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The Shift
Night after night inexplicable evil entities attacked her until she could think of nothing but suicide. And then a miracle happened. A greater power consumed her.

Sweet revenge

The year 1978 was the year I seriously contemplated taking my life. I was an 18-year-old mother, and I was truly miserable. However, my misery was something I kept secret. I thought if I told anyone of the madness that was going on in my life, my family would surely have me committed to the mental institution. I felt I could not trust anyone.

The pain and fear I experienced, coupled with the hatred I harboured for some of my family members, worked as a catalyst in thinking suicide was the only way out. I entertained twisted fantasies of suicide. I thought of smothering my one-year-old son to death which would be quick and painless for him. He was a precious, sweet baby, and I loved him very much, but I didn't want to leave him behind to suffer as I had. I considered overdosing on pills or shooting myself. I hadn't arrived at the best method of killing myself, but I knew it was just a matter of time. I romanced my mind with delusions of grandeur at how great it would be to see those whom I hated, mourn and be devastated at my dramatic departure from life. I believed my death would be revenge for the pain I was experiencing.

Although at this point, my thoughts and mindset were very unstable, it was much earlier in my life when I began experiencing strange and dark supernatural occurrences. I did not understand the cunningness of Satan, nor was I aware of the efficient network which exists in the spirit realm.

At age 13 I began suffering night terrors, dark dreams, and strange visitations. When these strange happenings occurred, I would awaken to the sound of a cat or a dog growling, and sense a strange presence beside me. Often when I was nearly asleep, I would feel a cold chill that made the hairs on my arms and back of my neck raise. I would become paralyzed—unable to move, open my eyes, or speak. I could feel a breath in my ear speaking in a heavy whisper, "I've got you know," followed by a perverse laughter. Only after the presence released me could I move. I felt terrorized.

Other times I would wake up to my bed shaking, it was as if a strong man were standing at the end of my bed tossing my mattress back and forth. I would sit up and the shaking would continue long enough for me to know what was happening was real and not a dream. I experienced hearing fast approaching footsteps across the wooden floor of my bedroom and then the sensation of what seemed to be a 300-pound man sitting on my chest, crushing me. I would cry out to God in my mind, "Please make it stop!" Often at night I would lie awake, afraid to fall asleep.

Over time I grew to expect the visits and accepted them as brief encounters of something I could not explain. My family was not able to understand, even though I tried to share with them. They assured me that I was just having nightmares. The visits became infrequent over time and would happen in seasons. Throughout the following years, they would come and go. However, after I have birth to my son in the fall or 1977, the visits became more frequent, varying in length and intensity. The entities began calling my name. I felt trapped when I was in my house alone. And feeling helpless and confident that no one would understand was driving me insane.

No place at home

The hate I felt toward my mother and sister grew out of years of feeling that I had no value—and wanting to blame them. I felt my sister saw me as an irritation. I felt on many occasions she would entice my mother to side with her. Though I had creative abilities, I felt my parents never really saw anything good in me. I often found myself accepting all kinds of abuse from my peers and friends at school just to fit in. I thought if I could live through their ridicule, I would feel somewhat accepted. At times I got into bad situations just so someone would notice me and give me some value. I felt worthless, especially when my parents told me they wished I would be like someone else. I often cried and wondered, "What is wrong with me?"

The awesome church

During the summer of 1978—about the time I was considering suicide, my mother returned from a visit to Denver, Colorado. A day or so after she arrived, I began to notice she was acting differently. She told me that her life was different because she had given her life to God, and had become a born again believer. I really did not understand what she meant by this statement, but I was soon to find out. A few weeks later on Sunday, she stated she was visiting a new church, and she invited me to go along … if I liked. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I decided to take her up on the invitation. As I looked through my closet for something to wear, I was filled with excitement as if something good and new was coming.

I knew God's presence was greater and stronger than any evil presence I had encountered before.

Upon arriving at the little church and entering the front doors, we were greeted with a hug and a warm kiss on the cheek from the church members. We were delighted with this friendly atmosphere because it was a new experience for both of us. As I listened to the choir sign and heard testimonies during the "testimony service," I was in awe. The people had a visible glow upon their faces as they told of how good the Lord was to them.

I continued to attend these services, and with each service I became even more intrigued by the people and the message I was hearing. On Sunday, November 29, 1978, during the morning service, I was extremely tired from lack of sleep due to having had a horrific episode the night before. I had to struggle to pay attention to the sermon, when suddenly I was fully awake. Seated only a few rows from the front, I began to hear every word from the pastor as he pled with people to "Come to Jesus; He wants to save you. Come and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour."

These words penetrated my heart and I began to cry. The reality of heaven and hell plagued me. I was aware of heaven, but it was the notion of the existence of hell, the place of continuous pain and torment forever, that really frightened me. My soul was tormented enough in this life! I wanted a life that would begin afresh in this life, and would continue on in the life to come. At this moment the choice I needed to make was so clear. I got up from my seat and approached the pastor. He reached out and hugged me, and I told him I wanted to trust Jesus Christ as my Savour. Later that day, in the evening service, in a defining moment I accepted the new birth experience. It opened my heart fully to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. I knew God's presence was greater and stronger than any evil presence I had encountered before. I knew I wanted to totally submit to whatever God had for me.

Life and goodness

Today my life is so different from the life I knew as a young 18-year-old mother. Though I had a few more encounters with the demons that taunted me, I found out that through the power of the Holy Spirit, I could rebuke them. I am so thankful for the very hour my life took a dramatic turn, and I have been able to partake of the goodness and grace that comes with salvation in Christ.

My passion now is for souls and my burden is to share the Gospel with all who will listen. For more than 25 years I have been ministering to people who suffer as I did. I have seen hundreds of people healed as they accept the power of God through the Holy Spirit into their life. The beauty of being healed is that the Lord heals not only our minds but our relationships too. After God stepped into my life, I saw my mother as God intended. His awesome Spirit broke the veil of hate off of my heart so that I could love those who I hated the most. My mother died in 1987, and I don't believe she was ever aware of how I felt about her at one time. I can say, before she passed away I love her as a child should. Today I enjoy a wonderful relationship with my sister and I cherish my three children and six grandchildren.

A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Diana Roberts is currently the lead team coordinator and administrative assistant to the director of the S.W.A.T. team.

Originally published in The Challenger, October/December 2006.




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