For years, it was a problem for me that Jesus actually intervened with grace. Although Jesus brought me peace in restoring my sanity and convincing me I wasn’t demonically possessed, I was more comfortable with the thought of being damned than with being saved. So I went about church-hopping, my journey taking me deeper and deeper into hellfire and brimstone. I craved it, seeking out sermons that reduced God to wrath.
I approached two ministers, wanting desperately to talk about my abortion. Both told me I should keep it secret, or it would ruin my testimony. It was just what I wanted to hear at the time – an abortion ruins one’s testimony. My translation became an abortion ruins one’s hope of ever entering the kingdom of heaven.
At my lowest point, I listened as a minister described a woman diagnosed with depression as being demonically possessed. He spoke about intervening with the woman when she was at the altar for prayer. He and three elders of the church escorted her into a back room and begged her to renounce the devil and proclaim Jesus as Lord. The woman never complied. I can remember thinking how fear must have shut her throat in silence.
When I heard this story, I decided to take my daughter and run again. Much as I may have wanted confirmation of my own peril, I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter growing up believing that depression means demonic possession. I knew that if professing Jesus as Lord meant the end to all depression, there wouldn’t be a great number of people seeking Jesus as Healer, every time the minister in question issued an altar call. As for demonic possession, I decided to leave it to the exorcists.