Olga asked me how I came to Christ, so I went and grabbed my testimony off the ExWitch site for her.
Please understand that this is not quite a play-by-play… it’s a condensed version. Please also understand that it was written for a pagan audience. There will almost certainly be terms in here that many Christians won’t be familiar with or understand. The simplest way to “get” it is to just understand that most of those terms mean “occult” in one way or another.
So many people ask, “Why would a pagan become a Christian?” or “Kathi, you had been following netjeru (the gods of ancient egypt) and had been very dedicated to them. What happened? Did you have a bad experience? Did someone in the pagan community burn you? Did a ritual go bad, or magick not work for you?”
It was nothing like that.
Here is my story…perhaps badly told. I wrote it shortly after becoming a Christian. I plan to re-write it sometime soon, and tell it in more detail, explaining certain things better (a common question over the years has been “deafie device? What the heck is that?”) and using more accessible language so that readers can more easily understand what the Lord did and how I responded. But until then… well… Here is my story…perhaps badly told. 🙂
I had been a Witch for ten years, and a leader in AOL’s pagan community for 5 or 6 years. For about four years, I had been dedicated to the gods of ancient Egypt.
Despite all the magic, healing rituals, reiki, and prayers that I and others could do, I suffered from some serious health problems, including 70% deafness in both ears. The doctors told me there was no cure, and that it was likely to get worse. They told me to get a TTY phone and other deafie-devices, and advised us to start learning sign language.
Then one night, I had a dream about Jesus. No idea then “why”… I chalked it up to bad pizza and told Him to go away. Two nights later, I had another dream. He said, in sign language, “Come follow Me”.
So I went into denial mode, bigtime. I couldn’t blame pizza that night . I certainly didn’t want anything to do with following Him… I had some pretty skewed assumptions about Christianity, and there was an awful lot about Witchcraft that I didn’t want to give up!
So, in utter arrogance, I asked God to prove it. Prove He wanted me, Prove He’s real. I work with an internet company. We’d purchased a piece of software months before this happened, and I could not get one of the features to work. I’d written to a user’s group for assistance about 3 months before, and no one had answers. I’d given up on the thing. So I figured this would be a great test for God. I prayed on a Monday afternoon, “If you’re real, God, you need to come down here and not only solve this problem, solve it in a way that I know it’s you.”
Tuesday right after lunchtime, I checked my email. In it was a letter from someone on that user’s group with the answer to my problem. Not only was it the exact solution, the email address was from @christianity.net.
You can’t deny that kind of answer, now can you? 🙂 This person was also an AIM user, so I was able to talk to him via IM… fortunately his boss was very understanding, because we talked for two whole days He answered my questions, cleared up my incorrect assumptions, and told me about the great love of Jesus. At the end of the two days, I gave my heart to the Lord.
Now, the very next day, my family left for a planned camping vacation at the beach. Given everything that had happened, we determined that church on Sunday morning would be a Good Thing. 😉 We ended up going to a small Assemblies of God church, mainly because it was completely different from what we’d experienced before in church (I was raised congregationalist, my husband baptist). I don’t know if you know anything about deafness and hearing aids… they are useless in any kind of large room environment because they tend to amplify the closest sounds. In most situations, I could hear shuffling, coughing, and breathing better than a speaker. Most people do not move their lips well when they speak, also, so lip-reading is not easy. However, the pastor at this church spoke in such a way that I could lip-read almost every word. After the service, I *had* to compliment him on this. When I told him why, he asked if he could pray for my hearing to be restored. Whoa! Way out of the realm of my experience with church. But I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I said yes, and he did.
I felt something (which I now know was the Holy Spirit), but I still couldn’t hear. We left the church and went back to our tent. Over the course of that afternoon, I got sick… I mean, really really sick. I spent most of that evening and the next morning in the bathhouse, puking my guts out and hallucinating (or maybe NOT). I felt greatly burdened to tell my old gods that they had to leave me, and spent a great deal of time between vomiting, doing just that. (I think I neglected to mention that my trad was egyptian…they had a deity for *everything*.)
Now, I’d taken my hearing aids out the night before (you don’t wear them to bed) and never put them back in. Besides, violent facial contortions, like vomiting or coughing, tend to hurt when you have them in. Anyways… at about 2 Monday afternoon, I started to feel better. Weak, but better. So I went back to the tent and my husband asked how I was feeling. I realized, mid-sentence, that I’d heard what he said and I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids. I was able to hear what my kids said for the first time in a VERY long time. What a blessing!
Needless to say, now I serve God and love Him with all my heart!