Part two of why, no matter how varied, demonic, or resistant your background, you should never say ‘NEVER’ to Jesus.
Well, after a couple of years of God sending people, I finally surrendered my life to him and joined a Protestant Church. To be honest at first it was our of fear from the demons that were tormenting me. I knew from my dreams that they were scared of Christ. Not for a while did I really began to love and trust him. Just playing hymns calmed our spirits, my son’s nightmares stopped and I began to believe I could really be healed and not just have band aids patching me up. Well, I was still full of unclean spirits, the Church we were in had NO idea about deliverance or spiritual warfare.
I met someone online and traveled over 100 miles to there home. They were white and had a home church. The night before they were attacked while praying for me, there roof was hit with lightning and the Lord told them the demon that did it. When I arrived it had been a spirit I had did an offering to for my first pregnancy his symbol is a lightning bolt. Well they prayed for me and called things out, I began vomiting and manifesting spirits. Afterwards we all knew I needed more deliverance and realized Gods grace to send me the former black nationalist to 3 white Christians for deliverance.
This began my road to healing and recovery. I left EVERYONE I used to know. I kept two friends from this time in my life one was a backsliding Christian (Praise God she returned to him after seeing my journey) and another who wasn’t an occultist just cultural. My mate and I were well known in our area and to others it seemed we just disappeared. The Lord opened a door for us to live in a Quaker community for a year with our two children. This was a time of testing because we didn’t know most Quakers aren’t Christian anymore, and a lot are gay, but he prevailed and in 2007 we had Christian wedding (our first was a voodoo one).
Well, things were looking up, we both got jobs in S. Korea at the YMCA but found out we were pregnant and decided not to go. We hadn’t made plans for anything else so found ourselves staying with a friend looking for work and a home. We decided to move to California (a friend had a guest house) I went first and my husband was to follow. I didn’t know my friend was a dabbler in the occult, so we encountered demons in our home, very angry that we had left the fold – until, that is, a friend showed me the authority we have in Christ Jesus.
The problem was while my husband had returned to his hometown in preparation to moving to California he connected with a family who he was close with and became a Muslim. He said he didn’t care if I was Christian but this is what he was doing, he wanted us to come back and he would enroll the children in an Islamic school. We moved with my mom and he was 2 hours away working, I was due in about a month when he got a job offer to be a teacher in a Muslim school in the Caribbean.
We moved within a week and I gave birth two weeks later. Because the island was small and his was a visible position, I dressed Islamically out of respect for him. I knew no one but the Muslims and was very isolated. Our children attended the school and seemed happy. My son secretly told me he didn’t like the prayers and didn’t believe this way. I told him to pretend to do the prayers but to really talk to God on his own. The Muslims were 98% Palestinians but most teachers were black. Everyone encouraged me to convert and shared passages from Quran extolling Jesus and Mary. I found a journal my husband wrote on how he really wanted a muslim wife and why wouldn’t I convert and he now wanted two wives, more specifically the family from his childhood’s daughter (we had always had this struggle, I used to want it as a black nationalist. I thought it could help single moms, and then with my sexual issues I thought I owed him that).
Anyway within a couple of months I had a dream Jesus had his back to me and I secretly renounced Islam and began visiting Churches. Even though it was a US island the community had there own code of justice, so I was nervous about openly renouncing Islam. I would pray to Jesus if I was with others when it was prayer time or act like it was my womans monthly in order to avoid the prayer.
My husband was upset, but I was adamant after my dream. Well, I began to make friends outside of the Muslims which made it a little easier. I began to realize some of my experiences that I thought were occultic weren’t, they didn’t fit with Protestantism but they weren’t evil. I now knew that the Lord Jesus had always been looking our for me, that there were angels watching over me and that Saint Mary had visited me as a child, helped me through my second pregnancy and was real. I made a friend with a Catholic woman from Texas. She was a God-send she helped me want to receive the sacraments and was a great friend.
Well, my husband began to question the racism against blacks, why a lot of the Muslim owned stores sold alcohol, cigarettes and pornography. He became the imam of the school, and delved deeper into the Quran and Hadiths and wondered why some were so explicit on Jesus not being God’s son. Even though he was now muslim, he KNEW that it was Jesus Christ who brought us out of the darkness of his confusion was about the Godhead.
After years of worshiping demons, he was scared of doing the wrong thing. Ultimately it was a dream that led him home. He dreamed it was the rapture* and Jesus had his hand pulling him up and then let go. He awoke a changed man with no doubt JESUS is LORD. He resigned and we were unemployed and stuck on the island. We were cared for by the hand of God and caring Christians who literally fed us, we returned to the states pregnant with our fourth child and no money, home or car. We went to live with my mom and slowly began rebuilding. As we visited Churches it seemed most Pastors were either masons, prosperity centered, secret occultist, or gay. I may be wrong, yet I am pretty discerning. My husband was through with church and we worshiped at home. Yet I longed for the fellowship and then for communion, St. Mary and liturgy. After much prayer and turmoil, I began visiting a local Orthodox Church.
My husband began taking me, but really was having a hard time seeing some of the practices as Scriptural. I shared with the priest my desire to be received in the Orthodox Church but he wouldn’t baptize me without my husband also converting.** I stopped attending and mainly just read a lot of Orthodox literature and sites like yours. After a couple of years we moved to a different part of our city and I found an Orthodox Church very close to our home. I began attending on my own, my husband and children didn’t attend. I felt right at home with the Liturgy. It was beautiful, deep and holy.
Though I know and believe other Christians can know our Lord Jesus in a very deep way, I felt like I was finally truly worshiping God. Not just seeking a good sermon or experiencing an emotional high. Well, after a while my daughter started coming with me, she also felt the sacredness of the Liturgy. I had felt very bad because when I had meant the woman that ministered to me while I was pregnant with her, I had prayed and asked Saint Mary to help me through the demonic attacks I was experiencing. I promised to raise my child to honor her. Yet, I had completely forgot this until I began attending the Orthodox Church.
I decided to commit myself to the Orthodox Church, and sought to be made a catechumen. Our priest spoke with me and began to share with me the foundations of Orthodoxy. My husband was fine with me as long as I didn’t pressure him. Because of my past arrogance as a goddess-worshipping feminist usurping his authority, we are ever mindful of how I approach him. I am learning and am a work in progress. He had been reading my texts and found them very deep and spirit filled.
Well, I don’t know what happened inside of him but he began attending with me, with our five children in tow. After some time he decided to be a catechumen too.
Praise God our whole family was received in the Church exactly one year ago today. It’s been a challenge yet we are thankful for the Creators grace and mercy. I was so crazy and full of darkness for so many years but Christ saw fit to reveal himself to me and send many helpers along the way to encourage me on my path to salvation.
Thank you for reading. May Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.
We joke that Jesus led us to Orthodoxy, the Theotokos, and communion of Saints because he saw we need all the help we can get.
Funny but true.
* The Rapture, while not an Orthodox Christian belief, is known outside of Christianity in general. For more on the Rapture and Orthodoxy, click HERE.
** This is not a normal requirement for someone to come into the Orthodox Church.
Read Hannah’s story from the start by clicking HERE!
Never Say “Never” To Jesus
You have a sweet spirit, sister. God bless. 🙂
Amazing story, thank you for writing this.
Fr. Michael Carney says
Thank you for sharing your story. How much the Lord and His mother love you! Did you know that there is a wonderful group of African-American Orthodox people, called the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black? There is a yearly get-together, and this year it will be in Indianapolis. Here’s a link: http://mosestheblack.org/ They also are on Facebook. May God bless you, sister!
Hannah thank you for sharing your tremendous story. God bless you and your precious family!