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*The testimony below can be found in my book Living the Testimony
I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a Cree/Irish borderline Catholic girl, meaning this half-breed rarely went to Mass. However, I did pray every night. I absolutely loved God and believed in Him deeply. Being Catholic, I had heard about Jesus. In fact, my favorite song was “Away in a Manger.” Whenever I was scared, which was often, I would sing this song. But I imagined Jesus to be a fairy tale—a fantasy about a perfect God coming to save people. He was just for good thoughts. He was in no way a reality.
Despite my vague belief in Jesus, my relationship with God seemed deep. I would have conversations with my invisible God; I would tell God I loved Him. And I certainly did love Him. Although, I was becoming a bit frustrated with Him because of my dreary life circumstance. You see, my dad drank—a lot. And this stress, along with the stress of my quickly emerging spiritual life, was simply too overwhelming.
As a child I lived with a strange secret. I sensed an ominous yet deeply intriguing spiritual force in my home. I simply assumed a ghost lived in my house. To convolute matters even more, when I was just seven, a man with fire for hair appeared to me in a dream, forcing me to marry him in front of an upside-down cross. He told me in the dream, “Don’t worry, you have been chosen.” From this point on, I completely believed I was married to the devil—irrevocably dark and aligned with evil.
Fortunately, this dream did motivate me to dig my heels in and search for God. I figured only God could get me divorced from the devil. But instead my search led me to Fred, a kind spirit I met in grade four through a Ouija board. Being Cree, spirits were nothing new to me. My mom’s family always talked about spirits. Most of my aunts and uncles were scared of the spirits or ghosts they saw in their dreams and in their houses, but my grandmother told me the spirits were there to help and protect us. I wasn’t quite sure what to believe. I was confused. After all, the spirits I sensed around me and the ones I saw in my dreams scared me, too. But then again, Fred seemed different. This spirit was nice. He was funny. Fred told me through the Ouija board that his job was to protect and watch over me. Eventually, I began telling myself that spirits just felt creepy, but once you got to know them they could be nice. Especially, if you were nice to them.
Fred became my constant companion. But one day, in grade six, after my best friend’s dad tried to molest me and just after my uncle Glen (who had sexually molested me as a small child) came to live with us in our home, I had a nervous breakdown. While left home alone with Glen, I grabbed a butcher knife and ran to my room to hide. Once in my bedroom, instead of picking up my Ouija board to call on Fred, I cried out to God, telling Him I wanted to kill myself. Suddenly I heard a voice speak out loud: “When you are big everything will be okay.” It was God; He spoke to me. He was real. I told God I’d hang on until I was big, which obviously, to a twelve-year-old mind, meant eighteen.
By age sixteen, things seemed to have miraculously changed for the better. First of all, my dad was now inexplicably healed from alcoholism. Second, I was introduced by my high school teacher to a New Age transcendental meditation and channeling group that met weekly in the back room of a small bookstore. I was so excited. I thought for sure—in this extremely spiritual group—I would find God and get my divorce from Satan.
This group also told me spirits were good and helpful. However, a few sessions later, I found myself strangely altered after my spirit guide Fred, along with another extremely violent spirit, entered my body during group meditation and refused to leave. A member of the group did attempt to help me force these spirits from my body, but the endeavor failed. Consequently, I was kicked out of my New Age group for having bad karma. This meant I was the one attracting these evil spirits to the group—because I was evil. I left the group feeling deeply hurt, misunderstood, and very aware of being “chosen” by the devil.
A school friend of mine named Doug, who had joined the channeling group with me, then suggested, without knowing anything about my spiritual past, that I study Satanism. His brother had a Satanic Bible. After flatly declining, I began dreaming I was killing people. I also dreamed of horrible evil creatures. Rats invading my house was a common dream, and the devil with fire for hair began reappearing in my dreams, growing angrier every time I refused to follow him. When I turned eighteen, I gave up on spirituality. I simply wouldn’t choose Satan and God had failed to show up and save me.
When I was twenty-two years old, now bulimic/anorexic, depressed, and suffering from intense back pain, my life took an unexpected turn when at work God surprisingly spoke to me again saying, “This is the man whom you shall marry.” That man was DJ, a young man who worked in the same office as I did. Eventually DJ and I began dating, and even though we seemed to have nothing in common—because I was convinced that God had sent him to help me—on our third date, I opened up to him, describing to him my nightmares and my spirit guide, Fred. Of course, I worried DJ might consider me crazy, but instead he said, “I’m here to help.”
It was a few weeks later that DJ opened up to me, explaining how he believed in Jesus. He told me he believed Jesus was alive. He told me Jesus could heal me and save me; and because he was God’s actual Son, he was the gateway to knowing and experiencing God. DJ asked me to simply trust Jesus.
But I was more than a little doubtful. In fact, his Christian beliefs made me furious. It seemed idiotic for anyone to believe that a childhood fairytale could be true, and it seemed positively arrogant that DJ thought he knew and understood God. After all, why couldn’t God just save me Himself? What did He need Jesus for? Why was Jesus so important? I argued with DJ about the relevance of Jesus many times. Then one night, after arguing about Jesus yet again, my back flared up with pain. DJ asked if he could pray for me. I was uncomfortable with this but thought, What will it hurt?
As DJ prayed for me, particularly when he asked me to be healed “in the name of Jesus,” my back pain sharply escalated—then the voices began. It was just like during my channeling days. Spirits stirred inside me wanting to speak. Except this time they were enraged. As DJ continued praying, my body contorted as my muscles tightened; a low growl came from my lips. Within seconds, a thick black mass pulled out from my back and hovered above us. I remember huddling against DJ, whispering, “What is that?”
“It’s evil,” He said.
I was terrified. DJ, however, immediately told the evil spirits to “leave, in the name of Jesus.” Surprisingly, the blackness retreated back down inside me. I was horrified and confused, crying and shaking. I didn’t understand I was possessed. All I knew was that Fred and another spirit were living inside me; they were angry, extremely strong, and they absolutely hated the name Jesus.
DJ, now with clear confirmation that my problem was actually demonic possession, had to find help, but where was he to go? He wasn’t sure if his church leadership would believe him. DJ then met with a Christian girl, Audrey, who also worked in our office. She and DJ decided to bring me to her church. They hoped her pastor could pray for me and expel the evil spirits.
DJ convinced me to attend a service. However, shortly after arriving at the church, I found myself running from the service after voices in my head told me to kill the pastor. I remember this pastor was preaching about Jesus being able to heal. The whole service felt strange and uncomfortable to me, but DJ convinced me to go back to this church two more times. Each time I returned, the strength and rage of the voices grew and my strange back pain returned. Finally, much too terrorized and confused to go on, I refused to go back. I told DJ talking about Jesus aggravated my problems, so the solution was obviously not to talk about him.
DJ and Audrey began to pray that I would change my mind about returning to the church. They were desperate for me to change my mind because they had arranged for me to meet with a man who happened to be teaching about the spiritual realm at Audrey’s church that week. They were hoping this visiting Christian preacher would be able to carry out my deliverance. But they weren’t sure how to get me to my appointment, which they had already scheduled.
The night before my appointment I had a dream. A brilliant light appeared shouting the word “Jericho” at me. The next morning I told DJ that I saw an angel and that the angel had given me a message—that message was simply the word “Jericho.” DJ explained to me that the word “Jericho” was actually a city named in the Bible: God destroys the city of Jericho, but saves a trusting woman through Joshua, the leader of God’s army. The words in the story that impacted me most were: “But the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Jericho and its king and all its mighty warriors are already defeated, for I have given them to you!’” (Josh 6:2, TLB). I suddenly was sure of one thing: I knew God was telling me not to fear the angry and seemingly strong spirits inside me because somehow He had already defeated them. All I needed to do was get myself inside the church and trust God to do it; God had finally come to save me.
So now, one last time, I headed for the church. As I entered the church, the voices returned, my back flared up with intense pain, and I began drifting in and out of consciousness. After managing to make my way upstairs where my “exorcist” waited for me, I lost complete consciousness just as I entered the room. The last thing I remember was seeing a rather short man standing in the room and hearing the words, “Everybody get out!” come from my mouth. I also remember worrying that if DJ and Audrey left me the evil spirits inside me might actually kill this preacher.
I regained consciousness on the opposite side of the room as the preacher said to me, “Deidre, it’s time to choose. You must choose now.” At first, I didn’t understand what he meant. Why did I have to choose? Who was I supposed to choose? All my life, wasn’t I choosing God? And yet choosing God wasn’t working. In all truth, I just wanted God to step in and save me; I wanted Him to put an end to this whole nightmare. I didn’t want to have to choose anyone. But then I remembered: God had sent DJ to help me and DJ had told me to trust Jesus. There and then I decided to do it. I would trust Jesus. I responded, “Jesus.” Just the one word. Immediately the spirits flew out of my body and a different, gentle Spirit came in. I knew this new spiritual presence was God. I began crying as God wrapped around me like a hug. I remember thinking, “I’ve finally made it home. God has come for me.”
I left the church that night thinking how I would never speak about this event again. I even told DJ we would keep it a secret. I understood that because I had aligned myself with and sought the help of Jesus that I was now a Christian, but I really had no understanding as to what this meant. Actually, the whole thing frightened me quite a bit. What did it mean to be a Christian? Would people now hate me or treat me differently because of my choice? Would I have to go to church? I knew Jesus had saved me and that he had even healed me (I was no longer bulimic or anorexic after this event and my back pain disappeared), and I was quite thankful and awed by all of this. But in reality, I simply wanted to leave my past behind and go on with a normal life. I wasn’t sure how or even if Jesus would be part of this new life.
With the demonic now behind us, DJ and I were left to fall in love and dream about getting married. Unfortunately, this wasn’t possible. This wasn’t possible because I wasn’t able to fully trust in marriage. I still had the idea of being married to Satan in my mind; therefore, marriage felt extremely dark and oppressive to me. I began imagining DJ morphing into an overbearing, evil husband. Strangely enough, I began pushing DJ to marry me. At the time, I figured if DJ and I married quickly then the intense feeling of fear that I was beginning to experience would go away. But as soon as DJ and I got engaged, my fear intensified—and so I ran. I hopped on a plane headed for California, thinking it would be better for the both of us if I were to remain single. However, I really did love DJ; so two days later, an incredibly troubled girl returned home praying, “Please God, help me not to be afraid of marriage.” I even began carrying around a sticky note in my purse that read, “My husband is faithful and kind; I like being married.” Whenever I got nervous, which was often, I would read this positive affirmation.
DJ and I were married on September 10th, 1994.
I had set out as a child to find God and obtain a divorce from Satan. I desperately wanted to know that the spiritual bond the devil had created with me through marriage could be wiped out forever. The night of my wedding I had another dream. A man dressed all in white, glowing from head to foot, handed me a brilliant white telegram stamped with a royal seal. The telegram read, “Congratulations on Marrying a King! Welcome to the Family of God. Your Inheritance is Located at …”
My inheritance turned out to be a house—a mansion that looked to be made of gold. I awoke from this dream completely aware I was no longer married to the devil but married instead to God’s Son, Jesus—King of Heaven. My divorce had finally come. After telling DJ this dream, he pulled out his Bible and he pointed out the following verse to me:
Let not your heart be troubled [says Jesus]. You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. —Jn 14:1-3, TLB
It was after this dream that I knew my heart would always belong to Jesus. No longer would I think of him as just a fairy tale, or merely a powerful person who simply rushes in to save the day. I now thought of him as the Son of God and … my friend. After all, he had spoken to me personally. Jesus told me, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. I know you trust God. Now trust in me.”