I walked down the long, dimly-lit corridor, still half-slumbering. Unaware that my surroundings gave an eerie taste to a bitter draft. I made my way down the hall. I was oblivious to the evil danger about to confront me.
The hairs stood up on the nape of my neck, and I was suddenly awake. Looking down the hall, I saw a fiery-red door. Oh man.A portal had been opened.
Gaping into the passage, I stood there, praying in my holy language. I'm sure I was pleading for all the strength God could humanly provide. My legs wobbled, feeling like cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. Lucky for that condiment, its not an easy target. I am. My feet are hot-glued to the carpet and my whole being is trembling. An electromagnetic presence is on the other side of the door. I can feel its spirit of destruction. With all I am, I'm trying to remember that the LORD of David is mine also, and I have nothing to fear.
I'm desperately trying to recall Deuteronomy thirty-one six. It seems like this entity is suppressing my memory from any Scripture. I feel grateful the Helper is interceding for me. Although I'm very frightened at the moment, I try to stay calm and remember that Jesus is my strength and. . . I can't remember the rest.
The portal door creaked open, and it reminded me of all the fake horror movies I'd seen. A smile spread across my face like wispy clouds across a blue sky.
Just as I was about to laugh in its face, the black figure angrily flies out at me from behind the door. Its demonic, invisible arms choked me. I tried to scream but I felt captive to his energy. It was like I was in the vortex of a whirlwind, my very breath being abducted from my lungs.
My eyes rolled into the back of my head and I saw a black veil cover my vision. I fell into a deep sleep I felt I would never wake from. Keep me Jesus,I pleaded in the sanctum of my mind.
Two days later, I woke in a hospital with a bandage around my head and a simple IV from my right arm. I feel groggy and had a huge headache. My room was empty except for the bed I was laying on, my IV, and the white-erase board.
My room number caught my attention. 406. The psych ward?! Are you kidding me? What the chizz did I do to get myself here? I began freaking out.
A family friend (and familiar face), Kathy, walked in and saw me awake. I considered her as an aunt to me. She studied me cautiously. "Good morning. Are you alright?"
I rubbed my head, looking at the wraps secured tightly on my wrists. There were three on either arm, sealing some type of injury. I squinted at her, still groggy and out in left field, so to speak. "What happened? Why am I in the psych ward?"
Kathy sighed. "That's what all of us are trying to figure out. . ."
"No, I mean why I am here? In the crazy place? I know exactly happened."
She gasped. "You do?" Kathy bounded to the air-tight doors. "Dr. Kavori! She's back! And she knows what happened!"
A flood of people came in. My family and two best friends included. I felt so dizzy and confused, so befuddled and naked, almost like a specimen under a microscope. I wrapped the sheets around me tightly, it concealing a little bit of my awkward feelings. "I want to be alone with the doctor, please," I whispered squeamishly, wanting all these people to disappear.
All eyes turned toward her. They were all dead worried and sympathetic. It rubbed me the wrong way, unnerved me to no end. "I said please." My tone was nipped, and I immediately felt my cheeks grow warm. "I'd like to speak to the doctor alone, please."
The people made a single-file beeline to the door and left me and Kavori alone in the room. I glowered at him, angry with the man for putting me in the psychiatric ward. "Do I know you? You're name sounds familiar."
"I'm glad your memory is still present," he commented. He stuck out his hand and said, "Dr. Kavori. I'm your brother's depression specialist."
I snapped my fingers. "Right!" I wanted to scream, You're the screwball who sent my brother to Granite City and put me through hell a week and a half. I hope you're temporary.But I bit my tongue and smiled anyway. "So, can we make this easy?"
The Indian shrugged. "Sure, sweetheart."
"No one calls me sweetheart without my permission," I snapped. "I answer your question and you answer mine."
He nodded and sat back in the visitor's chair, crossing his legs like I'd seen my papa do millions of times. "Go on. I will not call you 'sweetheart' and will not interrupt you. I will answer your question since you are willingly going to answer mine."
Only because I want to get out of this place.I settled back into the pillow raised up my bed with the remote. "I'm not a psycho, doc. You gotta clear that with me."
Kavori's eyes were vacant. "Sure. But this is the place we put you for further evaluation. You were passed out in the hall with cut marks on your arms. We thought you were a madwoman, or even suicidal."
"Are you kidding me? You are one hundred percent wrong!" I slammed my fist down on the food tray and glared at him. "I hate it how you guys just jump to conclusions like you know you're right."
He raised out of the chair slightly, then plopped down, apparently fatigued. "Don't hit the table. Respect the things around you."
I dropped my head, trying to pass the idea I was sweet and vulnerable. "I'm sorry. It's just. . . this will probably get around and you'll ruin my relationships like you did my brother."
His eyes looked empathetic for a moment. "I assure you it won't go down the grapevine."
"You can't promise me that," I growled. "Look at my brother. You said the same thing to him, didn't you? Doctors can't make guarantees-- they're still human. Promises don't exist. . . except the ones that come from the LORD." I looked up at him with open eyes. "I'm not supposed to be alive. But God kept me."
"I know. You were premature. You're mother told me."
I cocked an eyebrow. "No, that's not what I was thinking. I'm thinking about what happened to me."
He made the zipping motion across his lips and sat back. Then he gave the thumbs-up.
I nodded at his gestures and began. "I was waiting for my friend, Grace Smith, to be done with her surgery. She was getting her tonsils removed, and I decided to stay by her side. But I was in the waiting room and falling asleep quickly. I was groggy, I think still half-asleep, when I went down the hall and saw this fiery-red door drawing my eyes to it.
"I looked at it and somehow knew that something demonic was behind the wood. I thought I could either run away or fight it one, put my feet were nailed to the floor. I was trapped. The hairs on my neck stood up, and I knew it was coming for me. I tried to run, but I was shaking too hard. A dark figure, I think he was the one who was behind the door, flew toward me, wrapped me in its energy-zapping embrace. My eyes rolled up and I blacked out. I have no idea where the cuts came from. It's possible he slit me so maybe I wouldn't wake up while he did whatever he had to do."
"Or maybe he was trying to kill you." Kavori sounded intrigued, and very worried. "Have you ever experienced anything like this before with demonic presence? I think both you and I agree this was an encounter from hell itself."
I shook my head, frightened at the thought. "No, sir."
"Alright. I do believe you. Since you're awake, I want to keep you down in the pediatric wing for a night to make sure you have no night terrors. If you don't, you can lead a chaplain or medium to the place you were attacked. The rest of your healing will be done with your church family, yes?"
I nodded, grateful he understood. "Yes. They will take good care of me."
"Your pastor seems like a great man that will protect you and will watch and see if you have any repercussions. He will bring you back in if you seem to be startled in normal times or severe intervals. Is that alright with you?"
"It sounds like a wonderful plan. Thank you, Dr. Kavori," I told him, taking his hand again. I pointed at my scars. "What about these?"
"We'll treat it like an accident, and I'll prescribe you to an antibiotic ointment to put on the cuts. Alright? Do you feel like you could take a shower so your nurse could show you how to apply it?"
I nodded. "I was just about to ask you if I could take one."
He helped me find everything I needed, then left me alone. I would get through this and I wasn't a psycho. The two greatest reassurances right now.
Once I stepped into the shower, I immediately felt better. I love hot water! It released my tense muscles and relaxed me. I put the lotion on my wounds like he told me, then scrubbed my hair as I felt needed. Then, I blindly groped for a towel and dried myself, still inside the shower.
Even though the shower head wasn't running, I kept the faucet on and stood some inches back. The steam from the hot water felt good to me, especially since it was chilled up on this floor. My door opened, and I heard people walk in, probably waiting for me to get out of the shower. I dressed in street clothes-- a sweatshirt and shorts, then shuffled across the tile.
I opened the door to see two of my pastors and their wives standing there, looking on. I nodded politely and lifted myself back into bed, where I pressed the nurses' button so they could redo my IV.
The senior pastor, David, sat lightly on the edge of my bed. "How do you feel?"
"After my shower? Amazing!" I ran my hand through damp hair and sighed with contentment. "I had a headache after I woke up, but that's about it. The only thing that's significant is my energy. I still feel very drained."
"Well you were asleep for two days," he reprimanded. "I'm sure you'll bounce back."
I shrugged at him. "I don't know. They said they were going to test me for PTSD or something to make sure I wasn't going to have any after-effects of this. Then, if anything, they'd treat me for fatigue with B5s or something."
Pastor Dave looked at me intently. "What caused you to pass out anyway?"
"I had a demonic entity fly towards me. It embraced me and I felt weak, I couldn't remember anything. My eyes rolled back in my head and I blacked out." I lifted my arms gingerly, the cuts still biting from the medication. "I have no idea why I have three large cuts on either arm though."
"Are you sure you weren't just dreaming," his wife, Lori, asked. "Sometimes we can feel like we're being attacked in our dreams."
"No, I swear on Bob the Tomato, I was awake-- or trying to get myself functioning, one-- and I saw this fiery red door, like a portal. It creaked and I was about to laugh because it reminded me of something from the Freddie Kruger movies, and flew right at me! I felt like I was being suffocated. This was real. On my life, I promise you." I still remembered the shadow face, and a severe chill snaked its way down my back. I gestured to my scars. "How would these get here otherwise?"
My nurse, Kim, stood at my door. "You need something, hon?"
"I need another IV."
She shook her head. "He only wanted that while you were asleep. You're free of needles."
I smiled at her. "Thanks, Kim."
Kim came to my bedside and hugged me, then brushed her lips over my forehead. "Does anyone believe you yet?"
I nodded. "Kavori does."
"Good. If he believes you, you'll survive this." She looked at her slinky, silver watch. "Sweetheart, do you know when he was supposed to transfer you down to the 'kid' floor?"
I shrugged again. "I have no idea. He didn't tell me, I don't think."
Kim let go of me and headed for the door. "Alright. I'll see if I can't figure out when he wants you down there. Call me if you need anything, sweetie."
I turned back to David and gave a half-smile. He studied me. "So you're not being kept on the 4th floor?"
Pastor Steve, who was quietly sitting in the visitor's chair, legs crossed like usual, spoke up. "I don't think I fully believe you."
Dave shot him a look that was gentle yet disciplinary. He seemed to say, Don't rebuke her just yet. Also be gentle with her. I'd be sensitive with anybody who wanted to know my story if I'd been in the psychiatric ward. turned back at me. "If we took you down in a wheelchair, could you show us where you were encountered?"
I grinned, joyful someone was willing to be empathetic. "Yes! If I got some direction myself from where to go to the one-day surgery, I could easily show you."
"Okay." Lori pressed my button and Kim was back in a flash. "Can we have a wheelchair?"
She brought us one immediately, then asked where we were going. I told her to where I experienced the demon. Kim pleaded with us to go, but I looked at Pastor Dave for his approval first. He nodded and she took the place of holding my right hand.
Pastor slowly and smoothly led the wheelchair down the hall and we eventually found our way to one-day surgery. I found the waiting room and we re-traced my steps. He glided me in a tight circle around the room from where I'd been laying, then told him to go right.
My heart seized already. I could distinctively remember the cool, bitter wind that was blowing across the hall. I put my head between my knees and prayed I wouldn't faint. Kim squeezed my hand. "This is the right place, isn't it?"
I nodded, head still tucked in, and took in a deep breath. I watched my nurse wrinkle her nose with distaste. "It smells funny down this corridor."
My eyes widened in disbelief. She was having the same experience as me! I tried to hide the grin written across my face, but failed and even started giggling. Kim kissed my cheek. "This is the encounter you had, wasn't it?"
A film of moistness veiled my eyes and I nodded, even starting to cry. I looked behind me to Pastor David. "You guys can wait here. I want me and Kim to walk to the end of the hall and see what happens."
He let go of the chair and Kim switched places with him. She took slow steps, going deeper into the bowels of the surgical wing, when we finally reached the dead middle and center of the hall. "Stop," I commanded.
She squatted by me, keeping her ears and eyes open, her heart soft to the energy hidden in the portal. We sat in the silence for a minute, then she gasped. My eyes flitted to her face. "Did you hear that?"
I sat still for a minute. Then I heard a deep, evil laugh coming from down the hall. Again, I was quickened. "Yes! I hear it!"
Kim turned toward the pastors. "Do you guys hear that? It's a real dark, menacing laugh that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. Can you hear it?"
They all paused, then the two women nodded. "We hear it. It's real creepy. You can tell there's something up," Linda, Steve's wife, confirmed.
The nurse looked at Dave and Steve. "Do you hear it?" They both nodded.
"Let's go back upstairs before something more happens," Linda hurried us. I could understand that she was getting a little anxious. I pleaded with my eyes at her, Please, don't be afraid. That's his target. Remember? 'I have given you not a spirit of fear but power?'
She nodded, then took Pastor Steve's hand. She felt safe in his arms, I concluded. Kim pushed me slowly down to the elevator and pushed the Up button. I noticed her hand was shaking. I took her hand and squeezed it hard. "Are you going to make it?"
Lori looked concerned as I did. "She looks like she's going to pass out."
We finally made it up to my room and she breathed in and out slowly, similar to I did when I was trying to rid myself of a panic attack. When Kim was calm, she left my room and I was left to try to fall asleep.
That night, I had an unnerving dream. It wasn't a nightmare or terror, like they were watching me for, just a dream that was unsettling. I dreamed of going back into the real world, out of the hospital, and it being completely barren. There was not a soul around. It was very shadowy and dark, not a lick of sunshine in the clouds. I went to school. . . then left. No body there. I went to church, then felt like I was open and vulnerable, comparable to the way I felt before my demonic attack. I went to the room where Pastor Steve preached his classes Wednesday night, and realized there was screaming coming from the youth room.
I opened the door and saw people in clusters, poor and sick, like they'd just come out of concentration camps. I felt angry at the things or presences who'd done this to my family, my people, and power filled my spirit. I grabbed a lone sword, a breastplate and helmet. . . then woke up.
It was the most peculiar dream I'd ever had. What happened? Why didn't the dream finish itself? I woke up at a few hours before anyone would move around, so I ventured out for my wheelchair and found the chapel downstairs.
I carefully lit a candle, so the dim lights would have some assistance, then opened my Bible, directed by the King, to first Samuel 17. I looked at the references. This was the story of David and Goliath.
A chill raced down my spine and I looked up at the rafters, pretending to see God's face. "What are you trying to tell me, Lord?"
I began reading the story and studied how powerful David felt with Yahweh's strength by his side. David could have conquered the world with God by his side! He had faith in a slingshot and brought down a nine foot giant! And he was only seventeen! If I'm fifteen, can't God use me just as much?
It dawned on me then. "Lord, you want me to beat this demon with Your Word, don't you?" I prayed aloud. "Is that what you're saying?"
A flood of scriptures talking about demons and thoughts and power showered over me, giving me the divine sense I was supposed to go down there tonight, my Bible in hand, and defeat the spirit of the Enemy before he does more destruction to anyone else. Especially my babies. Those Jewish-looking survivors, I admonished, were my brothers in sisters at church. My friends, loved ones. David and Lori, Steve and Linda.
I bowed my head as in receiving a mark of approval in the olden days. "If you have given me this battle to fight, you lead me. But I will go. Here I am!"
The door flung open, and in came a disheveled Linda, which was very unusual. She was the calmest person in the world, so sweet and gentle, like a lamb. I got up and caught her in my grasp, looking into her eyes. "Linda, what's wrong?"
"You were telling the truth! If you didn't have God with you a few nights ago, you wouldn't be alive. They found a doctor in the corridor this morning who had rounds down there. His face was pale, like yours when you woke up and the cut marks on his wrist are an exact match to those on your arms. The same entity that attacked you attacked a doctor." She paused to catch her breath. "And the doctor they found this morning? He's dead."
My blood ran cold. "Are you serious? They found him dead?"
She nodded. "He was gone early this morning. They just did an autopsy."
"Gosh. . ."
Linda looked around, her eyes still wide with shock and fear. "This probably the safest place to be right now."
I squeezed her hands. "We're not going down there to get to my room, so let's go back upstairs and talk. Or we can go get coffee in the cafe over there and warm up. Because I don't know about you, but I'm pretty chilled right now."
She rubbed my arms. "You have goosebumps on every inch of your skin right now."
I nodded. "I know. That's what I'm saying. So? Coffee or upstairs, my bed with blankets?"
She gestured to the roast-smelling shop. "Espresso, please."
I winked at her and she guided my chair into the confectionery. She ordered an espresso, like she said and I ordered a cappuccino. I paid for her, and she told me she'd repay me, but I didn't think it'd happen. We found a table by the windows, closest to where we could see the elevator if we saw someone come down and need us.
Linda delighted herself in the coffee and I watched adoringly. No wonder I felt like I could beat this dark force. The two brothers and two sisters I had up in my room were too close to me, that I'd even take a bullet for any of them at a heartbeat.
She snapped her fingers in front of my face. "You zoned out, didn't you?"
"Sorry, sweetie," I said, sounding like a big sister. "It's a habit."
Linda grinned her world-famous smile, the one that raised her dimples and obscured her eyes. "I know what you mean. Especially when you have all this stress raging around you."
I cocked my head at her, somewhat like I did when I type. My brother says I look like Stephen Hawking. He might be right. . . I've been seeing cross-eyed. I straightened my neck and squinted at her curiously. "Stress raging around me? What are you talking about?"
Linda swallowed her coffee quickly before spitting it out, making her cough. "Are you kidding me? It makes me want to cry seeing you go through this much! How can you not be stressed out?"
I nodded slowly. "I understand now." I took a deep breath. "See, I feel really peaceful about this. I have the Living God in my very being. Why should I be afraid? Anyway, all of this will end tonight."
Again, her countenance was fearful. "Rachel. . ."
I stared at her for a minute, then shook my head furiously. "No. No. Don't think that." She was thinking I'd be the next one dead from being attacked by the demon. I breathed out. "I'm going to conquer it tonight."
Her jaw was slack. "You're crazy! You can't defeat him! You're not David!"
"But I have the same God David did," I pointed out flatly. "And Jesus has already overcome the grave. This will just be another one of my testimonies."
Linda shook her head, I think trying to rid her brain of the idea. "You can't! What if something happens to you! This church can't lose you! You're amazing! And I barely know you. I want to know you more. You seem like a really interesting and inspiring person."
I smiled sweetly at her, once again admiring her honestly and realness as a person. She is becoming a precious sister. She and her husband. . . those are the two who I distinctively seeing in my dream, being tortured my paranormal Nazis. "I can do this. I just need this whole day to be spent with my Papa; in fervent prayer, reviewing the Scriptures, anything that will give me strength tonight." I reached over and took her hand. "Linda, it has to be done tonight."
She nodded, a few droplets in her eyes. "I'll stand by you. God Almighty will bring you through this, bringing more honor to His name."
Tonight came, and I sat in my room, my face puffy from crying all day long. The Lord's presence was so comforting after my traumatic experience all I wanted to do was crawl up into His Arms so he could protect me and sing to me, cradle me and love me like his little girl. But I was already doing that, as Pastor David had reminded me gently.
I sat back, waiting to get the "okay" from the staff here. I had a panic button on my wrist, so if I felt like I was going to be killed I could buzz that and Dave and Steve would stand beside me, upholding me and bringing me through this. But I had looked at them and said, "I probably won't use it, even if he is choking me to death. I'd get killed and go home anyway. It'd be the perfect ending."
Both smiled, but I could read their expressions. That faith was a little outrageous. I did have to admit to myself it was, too, but I wanted to make this glorify God as much as I could.
Kim popped her head into my room. "They're ready for you whenever you are."
"Let us pray, then we'll be down there." I smiled at her and nodded reassuringly. Given the hospital environment, I felt like I was going into a life-or-death surgery. Maybe I was-- spiritually.
I took David and Steve's hands, both of them joined with their wives. I looked at David. "Can I pray, then you guys can add on as you feel lead to do so?"
He nodded and I bowed my head. I didn't hesitate jumping into prayer. "Dear Father, you have sent me one heck of a challenge, but I said I'd be willing to take it and I hope you'd give me strength to do so. I pray that your hand of protection and anointing would be on me and this demon would tremble in my presence because of the awesome power you have. Let my opponent flee from the light and not one scratch be on my body when I return. We know I'll come back victorious-- that's just the way you are. You won't send us something we can't handle.
"Let my mind be open and perceptive to the Scriptures I will fight with, and let me not forget them. Bind them around my neck right now, so I am covered with you. I am a princess and a demon, butt-kicking warrior. And hey, you see the smirk on my face. You know I like that title. But I give the glory to You. Be with me, Jesus. Keep me. In Your Name."
Steve squeezed my hand, as in "good job, kid." I returned the gesture, then listened to Linda pray a beautiful request of peace over me. With her, the tears started to run. After she had finished, Stephen let go of my hand and put it over my forehead, praying a power prayer over me also. One thing he did that touched my heart was he faltered. I shifted over to rest against his chest, David still grasping my thin fingers. He felt me and continued, still overcome.
We all said "Amen" and I opened my eyes. Eight eyeballs were on my face and I grinned. "Let the games begin? May the odds be ever in my favor?"
The faces were blank. "It's from Hunger Games. Never mind," I waved off my pun, then studied Steve. His face was a little pink, I'm sure from crying. Or he was embarrassed, one. I snuggled into his arms completely for a few moments, letting him release himself. The others' arms were around us when I opened my eyes, brushed a tear of his from my nose, then looked into his eyes. "I'll make it through this. I have you and Dave, but most of all I have Jesus Christ. What can or should I fear?"
He shook his head and wiped his face. "I just want you to go kick this thing's tail so I can get back to laughing with you and we can all live a normal life."
I nodded, squeezed his hand, and he helped me to the floor. I had decided I was strong enough to walk, though still feeble, and fight this oppressor. He'd killed an innocent man. That was enough to get me on my feet, if not running down to the door and jabbing a holy knife in.
We made our way down the hall, Steve guiding me with a steady hand on my back. Linda and Lori were at my sides, and Pastor walked ahead of us, which in my opinion, seemed very appropriate. My team and I finally arrived at the corridor and all of them disappeared into the waiting room, where everyone was ordered to stay until I gave the all clear. I balanced myself on the wall and scuffled down to the center of the passage, where I'd seen the portal.
A screeching filled my ears. Even though my spirit and ears covered them because of the pitch and ferociousness, I felt a grin creep up my lips. The scream was telling me they were already running. I had the light, and they were afraid.
I clutched my big, brown Bible to my chest and stood there for a moment, listening and waiting. My legs were firm on the ground, and my arms relaxed, not trembling. I felt a cold wind engulf my body, and I opened my eyes to see an evil beast in front of me. It had the same characteristics of a human, but I knew this was the demon I'd fight tonight. I drew my Bible in defense.
Again, the evil laugh. "You're going to fight me with that? My idea is that you run!"
I stood there stubbornly, taunting him with my eyes and defiance. I lifted the book again. "Actually, I've got everything I need right here. 'Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.'"
I heard a drum gong, and I knew the battle had begun. He cocked his head at me, much like I did to others. "Oh really? You've got everything you need? I'd like to see you go run through that wall."
"Okay." I lifted an eyebrow, pretending to be confused. I knew it wasn't worth it; he could read my thoughts just like Daddy could. But my Father was pure, he's only of destruction. "I'd just like to remind you though, 'If you say to this mountain, cast yourself into the sea, and believe with faith it will happen, this too shall come to pass.'"
I lined up head-on with the wall, and miraculously floated right through. The feeling was exhilarating! God was doing this for me! He was fighting by my side. I smiled and even began to laugh.
My opposing one looked terrified. "No! Don't do that! Don't laugh!"
I opened my mouth and let the torrents of giggles rip through my larynx. "'The joy of the LORD is my strength.'"
"Stop!" I felt him trying to choke me, but it was to no effect.
"'Laughter is like good medicine to a broken spirit.'" I threw him Scriptures like a faucet overflowing and even started dancing with victory. Whether this battle was close from done yet or not, I was going to rejoice!
"You really believe God is your Father? He's your Daddy, huh? How can someone forgive their own daughter for wanting to forsake the priceless gift he's given-- life? How does he forgive you from a terrible sin like suicide?"
I was stunned for a moment, surprised a demon would even muse with that vocabulary. I bounced back quickly, and quoted, "'As far as the east is from the west, so your sins have been forgiven.'"
"What about repaying him?" He started to follow me in the circle I was swirling in, as if he was trying to square me off in a shoot-out.
"You know what God promised me. A gift in sign language. And I know I do that and I worship Jesus wholeheartedly. . . well, you get pretty mad, don't you? Come on, Father of Lies, forsake yourself and tell the truth."
"That was your cutting," he told me, thinking of his next challenge before I even had time to rebound. "What about taking your life?"
I, out of the blue, looked down the hall and saw this beautiful, African girl standing there, cheering me on. I knew it was my daughter. I growled at him, "If you do anything to her, may that lake of fire you burn in be six thousand, six hundred sixty-six degrees hotter than the LORD intended."
I clearly heard a voice in the back of my head, urging me to stay focused. I squinted at the dark one in front of me. "What's up? Ran out of taunts and tempts?"
"How about teasers?"
I looked at my Bible, praying it'd become a sword so I could slash this dude with the light of Heaven. It began to take shape, so every time I said a Scripture, it'd swing at the demon in front of me. There was a shield around my arm, and I held it up to my face, receiving blow after blow about my past and how God would never forgive me. There were physical dents in the metal, the sizes of an average man's fist.
I tried to laugh, but my throat seemed to be swollen tightly. I said, "'If we are faithful to confess our sins, He is faithful and just to purify us from all unrighteousness.'"
The next threw at me I never expected, nor wanted to ever face. "You know why your friends leave you? You're fake! You say you're fine when deep inside, you can't live with yourself."
I took this blow hard, the amount of weight on those words knocking me to my knees. He laughed at me. "See? Where's your God now?"
I managed to scream, "He sits at the right hand of the Throne and He intercedes for me in prayer, all the time, constantly. You aren't doing me any damage; all you're doing is crucifying him again. Is that really what you want?"
"He's my enemy."
"But I love him, and I'm the apple of his eye."
"How many eyes does he have?" the demon asked.
"Two, but yet in someway I don't understand, he keeps his eye on every one. He guards me and loves me and strengthens me."
He laughed at me. "The reason you can't trust is you don't trust the LORD."
I lowered to my face. This was a question I had struggled with my whole life. How could I trust God if I can't trust anyone on this Earth? How was I supposed to fight this one? Then, a verse from Proverbs came from me. "'Trust in me with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.' I may not know everything about this world, but I know my God reigns."
I felt him shrink back. I caught by breath, then sat on my knees, like I always did at Papa's feet. He was getting tired. I could sense it. So I began to sing. Songs like "God Be Praised," "Shout Unto God," "Healer," and I also developed a melody to the 23rd Psalm.
I felt a strength surge through me, and I rose to my feet, singing the song Jesus gave me a while back in my devotional. "Cast your burdens at my feet. . . throw them all away. . ." I kept singing my song and the demon seemed to be whipped with the truth that broke you and mended you all with the same love.
I found a chair, climbed on top, and screamed with all I am, "Hosanna! Kumbayah! Yeshua! These are the powerful names of the Lord, and I declare them over you!" I began shouting the names of the Father, doing sign language to the titles I'd never learned, some even in other languages. I began squaring him off, watching him shrink smaller and dimmer, and smaller and dimmer, and smaller and dimmer and. . .
All was still. He bowed at my feet. "Praise to your God! Long live the King! I have been defeated by a fifteen-year old girl who has the Lord in her so strongly she beat me with her Bible." He took a breath. "God reigns! All creation shall acknowledge him! Lord, you have won!"
I placed my face in my hands, overwhelmed with tears and joy at the same time. This must be how someone feels when they win first place in the championships or conquer the other team in the Super Bowl. I felt empowered, but all I wanted to do at the same time was drop everything and run to the altar, thanking Jesus for his power to overcome this demon and set this place free.
I heard every one in the waiting room let out and cheer and start praising the Lord. I grinned, tasting my salty cold tears. I laughed and screamed aloud, in awesome fear of Christ in me.
I felt someone touch my jeans. It was Steve. The grin on his face was indescribable and it will never be erased from my memory. He helped me down from the chair and started swirling me around the room like Cinderella. Even though I was in his arms for the moment, My Daddy's arms held me close and he laughed and sang over me right now. I could feel His embrace. It was a place I never wanted to leave.
Stephen touched my cheek. "I knew you could do it, sweetie. We're so proud of you right now!" Apparently my smiled dissipated for he questioned, "What's wrong? You just defeated a servant of the Enemy of your soul!"
I shook my head with a rebuking smile. "It's not me. I didn't just win this battle. Christ alone in me took the blows and he just resurrected from the grave of my soul like he's done a hundred times. This time is special because it's mine. This is my battle victoriously won. The Carpenter-King needs to be given any praise before you even start thinking about how proud you are of me, how brave I am, how much power I have." I pointed to the ceiling, heavenward.
Then he laughed at me and shook his head, correcting me in a minor mistake. I planted my hands on my hips, demanding what I'd done wrong. He couldn't contain his grin and shook his head again. He threw his arms all around. "He doesn't live in Heaven! He lives everywhere and he lives in you!"
Linda came to where we were standing, or swirling-- I couldn't distinguish it. I think I was dizzy with joy. She put her hand on his shoulder. "Okay, let the girl of the hook."
I put one foot in front of the other and stuck my finger out like a mother lecturing her toddler. "He has a point, you know. God's plan was to live on the Earth. That's why he died on the cross and rose again!" I let out an Indian-like whoop and the Hohms joined with me. Soon, David and Lori were and we were all hooting and hollering like we were at a basketball game.
But we were at something better. The King's feet, rejoicing him.
I gave Pastor David a side hug. "You know how you say on Sunday mornings sometimes we get so wound up and caught up in worship, you feel like the dad who has to calm down his kids from a Mountain Dew sugar rush?"
Every face grinned at me. I looked up at him, waiting for a response. He laughed at me. "Yeah. Sure do. I love those Sundays."
I couldn't help but giggling. "I'm pretty sure that's what God feels like right now."
All of them took me into a hug and squeezed me. "We're sure too!"