Good Counters Evil
I need to go back to a time before I knew Jana to describe what had been happening in my life leading up to the times in question. I had been going to daily Mass for a few years, and the same groups of people were usually there. One day, a woman named Annette started coming to church. And frankly, I noticed her because she had some strange behaviors. She was a tall heavier woman with short blond hair, and she always sat in the front row with her legs crossed and her head down. One of the reasons I noticed her was because she moved her head up and down very slowly during the Mass. It was distracting but also attention-getting. The priests at that church always asked the people to pray their intentions out loud. That was something I never experienced before in a Catholic church. Annette took that invitation to a level that was frustrating for everyone there. Her intentions were always very long and intellectual, and she didn’t just offer her prayers once but several times. The priests usually cut her off so that they could move on with the Mass. When it came time to shake hands, Annette would hug people for a long time. It was just so out of the ordinary. She made me feel so uncomfortable that I never sat by her. She went out of her way to be noticed or to stand out, and if that was her goal, she definitely accomplished it!
A few of my friends and I decided to pray a rosary after Mass one day. Annette saw us praying and asked if she could join us. I know it sounds bad, but we had no choice but to say yes. She just made people feel so uneasy that everyone avoided her. Once we started to pray the rosary, she immediately started telling us how to pray and what to say. Annette, like Jana, had many intentions, and it took a long time before we finally prayed the rosary. My friends and I decided not to pray after the Mass again, which was a shame. After that encounter with Annette, I started to have a lot of problems concentrating when I was at church. Terrible thoughts flooded my mind, and no matter how hard I tried, they would not go away. Eventually, the thoughts escalated into unholy images of Jesus. I did not understand what was wrong with me. I had never had anything like that happen to me before, and I didn’t know what to do. I just kept going to church and hoping it would go away.
One day, I brought my daughter Meaghan to church with me. She was about seven at the time. After church, Annette rushed over to us and asked if she could hug Meaghan. I was a bit flabbergasted and didn’t know what to say, and before I knew it, she had her. I should have stopped her but it all happened so fast. Annette held her tight for way too long. I finally grabbed Meaghan, and we made our escape. After that encounter with Annette, Meaghan started having night terrors. She had never had problems sleeping before that incident. She was so afraid that I had to stay with her at night until she fell asleep. Then I started having problems sleeping. As soon as I would start to fall asleep, I would begin to shake, and that shaking stopped me from falling into a deeper sleep. That happened over and over again throughout the night. I was not exactly sure what was going on, but I knew I did not like it. One night the shaking was so bad that I told my husband I felt weird. A few seconds later, Meaghan screamed, “Mommy, Mommy, I feel weird.” My eyes flew open and I ran to her room. I stayed with her all night and she was able to sleep. The next day I started a novena to Saint Joseph. A novena is a prayer that is prayed for nine consecutive days for your intentions. I prayed for Meaghan to be freed of the night terrors. I also had my house blessed by a priest, since we suddenly started having these problems. Thankfully, Meaghan’s night terrors went away, although I still had problems sleeping. If that is the way it had to be to protect my daughter, then I was okay with that. I know now that Annette was responsible for all of that. And I believe she is a witch.
During that time in my life, Marian/Medjugorje conferences were very popular. Medjugorje is located in Bosnia, and it is widely known, especially to Catholic believers, as a place where the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing for more than 40 years now. The conferences I went to were like mini-retreats. They were wonderful. There was always daily Mass, adoration, and opportunities for confession. The speakers gave their testimony on the experiences they had in Medjugorje. I miss those conferences. Because these conferences and the two pilgrimages “overlapped” in time with the other events and the spiritual attacks I was dealing with in those years—I have included highlights about them and the gifts the Lord gave me through them. These experiences have changed me and have had a very positive impact on my life, as they were part of how the Lord built me up internally to deal with the spiritual attacks.
There were a lot of speakers at the first Marian conference I attended, which was many years ago. I was drawn to attend mainly by the presence of two of the visionaries from Medjugorje, Vicka and Ivan. They shared their stories and also had their daily apparition of the Blessed Mother before all of the people. I was excited. I had no idea what to expect. There were a lot of us from my church there, and we all sat together during the conference. I felt very blessed to have the opportunity to be present during an apparition. On the first day of the conference, while I was listening to one of the speakers, I was suddenly overcome by the smell of roses. I looked around to see if anyone else was reacting, but everyone looked normal. I thought maybe I was crazy, and then my friend Sharon said, “Does anyone smell roses?” I turned to her and said yes, and then I was completely engulfed in the scent of roses. It was so intense. As I breathed in, the smell came into me somehow. It was tangible. I could feel it, and my heart was filled with such love that I started to cry. I leaned forward and put my head in my hands. I wanted to cover my face from the others and sink into that incredible love. It was hard to comprehend at the time, but that was more love than I had ever experienced in my entire life.
I was able to compose myself as the smell of roses started to dissipate. I tried to place my attention back on the speaker, but one of the doors on the side of the building kept flying open and then slammed shut again. It was distracting, but I resisted the urge to get up and close the door. Someone finally shut the door but it still kept opening. I went upstairs during the break to go to Adoration. I wanted to thank Jesus and the Blessed Mother for all the beautiful graces they had given me that morning. By the time I got there, the room was filled with people. All of the chairs were taken, and there were people lined up against the walls. They were even sitting on the floor. Luckily, I was able to find a spot against the wall in the back. I started praying and I got very hot. I tried to forget about it, but I couldn’t. So, I told Jesus I was sorry, and I left. When I returned to my seat, one of my friends from church told me that the miracle of the sun was happening outside. Then she pointed at the door that had been flying open during the last session.
I looked over to see a huge crowd of people trying to push their way through the door. I didn’t even think about it, I just walked over there, stooped down, and squeezed my way through the people and out the door. Once I was outside, I looked up and saw the sun pulsating like a heartbeat. Each time the sun pulsed, its color changed. I saw orange, green, blue, pink, and purple. They were the most beautiful pastel colors I had ever seen. It was really something. If you picture a shade being pulled side to side rather than up and down, you will have an idea of what I was seeing. With each pulse, one color slowly replaced another. I felt like I was staring into the face of God. I had read about the miracle of the sun, but to experience it was truly amazing.
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the earth nations will be in anguish, distraught at the roaring of the sea and the waves. Men will die in fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the earth. The powers in heaven will be shaken. After that, men will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great honor and glory. When these things begin to happen, stand erect and hold your heads high, for your deliverance is near at hand.”Luke 21:25-28
Later that night, when it was getting close to the time of the apparition, Ivan and Vicka came out on the stage and led us in the rosary. We were all anticipating the coming of the Blessed Mother. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. Curious to find out what was going to happen but a little afraid too. About halfway through the rosary, the visionaries fell to their knees and looked up. They were shaking their heads and smiling. Everyone in the auditorium fell silent, and we all kneeled. I closed my eyes and imagined the Blessed Mother walking among us and blessing us. It was at that moment when the smell of roses returned. A great calm came over me, and I was filled with peace and love.
After the conference ended, I was quiet within myself. I needed to take it all in and digest what had happened. It was a new beginning. It is hard to explain, but when you are on a journey toward God, it is as if there are a series of beginnings. Whenever you think you have reached that “height,” you find that there is so much more to discover. It is an amazing wonder-filled journey, and I hope I have a million more beginnings.
The following year, I went to another Marian conference in September. My mom and I were going to Medjugorje together in October for the first time, so it was a nice preparation for the trip. There was a healing service that Friday night and the presiding priest was a very tall round man who bellowed when he spoke. He was funny and filled with such joy, it was infectious. I brought Meaghan with me that night, not realizing how long it would be for her or how hard it would be on my body. She fell asleep on my lap around the time the healing service began. My back ached so bad I could hardly sit there.
I had chronic lower back pain for most of my life due to a childhood illness. During the healing service, Father asked all of us to stand up. That was difficult for me, but I did it. As I stood there holding my daughter, I wondered how I was going to make it through the rest of the night, let alone the rest of the conference. Then Father said, “There is someone out there with severe lower back pain.” My first thought was that he could be talking about anybody. He said that this person was going to be healed. I didn’t think he was talking about me. I just figured it was someone else. He continued with the healing service, and in the end, explained that the healing may take some time, and we may experience some burning and pain in the area that was being healed. Then the conference closed for the night and I headed home.
The pain in my back was excruciating. All I wanted to do was go to bed. I put Meaghan down and climbed into bed hoping to fall asleep right away, but I couldn’t. My mind was in overdrive as I considered the possibility that maybe God would heal me. I was kind of afraid to want it because if it didn’t happen, then I would be disappointed. I finally decided if it happens, it happens, and I fell asleep.
The next morning, I got up and ran downstairs. Then it hit me: I had just run down the stairs! For years my pain was so bad that I walked down the stairs backward one step at a time, but that day I ran right down the stairs like it was nothing. I could not believe that this could happen to me. I was worried about how I was going to be able to make the long journey to Medjugorje with my back problems, but I didn’t have to worry about that anymore. God touched me again. It was another beginning. I am so thankful that God loves me so much, He freed me from the pain I had lived with most of my adult life.
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