizure, nor did she face the unusual
withdrawal symptoms when she stopped the medication.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, she
was able to forgive all who had hurt and abused her.
One by one, she extended His forgiving love to them -- to some only in
the secret of His presence, to others by mail. For how could she -- who had
been forgiven so much -- refuse the same kind of forgiveness to others?
Often, since then, the beautiful promise of Luke 7:47-49 has come to
"Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for
she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same
loves little. . . . Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
Jesus, who is the Truth, had indeed set her free.[xxxi]
Freedom is the heart-cry of feminism -- freedom
from authority, injustice, moral boundaries --
and freedom to chart your own
way. The next chapter will show why no freedom can be found in the feminist
To see the
conclusion to this chapter, click on
A Twist of Faith