Deliverance Follow-up

Another long posts here; before reading, it would be a good idea to make sure you have read this post first: https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/the-dramatic-deliverance/

Following my deliverance experience much changed in my life. My focus changed from being reading about creationism to reading about the Christian approach to deliverance and, more generally, healing. As time went on I would return to soaking up all sort of creationist literature, but for the following couple of years at least that would take a back seat.

A few days after the deliverance experience I was in a room with about 20 other young adults from the church for our regular 18+ meet up. During group prayer time I had a reoccurrence of the recent events. I was sitting cross-legged and as someone started praying, I think it was the first prayer of the evening; I started making incoherent noises and my rear started lifting up and dropping in a very rapid bouncing movement. To say it freaked out those who were there was a bit of an understatement.

Most of those there knew of the events previously, but not all and they were certainly not all comfortable with the concept of demons. One girl in particular was extremely distraught by what she saw and immediately fled the room.

It wasn’t long before control was regained, but it was blindingly obvious that everyone in the room was out of their depth. A phone call was made and I was immediately taken to the vicars house (the same vicar who had accompanied me during the deliverance) to spend the night.

That was to be the last time anything like that would happen to me.

God, save me!

Some evenings later (it may have been as much as a couple of weeks later) I had the most scary event of that period, and possibly the most scary moment of my entire life. I was woken from sleep in the early hours by what can best be described as feeling like someone was sitting on my chest. It was very disturbing. I tried to remove the mystery weight, only to discover that I could not move at all. None of my limbs responded to my attempts at movement. What made matters worse was that the compression on my chest was so heavy that for long moments I could not draw a breath.

When I tried to call out, I found I had no voice, a combination of not enough air in my lungs and no muscle control.

With my breath running low and feeling like I was being physically held down by an unseen force, its not at all surprising that I was utterly terrified. As panic rose up through me, in a last ditch effort I managed to call out “God, help me”. Its was more of a hoarse whisper than a shout, despite thinking that I was screaming it. In that instant I was sitting upright in bed, I was able to breath again and all muscle control was back.

On recounting the story it was diagnosed as a demonic attack.

Years later I would discover that what I actually experienced was very likely sleep paralysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis), a known phenomena that can be triggered by stressful events. This discovery was a key moment for me. It meant that is such a vivid and pivotal experience that was automatically assumed to be of supernatural origin was actually far more mundane and explainable. If this experience could be explained so easily; then what of all the others? It was no longer acceptable to just accept the experiences of the past in the religious context I had always judged them. It was now essential to me to doubt them all. If its possible to psychologically explain something that is assumed to be supernatural, then for something to be truly supernatural it must defy any other explanation. I could not in full honesty say that anything I had experienced met that criteria and so it should all be doubted.

Back to the story

A week later, on a far less dramatic social night out a friend commented to me that I looked so much better. He specifically pointed out that it showed in my eyes. Those around all agreed with his diagnosis.

Inside I had changed too, specifically my feelings towards my father were very different. The hate and bitterness that I felt towards him were gone and I just wanted to love him as a father. Our relationship wasn’t fixed, far from it, there would be much pain and hurt yet to experience there; but the way I felt towards him was very different.

My girlfriend noticed it too. It was a couple of weeks later when she said that she found I had changed to such an extent it was like she was having to get to know me all over again. I was still the same person but my attitude and outlook were different. I can’t remember the exact words she used to describe the change, only that it was mostly positive but that scale of the change in character was unnerving to her.

A prophesy

It was probably a couple of months later when the church had an outing to another church to attend a weekend of healing lectures and workshops. By now I had become involved in the church’s prayer for healing group.

During one of the sessions at this church a gentleman was introduced to us all and we were told he had a gift of prophesy or discernment (something like that, I can’t remember exactly). Anyway, this chap would wander round the hall while we were singing the next song and see what came to him.

The song started and I was vaguely aware of him passing through and stopping and saying something to one or two people. I was in the back row, next to my girlfriend and he eventually passed behind us and carried on. No reaction.

At the end of the song, the gentleman was brought to the front and there was a bit of chat about what was discerned, nothing special. Then he pointed me out and said ‘this man is going to have an apostolic ministry’.

I whispered to my girlfriend, “is he pointing at me?”. “No” came the reply. I shot him a questioning glance. The speaker running the session sought clarification. The man in front of me pointed at himself and asked “do you mean me?” “No” was the reply.

I point at myself, “Me?”. “Yes, you”. My legs buckled under me and I had to sit down quick before I hit the floor. I only just made it. My mind was blur and I struggled to comprehend what was being implied and how it could possibly fit with what had been happening to me. The couple of months leading up to this moment had been a whirlwind, both emotionally and spiritually.

Given the number of people from my church who witnessed the prophesy, including the aforementioned vicar and his lovely wife, I became a bit of a minor celebrity. I was wisely cautioned against trying to self fulfil the prophesy and advised to consider all the things that had happened to me carefully. Over the years, as I moved location (and therefore church) or had ministers come and go I’ve told very few people of these events, mainly just the ministers and vicars.

There is probably more I could tell but this post is long enough already, and not the key facts are here so I’ll leave it here. As always questions are welcome.

 

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2 thoughts on “Deliverance Follow-up

  1. Pingback: Becoming more Fundamental | Confessions Of A YEC

  2. Hi, I’m popping over from Bruce’s blog. Just a few facts: I am 63, the son a of Baptist preacher and very much aware of various flavors of belief. I am an atheist and have been out for about a decade or so…. many of my extended family still consider me on their team even if I am lost, so to speak 😉
    I would like to offer you some reading for perspective regarding your experiences years ago, your episodes at meetings and your nightmare too.
    Arthur Janov is an American psychologist that you might well be aware of already. If not, I would certainly think that his insights would be invaluable to your understanding of your situation some years ago. His book, Life Before Birth, is very informative.
    That you have experienced what could be termed deliverances, or fits, or sorts of seizures, is only evidence that you are not well defended (or were not) psychologically and that with prompting, the right mood, moment, emotional encouragement, you pass from your normal state of being into one that is more directly in touch with your inner feelings. Most of us are able to suppress these feelings but if the body has had-enough, is stressed to a maximum, it finds ways to express this….. I believe that all charismatic churches feed on this psychological reality, a very human reality. They then color it with God talk and the rest so that it can be handled within a structure that is socially ‘acceptable’. Still, I believe it is a sick response to human needs, this charismatic, indwelling stuff. It sounds like it terrified you and so it should have…. the point though, the human need that you found a way to deal with was your need to get-it-out, to uncover what was killing you. Your dream of not being able to breathe and the heavy weight is classic and might very well be connected directly to your birth trauma. Do you have any knowledge of your birth?
    I am not that well informed regarding Janov’s work but have done some reading including Life Before Birth and can assure you it is not bugaboo but very scientifically sound. Janov is saying that as new human beings we develop through stages in the womb and that these stages and what happens to us while being formed in our mothers, is foundational stuff that we live out for the rest of our lives. It is fascinating reading and your expressions in these two essays about deliverance really made me think of Janov again. My best wishes!

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