Life by the Spirit
At the age of 7, my prayer for Jesus to come into my heart was immediately followed by Holy Spirit conviction about my "little sins". Not because of rules, but because I didn't want to hurt Jesus's heart. Our relationship grew in intimacy over the years. As a teenager, I "romanced" Jesus with candlelight & music, daily devotionals, tithes & offerings, voracious Bible reading, and hard-core focus on missions and service. I remember telling a friend about "being drunk on God's presence", because I didn't know how else to describe that amazing experience.
Although I felt called to be a missionary, I pushed my inner longing (God's gifting & calling) aside when I received a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at age 11, then epilepsy at age 13. I chose resentment and rebellion, and the fiery passion for God dwindled down to "going through the motions" during the next 15 years of my life. Without realizing what was happening, my "little sins" grew into enslavement. I chose an "affair" with junk food...and ended up addicted to disordered eating, bingeing, and purging.
As the "foothold" I had given the enemy developed into a "stronghold", my mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health all hit rock bottom. Hopelessness, suicidal thinking, and night terrors were my constant companions. My efforts to stop the bingeing were fruitless; I simply switched addictions.
Unable to live with myself - a Christian with a sex addiction who just had an emotional, and almost physical affair - I was terrified my hubby would leave me, and desperate enough to "go to any length" to get well - I threw myself into multiple-daily 12-step meetings, counseling, and working with sponsors.
Thankfully, God, in His mercy, led me to a group of women like me, who had gotten well with HARDCORE stepwork. The basic premise was that my problems were due to selfishness and self-centeredness; that to become free I had to live God's way in EVERYTHING. By confessing my wrongs, receiving God's forgiveness, making amends to pretty much everyone I knew, and living a life focused on God and serving others...I finally got free of the demonic stuff that had haunted me for years.
Living an unselfish life meant eating the way God wanted me to eat, not the way I wanted to eat. It meant asking God's will in every area of my life, not just the areas that I wanted to surrender to Him. I saw time and again that if I held back anything, had any dishonesty or selfishness, the bingeing and demonic darkness was right at the door, ready to pounce. I spent the next (almost) 10 years of my life (which brings us up 'til now), being as pure and God-honoring as possible. While sin may be fun for the moment, I never wanted that darkness in my life again. I became the Christian I had always wanted to be.
Unfortunately, the price I paid - long term consequences of those years of coming into alignment with the enemy - was extremely great.
While eating the raw food diet that God led me to allowed me to reverse a lot of health problems and stop having seizures, it did not heal everything. More progress came with incorporating supplements to fix deficiencies, but it still wasn't enough. When a series of traumatic events plummeted health to the point of death (hubby as caregiver), natural cleansing and detoxing brought me "back to life".
But what was the cause of all these symptoms to begin with?
I was doing all the "right things" physically.
I have now learned that the root of all these enemy attacks (that manifested as physical symptoms) was when I rejected God's gifting and calling for my life in my early teenage years.
The combination of trauma, dissociation, and (unknowingly) coming into agreement with the enemy had led to the progression of both physical and spiritual symptoms that were far beyond what most anyone I knew had ever heard of, much less experienced.
By the grace of God, I have been "pulled out" of that pit.
I have felt much relief through deliverance prayer, spiritual warfare, praying in tongues (a new gift and very powerful weapon!), praise music, listening to my Bible, focusing on / repeating God's promises, and an amazing Christian therapy called Splankna.
I am choosing to speak life, break word curses, avoid conversations that focus on evil, live a pure life, celebrate blessings (gratitude), and "fill up" with the Holy Spirit.
I followed God in removing my huge online presence of YouTube channels, facebook pages, groups, websites, blogs, even the sales page for my book, and finally, my facebook page itself.
Though I felt better and better with each one I took down, it was when I finally had removed myself ENTIRELY from social media that God gave me a new name: Ariana Jane Darby.
A constant reminder of who I am and what He has called me (and that's all that matters).
The old has to die for the new to come.
I am restoring my true identity as a beloved child of God, daughter of the King of Kings,
and bride of Christ; no more and no less.
I am reclaiming my original gifting and calling.
God has given me beautiful visions of our new life, restored relationship, together.
A life of love, worship, compassion, and... dancing with Jesus!
After all He's brought me through, you'd better believe I'm dancing!
I pray it will bring much healing...to me AND to you.
P.S. - I am not a trained dancer. I just love to do it, in combination with sign language WORSHIP.
It makes me feel like I am flying. :)