My mom was raised Catholic and my dad was raised Protestant. Neither were very strict followers of their religion so this was never a problem.
They both decided to raise my brother and I as agnostics, so we could decide our religion for ourselves when we got older. We only went to church at Christmas when the primary school kids would go to sing Christmas songs, and when the Boy Scouts we were both a part of asked us to. We hated it.
I was never in the right crowd for long growing up. I was always trying to impress the older kids -- especially kids from the wrong crowd. I don't think my parents, or many other parents, realized how dangerous this attitude can be for a child.
I was secretly smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol by the age of 11. Of course my parents caught me a few times, and they would ground me, and stop my pocket money for a while, but I kept on doing it anyway. The older kids were allowed to so why shouldn't I be, I figured.
A few months into being age 13 I got involved with the worst kind of crowd any child can get involved in -- a gang of drug users.
The youngest member was a year younger than me and the oldest members were in their late 20s. We would sit in fields and little huts where they would pressure us into taking drugs. Having younger members gave them something to laugh at, and when we got too bad … laying in our own vomit practically unconscious … we would get sticks thrown at us - alcohol poured down our throats - set on fire and urinated on to put it out … these were a few of the awful things that I saw and in some cases experienced. This was their idea of entertainment.
The worst part is … I would want to join in. I would like it when they picked on someone else because it meant that they weren't picking on me.
My time and money belonged completely to them. If my mom or nana gave me money for sweets, it went into feeding their habit. They would give me just enough to keep me dependent -- not just on the drugs but on them.
If I tried to take an hour to myself outside of school, my phone would ring and ring until I picked up, and they would hassle me until I came out. I don't know why I never turned my phone off. I had no time to spend with my family or my childhood friends who I saw at school.
By the time I was nearly 15 I decided I wanted to leave. This wasn't how people are meant to spend their childhood -- owned and controlled.
I had already distanced myself from my friends and family though. I had nobody to talk to and couldn't see a way out. I was at rock bottom.
I saw online a social networking website that Satanism could make me all powerful, and in a situation where I had no power, this was very appealing,
The devil deceived me, but I believe this made me a stronger and more experienced Christian today, because I have greater insight now into how real and how persistently deceiving demons are in doing Satan's evil bidding ... especially controlling people to where they don't even realize they are being influenced and controlled by him to various degrees ... which doesn't exclude "Christians" either, by the way. (Satan's wolves in sheep's clothing the Bible warns us about come in all kinds of different slick and sneaky disguises to mess with us and our relationship with Jesus Christ and others).
I didn't leave my drug "friends" however until I was about 16. Other people reached out to me out of the blue, inviting me to a party. It was when I was surrounded by these friends I realized that there was life outside the gang I was in, and so I cut off communication with the gang group completely, and was finally able to turn off my phone and ignore them until eventually, they gave up.
Of course at this point I was still under the impression that Satan was helping me. I was deeply programmed with hatred of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and I became extremely ill. I don't know how much of the illness was physical and how much was mental but I was weak, lightheaded and constantly on the edge of passing out. It was like the dizziness you get just before you faint on a loop. I didn't feel like I had control of my own body.
When I realized I couldn't find relief in Satan anymore, I was surprised to find that the only thing that made me feel better was the Christian TV show I used to watch as a child called: Touched By An Angel.
The more my interest in God grew the healthier I felt, and when I finally accepted Jesus into my heart I was completely healed.
I still don't know what was wrong with me. I had just about every check possible at the hospital and they couldn't figure it out either, but I guess it doesn't matter now because that part of my life is over and I have a new life now with Jesus and I am thankful for every second of it.
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of
the kingdom [Jesus
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
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