Back about 30 years ago I opened a book by Edgar Cayce, a clairvoyant who would go into trances and then come out with cures for the sick. I remembered from my time in church, and one year at a private Baptist school, as a youth that the Bible says to stay away from psychics (and the like) but then I read that Cayce had read the Bible once through for every year of his life. So I thought to myself, "Well I haven't even read it once, so he must be okay!". This quick glance into Cayce's book and life opened the door for me to enter into the New Age Movement. But it didn't happen right away, it took a move to Los Angeles to fully get immersed. I moved to L.A. to become an actress and like most aspiring actors I sought out an acting class. A young woman I worked with invited me to try her acting school and I went and tried it. I didn't understand their technique, but I chalked that up to "me needing to change and get in step with their class" and I began attending every week. Little did I know that the class I chose was based on the spirituality that is known as the New Age Movement. But even if I had understood that, it wouldn't have deterred me from attending because 1) I didn't have any reason to not be open to "spirituality" since I had decided from Edgar Cayce's life that there can be good spiritualists and 2) I was really determined to make it as an actress, and, to find the solutions to life's problems. See, I was in a bad marriage and was unable to process why it wasn't working (for an inside scoop on some of the issues, the man I married had been placed in many foster homes from an early age to about 15 when he was finally adopted, which didn't work out well for him nor the family that adopted him, and he had a lot of mistrust issues and unbeknownst to me he used cocaine. I knew he identified himself as an alcoholic but at my young age, I did not understand the illness and what exactly I had married into), but I fell hard for the smart, sweet side of him and I admired his worldly travel experience and career accomplishments and I didn't want to let him go, but I also felt that hanging onto the marriage hurt too much, so I was looking for a new kind of solution, something that could maybe fix it all spiritually. In class I learned there was a New Age book store called The Bodhi Tree in Hollywood and I began to shop there buying books and items that all focused on spirituality and healing. I started with astrology, moved onto numerology and even read books on magical arts such as white witchcraft. I attended channeling sessions, meditation classes at an Ashram, had private psychic healing sessions and palm readings done for me. I had my astrology and numerology charts done and I bought crystals which were said to be a power source that helps people. I even bought tarot cards and was learning to use them to get 'readings' on my life. At first I was super excited about everything there was to learn and how I was on my journey to personal power and freedom. See, there are no set rules in the New Age, everyone's journey is unique and there is no place for judgement or guilt and I felt this was the freedom I had always sought. What I was unable to see or understand was that while I had my eyes on all of these new goals, slowly but surely darkness was engulfing my life. With the acting class as my support I had become very assertive and prideful in my new path, yet the decisions I was now making brought on a lot of bad things. But I chalked them up to "part of the journey that would empower me in the end" and persevered. In my acting class there was an emphasis on healing one's past because if a person is bound up in anything they will not be able to emote in their scenes. I had been one they said was "really in my head" and "not in-touch with my emotions" when I started so I really focused on getting out anything that would stop me from being a good actress. One teaching of the class was that a person will only need to cry about life's hurts until there are no more tears and then they would feel better. But for me the crying only led to more crying and more focusing on the wrongs that had happened to me. But I persevered with my acting/life training, even thinking that maybe I would get the super dramatic roles where real crying would be important. I remember how at one private channeling session, (this is the practice where a person allows another entity who is supposedly thousands of years older and wiser than those of us alive now to speak through them) I literally laid on the floor of that apartment place and cried my guts out the entire time. I now believe it was the impending dark spiritual nature of this man's apartment and from his spirit guide's counsel that caused me to sink into a defeated crying episode. (This understanding I gained from finding out later that the channeler's life got completely overtaken by the spirit that was inhabiting him to where he lost his job, his roommate, and basically any semblance of a normal life since the spirit told him to draw the drapes and live inside that apartment in darkness and he obeyed.)
descent continued on in the second year with me no longer thinking
like the "new-to-L.A." excited person I started out as, and as part of the fun-loving California group of friends I had made in my beach
restaurant job. No, I had begun to think they were too simple for me because I was always
thinking of deep spiritual things and I was upset all of the time about things that weren't going my way. That's when a young lady at my
job who went to Rock n Roll clubs began to ask me to go out with her
to the clubs. I was never interested in rock n roll before - I
had always listened to pop music and I had never liked long-haired
rock n roll guys. But with her incessant begging me to go with
her to this club or that one, I began to go to the hard rock clubs in
Hollywood, even the underground ones. I had secretly hoped to
run into my husband who had moved out from me by now and I hoped that
if he saw me out, he would think I was cool now (he was a cool surfer type guy with a rock-star style to him that people in L.A. naturally loved) and that I was more like him now, (we always knew we were opposites), and maybe we could
have a second chance. He was always more inclined to the
L.A.vibe more than me, so I did my best to fit in and dressed
in black clothes that would be considered cool or sexy. I never
saw him out and I soon began to date rock n roll musicians that I met
in the clubs. I began to buy CD's of the famous rock groups
such as Motley Crue, Guns and Roses, Bon Jovi, White Snake etc. and
I began to want to look like/emulate the beautiful, sexy women
featured in the rock videos. But due to the male chauvenism in
all of this, it actually caused me to feel even less secure about who
I was. And I was frustrated with my options because neither of
the Rock n Roll long-haired boyfriends I had during that time were
right for me but I continued on in that path because my New Age
beliefs had me continue to pursue the things I saw promoted in Los
Angeles . . . . and rock n roll is definitely one of them!
(Please see the New Age page for more on the Rock N Roll scene.)
My first couple of years in L.A., I had been working 6 days a week in a fast paced busy restaurant to afford my acting classes and photos and pay my rent but in my third year there I didn't want to work as much and wanted to really push the acting thing. I believed from my New Age spirituality teachings that I could create my opportunities by visualizing them (called Creative Visualization) and then put myself out there and expect the opportunity to open up. I lessened my work schedule and I went through actor trade magazines to find auditions since my agents weren't able to get me many auditions. From one trade magazine i went to an audition that made me scared - the audition was basically lifting my skirt to show my legs to a couple of men who lived in the penthouse of a tall building in central L.A. Luckily neither put their hands on me and I got out of there quickly but I got a real scared feeling taking anymore job leads from the trade magazines. I had previously taken a couple of other risks like once being alone with a photographer in a large abandoned house and then one where I made an appointment to do some modeling and met the man at a very high-end luxury country club in L.A. to discuss the work. What I didn't expect was for the man to look just like Jabba the Hutt (UGLY!!!!) from Star Wars and for him to offer me $5,000 to sleep with him! He was actually a pimp for a high-paid prostitute ring and he was seeing if I would be a woman who could be swayed into that profession. (It was interesting how this happened right after I lessened my work schedule and I was really hurting for money! The devil knew when I would be vulnerable, but thankfully I was repulsed and got away from that man!) I was experiencing other attacks that were real such as out on the street from perverted men - one who actually assaulted me in the middle of the day on a busy street - and one that aggressively chased me by foot at night when I got off work but fortunately I out-ran and out-smarted him. There were things that would happen outside my bedroom window such as one night I woke up to the sounds of a fist fight that I saw happening in one of the convertible cars parked on the street. It really spooked me because I had never seen violence like this before. And all of these incidents, and more not mentioned here, were turning me into someone who lived in perpetual fear! After three years of rejections and scary/bad/difficult things that happened out in L.A. I was mentally and emotionally and morally bankrupt when I finally heard God say to me, (by name), "time to come home now". I knew it was God and that I really needed to leave L.A. I had moved out there as a young married lady with high hopes of a great acting career and life and now in just three short years I was a divorced, angry, tormented, fearful and a thoroughly discouraged woman who could not figure out how to make my life's dreams work.
I moved home but I struggled to fit into the normal life of a smaller city especially since I still clung to the New Age and the Rock n Roll scene as things that identified me, and there was a very small presence of both scenes in my home city. I continued to do tarot card readings over my life and watch MTV to keep up on all of the cool L.A. things and I watched every movie Hollywood turned out. I didn't care how horrible the story lines were, I was always watching the acting and liked them based on what I thought was true depictions of what people would do in those situations. I remember recommending a movie to my parents that they were horrified by when watching it and I didn't see why they were but now I look back and know there was not one redeeming thing about that film. The movie was 'Dangerous Liaisons' and it was all about emotional cruelty through sexual manipulation which makes me shudder to think about now. But I was in my own "acting is everything world" and I was still going to pursue acting in Orlando which was just an hour away. I got an agent in Orlando, got a restaurant job and did my usual L.A. lifestyle, I went out clubbing and met rock n roll guys to date. Because my lifestyle didn't change, my problems didn't, and my anger and fear continued to grow. The devil came in for a more real attack: One night while sleeping my fire alarm in my apartment went off in the middle of the night. I lived alone and I felt completely overwhelmed by a spirit of terror that gripped me! I began screaming and screaming and screaming as I got huddled into the corner of my dining room with a blanket wrapped around me. I felt for sure that if I didn't stay covered up by the blanket something in the spirit realm was going to stab me in the back of my neck. I called my parents and my dad came and got me but they never could understand that this was not something I just imagined, it was a real spiritual attack!
I soon met a guy at my restaurant job, that was employed as a bus-boy there, but was a "wanna-be professional singer/musician" who was cute and interested in me and I thought that since he was not long haired, I was moving in a better direction and began to date him. Within a month he moved in with me and one day he said to me "You need to accept Jesus as your Savior", and me really wanting to feel free from the New Age movement, I agreed and I prayed to receive Jesus as my Savior. Everything felt good that evening but the next morning I threw up, dry-heaved, for a couple of hours what he and I both agreed must've been were demonic spirits. We have no proof but I felt it instinctively and he did too. I felt that was a pretty good confirmation that God had heard my prayer because I know the Holy Spirit won't share residence with evil spirits! But other than that experience I really didn't feel any different as a Christian and looking back I realized that I did not have a hunger to read the Bible and I didn't feel guilty about being shacked up with my boyfriend. The only kind of guilt I felt was in not getting pregnant again because I had gotten pregnant one time and had an abortion. I never wanted to do that again because I had experienced great grief in the years following the abortion. (Now I have a hard time even writing about it and it is my biggest regret in life. I attribute my heavy drinking and promiscuity in my late 20's to the abortion because studies have shown women try to subconsciously destroy themselves once they've had an abortion.) My boyfriend, who was raised Catholic, had no intentions of us going to church and there was never any talk about me becoming Catholic, in fact, when we talked about getting married I made plans at the Methodist church I was raised in for us to have our ceremony. So, this is probably why I knew nothing about Christian living, what was right and what was wrong, because there was no discipleship after I said the prayer. Of course I knew some things from being raised in Christianity but as a family growing up we pretty much lived like the world and kept Christian thoughts reserved to Christmas, Easter and Sundays. There was the one year at a Baptist private school, and I remember receiving a Chick tract that really made hell very real and scary to me, and so I agreed to accept Jesus so I would not go there, but had no intentions of living the sanctified life God wanted from me because of my strong desire to be popular. So this prayer did not count as a true conversion and when I look back on what transpired shortly after in my heart, I can see where the devil moved in with a vengeance! I was a very rebellious pre-teen and only after some strict cracking down by my parents did I agree to behave, but I still hid in my heart to live for all of the things of the world. Anyway back to this new decision to have Christ as my Savior, my older sister had recently become a Christian and she gave me a book called Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn and I read it and I thought it really explained who the Holy Spirit was. I had always kind-of wondered who the Holy Spirit was because the Methodist church I grew up in never really said much about the Holy Spirit. I felt sure He would have as big a role as God and Jesus so I believed Benny Hinn's supernatural everyday Holy Spirit who talked to him everyday must be true. Soon afterward my boyfriend cheated on me and left me for a girl we both worked with and so I began to use Christianity as my escape from how bad he made me feel. I would tell people at work I was okay with what he did because I am going to church and meeting all new people but inside I was not okay and I didn't stay long with the Bible study class. It's funny but the thing that turned me away was when the Christian women said we women should not just pick the good looking men to date but look for other more important traits. I was like "no, way!" because I was bound and determined to have a good looking man like I had always been able to have. I went back into the social life of a normal single person, back to the bars to find me that good looking boyfriend. At first I began to run into other professing Christians in the bars but I noticed they all had real messed up lives. I didn't know there was a category called Charismatic Christian but I now believe I was meeting them in the bars and that actually I was one since I believed Benny Hinn's book and he is a Charismatic. (Please see my page on Pentecostalism to see I am not endorsing Benny Hinn - he is in my opinion one of the worst of the worst on Christian television.) My sister arranged for me to talk with a Christian counselor and so I met and told her all of my woes about my boyfriend cheating on me and other issues troubling me, but she just kept telling me what the Bible says, and I couldn't relate, so I only went one time and never again. Interesting enough, soon I didn't run into Christians at the bars anymore and my Christian thoughts and experiences waned into practically nothing. However, I did still pray to God, just like I had my whole life, when I needed something from Him.
One day I was sitting outside and I prayed to God that He would bring me a best friend because I was lonely and had always wanted one. It didn't have to be a guy, maybe a good girl-friend was what I needed, just someone to talk to and hang out with. But a night or two later I met a good looking guy at my night club job who looked a lot like my ex-husband and we started dating. I thought God had brought him to be the friend I wanted and then some because he was what I wanted looks-wise and he even had the same breed of dog as I did! We dated for three years and it was a roller coaster because he too was an addictive personality type and he became hooked on prescription drugs and began to mix alcohol with his pill taking and so I ended that relationship and moved into a rented home with a female room-mate. I remember during that time trying to date around so I could be "in-control" of my life but was having trouble with different types of players and God brought these two young ladies into my life at my new restaurant job. One wanted to be a minister and her room-mate decided the way to help me was to play piano while I practiced my singing and then arranging for me to sing professionally with a band that did the old songs. I remember her saying to me one time when I was on the phone with her, telling her my problems, "you need to accept Jesus as your Savior" at which I replied, "I have" and she didn't know what else to say to me, she didn't have any good follow-up advice. And her room-mate who was planning to be a minister was more busy telling everyone that a Christian can cuss because no where in the Bible does it say a Christian can't. (It actually does address filthy communication.) So, I didn't get much help from them but I did appreciate their Christian influence anyway because they were sweet and did make an effort to care about me. I began to date a guy who was considerably more wild in the going out and social party scene, but he was not doing drugs and he and his family and friends were into boating and beach bars, so I was happy with the excitement he brought without the weirdness. But with all of this going out and doing things with his large group of family and friends, I really did not ever think about being Christian anymore. One thing that was different about this wild boyfriend is he watched pornography films, not all of the time, but that was a first for me. I dismissed it because it was not a part of our everyday life but my old boyfriend did warn me about him because he went to repair his VCR and saw a porno film in the machine. I was not about to let my old boyfriend deter me though so I stayed with my new boyfriend, even moving in with him after a year. Fast forward about four years and lots of tough experiences with him because his party lifestyle did mean he was too wild to settle down (he also insisted Friday nights out were "boys nights out" and though he came home to me each Friday night, at an acceptable time, I had my suspicions about his fidelity and because he had an Italian temper, I was getting tired of arguing with him and also because I began to have problems at my jobs (I had switched to 9-5 work and the women were not nice to me like I had been used to in the restaurant business), I got to a really low point in life. But toward the end of my 3rd 9-5 job where I was forced to quit before they fired me (for no wrong doing but due to unfair politics and the main boss caring about being popular so much she didn't run the office honestly and fairly but chose favorites and two-faced everyone.), I also started feeling a sudden rise of faith inside of me that was most definitely supernatural because I wasn't doing anything to rekindle my faith with God. I began to want to go to church and I tried to get my boyfriend to want to go with me to a Methodist church near us, but when he finally did agree to go to church with me, he took me to his Catholic church. I did not understand any of their service especially because their priest was from South Africa and his accent was very thick! This boyfriend and I broke up a few times before this and a few more times after that because all along I was unhappy with his 'nights out with the boys' and his very harsh temperamental disposition (his own family teased about how disagreeable he could be) and because his sexual appetite was pushing me into pornographic areas, where he wanted me to dance for him at a strip club or make a pornographic website. But on the other side, while he also he had always done this a little, it was really bad in the last years, he would say disparaging things about my looks (but he insisted he was just kidding), but it was hurting my self-esteem, (which I feel he was trying to do), and he began to build himself up more and more by telling me how many women looked at him at the gym. I knew I didn't want to be in an abusive relationship but this is what he and I had, one of disrespect and lack of trust.
* One night I laid in bed and couldn't sleep from all of the stress I had been through and because I was unhappy that I had once again taken this boyfriend back after trying to make a go of it without him, and I cried out to God, "God please help me, you just have to help me, I can’t take this stress anymore, everything always turns out so horrible - I have no hope left.” The very second I finished my pleading prayer, words, that weren’t mine words, came into my mind. I heard “I will take the spirit of trouble from you . . . but you must put Me first in your life". I wasn’t sure who said these words to me until suddenly peace completely swept over my body and instantly delivered me from the wracking stress I had been living with! And the next thing I felt was love - pure love - love like I never could’ve imagined it! It came pouring into the top of my head and went all the way down to my toes! I then assumed it was Jesus who had spoken to me because of the song I learned as a little girl "Jesus loves me" and because of knowing enough Bible stories that taught about Jesus' miracles. Plus I had always ended all of my prayers in "I pray in Jesus name" because I had been taught that is how prayers should be prayed. So, I lay there feeling this amazing love and then He spoke to me in a little different way, an admonishing way, "the Bible is 100% true". He revealed this to me because just a couple of months earlier I had said that I believed the Bible was just written by men so I didn't feel it was trustworthy. Jesus let me know that night that the Bible is to be trusted 100%! With this revelation - I could see clearly that my life had gone so very wrong because I had never read or obeyed the Bible! (At least this is how I viewed things at this time, that if I obeyed the Bible my life would be smooth sailing - I didn't realize there would be attacks from the devil.) I vowed to God that He would be first in my life because I did not want to lose what He had given me that night - I was full of excitement about my life now! I began to read my Bible and knew that most likely I would start to go to church but at first I just wanted to keep it my safe secret experience.
Please see the continuation of my testimony on the next page where I explain how I got invited to a Pentecostal church shortly after this experience and how my life went spiraling out of control again into the bad supernatural I had so wanted to escape!
If you want to get born again in Christ Jesus, please take this time now to talk to God. You can say something like this: God I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior and I believe Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. I believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He lived a sinless life because He was God in the flesh, and that He was crucified as the once for all sacrifice for mankind's sins. I believe he was buried and rose from the grave and was witnessed alive before ascending to heaven where He now sits on the throne as King of Kings. I repent of my sins and accept Jesus' gift of salvation today and I ask Him to be my Savior and Lord. I ask the Holy Spirit to come and make a dwelling in my heart and to lead me into all righteousness. Thank you God for hearing my prayer and for sending your Son to save me by dying in my place at the Cross so I can be in the family of God. And Father, I understand that while I am saved by my confession of faith, it is also Your will for me to get water baptized to show my private confession in a public way, and so I ask you to lead me to the church or baptismal situation you have for me so I can get baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!