The following post is the introduction to my book Attacked by Witchcraft, Journey to Love Through Hope. I wanted to give you a preview or sample before the book comes out, which I am praying will be this summer. I will also post the first chapter in the near future. This is a little longer than a typical article, but I didn’t want to split it into two posts. Thank you for all of your prayers and support concerning the book and the website. I truly appreciate it.
Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. Although the dragon and his angels fought back, they were overpowered and lost their place in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan, the seducer of the whole world, was driven out; he was hurled down to the earth and his minions with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have salvation and power come, the reign of our God and the authority of his Anointed One. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who night and day accused them before our God. They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. So rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, earth and sea, for the devil has come down upon you! His fury knows no limits, for he knows his time is short.–Revelation 12:7–12
This passage from the Book of Revelation became very meaningful to me some years back, and how it became meaningful is the subject of this book. At the time in the early 2000s, I joined what I thought was a Catholic prayer group. I had never done that before, and I wasn’t sure it was for me, but I decided to join anyway. There were five people in the group, but I only knew three. Jana, whom I didn’t know, led the group at her house on Wednesday evenings. She always started the conversation and led the prayers. Jana seemed to know a lot more about the Bible than the rest of us did, so we looked to her for direction. There was a kind of excitement about her, and it appeared all she wanted to do was help us grow in our faith.
We always talked for a while before praying the rosary, and when we finished, Jana always prayed her intentions out loud and asked us to do the same. Initially, I was uncomfortable with that so I just listened. But after a while, I felt more comfortable offering some intentions. While I liked Jana, it was also true that from the moment I met her, I just couldn’t figure her out. She was different. When we prayed, she was always slumped over with her head hung down and her hair covering her face. There were long pauses between her intentions, which made things very uncomfortable and confusing. And what made it even more awkward was when Jana whispered the words “sick” or “gross” while at the same time hanging on each word. I wondered what was going through her mind that would prompt her to say such things. But I never said anything to her. The only way we knew she was finished praying was when she looked up and smiled. It was kind of a relief. She always looked tired after we prayed, which added to my confusion. I knew deep down that something was wrong, but I just figured she was eccentric and ignored it. I could have saved myself years of torture if I would have followed my instincts.
My friends stopped going to the prayer group fairly early on, but I continued to attend because I thought Jana could teach me something, and I was eager to learn all I could. We prayed together for a few months, and during that time I got to know her a little better. That is when I started noticing how different she really was. We couldn’t just have a normal conversation; it always had to be spiritual. If I told her I had a bad dream, she’d tell me it was demonic and I needed to pray a certain prayer. It didn’t matter what we talked about; she always said it had something to do with demons. Another strange thing about her was that whenever she told a story, she’d get very close to my face and tilt her head to the side while hanging on her words. I assumed that was for effect and just accepted her for who she was.
By this time, Jana knew she had earned my trust. And she used it to get me to reveal intimate details about my life, my family, and issues I never thought I would discuss with her. She later used that information to inflict great harm on me and my family. However, in the early days, I put her on a pedestal, thinking she was spiritually superior to me, and through that spirituality, she would be able to help me to grow closer to God. But I was wrong. She lured me into a trap. I was so blinded by my desire to learn more about God that I unknowingly allowed her to manipulate me.
It is important to note that people who are on a spiritual journey tend to be searching for God in such a profound way. We learn about God in many different ways—through the Mass, the sacraments, religious conferences, books, and of course, through other people. By the time I met Jana, I had been going to daily Mass for about three years. I also attended a few Marian conferences, where I grew closer to God and received physical and spiritual healing. Through those experiences, I grew in my faith and had a conversion of heart. I knew then, and I know now, that faith is a continual process of growth, and we must always be searching to learn more. Although my focus was on God, I placed too much emphasis on Jana and what I thought she could teach me. Without really knowing who she was, I had placed my trust in her. And that was a mistake I will never make again. My intuition had been telling me that something was wrong, but I ignored that warning and suffered the consequences for years. But I grew closer to Jesus through those sufferings, and oddly, the person who sought to push me away from God put me on a clearer path toward Him. This outcome reminds me of this verse from Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Our supposed friendship lasted about two years before I ended it, and it was another two years before God led me to the answers as to why He had allowed this to happen in my life. During those years, my life spiraled out of control, and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Nothing made sense, and I thought I was going crazy. I isolated myself from everyone and everything, except God, and I struggled to pray and go to Mass. I experienced intense feelings of fear and anxiety, but I didn’t know what was causing them. I was distracted all the time, especially at Mass, and I couldn’t come to a peaceful place. After church, I’d go home to pray so I didn’t have to be around other people. As time passed, I became depressed and confused, which was definitely out of character for me. I was being attacked from all directions, while I was awake and while I was asleep. There was no rest. I often thought that God had abandoned me, and I even believed He hated me. I was afraid and alone. It was a never-ending cycle, and I started to think that my life would be that way forever, and I just needed to accept it.
I was going through a great deal of suffering that I didn’t understand, and because of that, I started to depend much more on God. Even though I thought I was lost and alone, I knew deep down that God would never leave me. Jesus was the only One I could trust, the only One who could save me. I spent a lot of time in adoration, begging God for help. It was the only thing I could think to do. I never stopped searching for God because I knew He was my only strength. Without Him, I wouldn’t be able to get through a single moment.
In addition to the emotional and spiritual sufferings I endured, strange things started happening in my house. I saw black shadows on the walls in my bedroom at night and heard eerie noises in the house. I had terrifying dreams, and light bulbs were bursting. These were all things I was totally unprepared to deal with. I was terrified and eventually considered the possibility that these things could be demonic. But I never knew that demons could affect me so literally. I never even thought about demons. I knew they existed, but I didn’t think they could attack me in such a real or physical way. I was afraid. I prayed to Saint Michael constantly and sprinkled holy water all around my house every night before I went to bed. When I look back now on what was the darkest period in my life, I don’t know how I would have survived without my Catholic faith.
After years of suffering unimaginable torment, I found out through a friend that Jana was a witch. As difficult as that was for me to believe, I finally came to know that it was the absolute truth. It is an enormous struggle to put all of this down on paper, but I believe that I have a responsibility to share what happened to me with other people who may be suffering in the same way. I realized that I needed to bring awareness to the fact that witchcraft exists and has the power to destroy the lives of innocent people. I know this is true because I lived it and thankfully survived to tell my story. As long as people remain uneducated about the power of witchcraft, then it can and will destroy the lives of those who are attacked by it. I could completely relate to the intense physical, mental, and faith-related sufferings of Job:
Yet when I looked for good, then came evil; when I expected light, then came darkness. My soul ebbs away from me; days of affliction have overtaken me. My frame takes no rest by night; my inward parts seethe and will not be stilled. I go about in gloom, without the sun; I rise up in public to voice my grief. I have become the brother of jackals, companion to the ostrich. My blackened skin falls away from me; the heat scorches my very frame. My harp is turned to mourning; and my reed pipe to sounds of weeping.–Job 30:16–17 and 26–31
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