“I grew up in a beautiful Christian home that was loving, generous, and safe. I had been best friends with a girl since year one, and we went to high school together. The real bump came in year 8. A larger group of friends formed around us, and everything went very well. Then my friends started witchcraft – ouija boards and casting spells and séances.
We had discussed this as a family and agreed that we didn’t believe in this sort of thing. I’m sure my friend realized that. It was like a red flag for her. Without warning, she and the whole group of friends turned against me within a day. They suddenly hated me. They sent me death threats. One day, a note in my bag read, “Now is the time. Now is the hour. We have the power; we have the reason. We’ll get you.’ I thought they were going to kill me. My girlfriend knew me better than anyone, so I thought she had power over me. I remember taking my mattress off the bed and sleeping on the floor in case they threw a brick through the window to kill me.
It led to years of fear. I stopped all my activities and withdrew from life. My parents told me I was safe at home, but I didn’t feel safe in the world. I had panic attacks and then threw up uncontrollably.
In year 9, I changed schools to a very small Christian school. It was like balm to my soul. I went from hating to interesting. I was so broken, but I found peace. School ended after year 10, so I had to change schools again. But during the school holidays of that year, three things happened. I started dating a non-Christian man. I wanted him to know Jesus, so I shared the gospel with him. When I shared it, I thought, ‘It’s great! God’s grace is incredible! Jesus died for us!’ When I told him, it became true for me. I was so touched by the grace of God in Jesus. It seemed like such an incredible gift. The second thing that happened was that I had seven vivid dreams. In every plan, the world ended, but I didn’t get to heaven. It shocked me to the bone. I remember going to church and talking to my pastor about the assurance we have of salvation in Jesus.
Then, in year 11, I started at the new school. On my first day, someone approached me and asked me where I had gone to school. I said I went to a Christian school. The person asked me if I was a Christian, and I said yes! From that moment on, I was all-in! I owned it out loud for the first time in my life. I trusted Jesus. It was a game-changer.
Witchcraft is not the fun version, as in Harry Potter. It can be sinister. I don’t think filling your mind with those things is safe. But I’ve still been aware that the devil can gain a foothold all my life. The devil is sneaky.
I remember going to a healing retreat in 2010. Three years before the withdrawal, I had been in a serious car accident and suffered a head injury and broken bones. I had persistent spasticity in my right leg and problems with my vision, so I wanted to be healed! But I went to the retreat, prayed a lot, and was not healed physically. Instead, I was cured of my fear associated with the death threats. As people prayed for me, I realized that 20 years later, my friends had no power over me. God has power over me! I had a great time surrendering that to God and trusting him for my life. It’s been different since then! And looking back, no matter how hard life has been, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have learned so much about the love and faithfulness of God, as well as the great hope for our future, through Jesus our Redeemer.”