Annie Fintan's testimony of being delivered from the shame, guilt & pain of witchcraft
Candles glowed, shadows danced on the stone walls. A small group had gathered in preparation for the evening’s ritual.....
Candles glowed, shadows danced on the stone walls. A small group had gathered in preparation for the evening’s ritual.
Like many times before, this evening I would lead the group in a ceremonial rite. A quiet excitement always filled me in the moments before we began. I took the responsibility seriously, but found it strangely exhilarating. I believed that this was where I belonged.
As I prepared to take my place among the others, suddenly a cold chill struck my body. It was as though I had walked into an invisible wall. I had never experienced anything quite like it before. In that instant, an incredible feeling of sadness overcame me. I stood silently, feeling as if time had stopped, when a quiet voice said to me "It doesn’t have to be this way. Your life can be different."
Unable to move, unaware of anything else, it seemed I was suspended in sudden pain. All the walls that had been so carefully constructed around my heart were momentarily shattered. I felt empty and completely alone. It lasted only a few moments, but it seemed an eternity.
As suddenly as it had happened, it was over. I was quite unnerved and desperately struggled to find an explanation. No one else appeared to have sensed anything unusual, and I realized I was the only one who had heard the voice. But was it an actual voice, and whose was it? This was not an entity that I knew. What was happening to me?
After years of dedication as an Occultist, I had finally arrived at a point in my spiritual journey where I thought I was content. Nevertheless, in an instant, all of that was swept aside and I was shown how empty my life really was. The event haunted me, and I could not find an explanation for it. All of my carefully constructed beliefs suddenly seemed meaningless.
I pushed down the bubbling emotions and gathered my wits for the task ahead. I had to focus. When summoning those of the Otherworld, utmost care must be taken. Determinedly I pushed all thoughts of the incident from my mind and concentrated on my responsibility.
As the years passed, nothing in my life happened the way I had expected. The Occult had so entangled me that nothing made sense anymore. Those that once respected me now looked on me as a shameful disgrace. The power I thought I had attained turned out to be a mask, covering my inner turmoil. The entities that once had offered me the world now mocked my broken life. My spiritual journey took a major U-turn. At the end of my rope, I desperately embraced Christianity, a creed that was peculiar to me. Ready to take my own life, I turned to a God who offered second chances.
Another night - The scented candle my mother had given me glowed softly. I was alone with my memories, only the shadows dancing on my living room wall for company. I had been a Christian for quite some time, and my life had been completely transformed. Yet, I was again hovering on the edge of despair.
My work with a Christian ministry, reaching out to others who were in need of God’s love, was certainly fulfilling. Nevertheless, even while doing God’s work, the thoughts of my former life still haunted me. My testimony had inspired many people, but the ruin and pain still left a raw wound within me. I still questioned how God could ever use me. There were so many "if only’s".
I sat on the floor, tears running down my face, the pain in my heart seemed unbearable. My mind ran through the images, one by one.
A certain memory kept coming to my mind though - that evening long ago when the quiet voice of God had spoken. I had been so confident then, but He had revealed the truth. If only I had listened, maybe things could have been different.
As the thoughts tumbled through my mind, a gentle presence began to fill the room. Sitting on my living room floor, I suddenly found myself before God. In the depths of my heart, in the midst of my memories, that quiet voice spoke once again. "I was there with you even then. You did not know Me, but I loved you even then." The One who’s voice unnerved me years before, quietly entered into my pain, and reminded me that He knew everything that I had been. The simple truth was suddenly so clear.
It was so easy for me to look at my past, and see only myself. Yet, in that moment, I could see His fingerprints throughout my entire life. Nothing had been hidden from Him. Even when I denied His existence, He was gently calling me. He was there with me, witnessing every aspect of those failures as they unfolded.
I had read Romans 5:8 countless times, "God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". Yet, even while sharing it with others, I had failed to apply that truth to my own life. I had isolated myself from God, locking myself behind the bars of my failures. Yes, I had surrendered my life to Christ, but I was still hanging on to those feelings of guilt. I had confessed my sins, asked for His forgiveness, but I had not completely accepted it.
Romans 8:1 tells us that "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Satan will often try to tear us apart with his accusations, and we may sometimes feel the regret, but we are no longer guilty. "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
In the quiet of my living room, God showed me that I had to decide if I was going to live in shame, or live forgiven. Was I going to wallow in my feelings of guilt, or rejoice in His love and the new life He gives? Together, He and I walked through those old memories. Even in view of my ugliest moments, His look of love remained. He took my hand and led me again to the foot of the cross and reminded me that it was there that Christ took all my failures upon Himself and paid the ultimate price for my freedom. If He Himself does not condemn me, how can I condemn myself?
The love of God is indescribable, and I am daily amazed by his grace. He has offered us such incredible freedom, but it is up to us to accept it. Have you surrendered your shame?
Refuge Ministries International