Thank you to Jessica (not her real name) for co-writing this blog with me.

Jessica has possessed intuitive abilities since she was a baby. Her mom would frequently watch her infant daughter suddenly shift her gaze and focus on something invisible.

One day after elementary school, Jessica sat on the couch at home. Although alone, she sensed a presence. The vertical blinds on the sliding glass door rippled back and forth, even though there was no draft. As she watched, Jessica became frightened. She needed to call her mom. She reached for the phone until its cord started twirling and twisting on its own. Her hand stopped mid-air.

“It” knew she wanted to call her mom.

She went and hid in her room, where she felt safer, and stayed there, terrified, until her mom arrived from work.

Her mother immediately sought spiritual assistance, scheduling a meeting for her and Jessica to meet with one of the church’s lay leaders. She relayed to the woman Jessica’s abilities and experiences.

“You’re a bad child. You need to stop what you’re doing and repent!” she said, shocking Jessica and her mother.

Mortified, Jessica was afraid to tell the woman that she had tried ignoring the entity, but that had made it more active. Jessica had already learned the only way to make the activity stop was to acknowledge it.

Her mother made a second appointment with another church official. Unfortunately, this meeting was even worse. The woman whispered loudly enough for Jessica to hear, “Your daughter is a demon child. She needs to stop doing what she is doing to bring this on!”

The parish’s leadership emotionally damaged Jessica and disheartened her mother. Jessica withdrew inside herself. She assumed everyone labeled her a freak. She tried to stunt her gift, but it wouldn’t go away.

Jessica was mad that God didn’t “make” her normal.

At 13, she and a friend conversed in the kitchen. Jessica heard frantic banging on the garage door. Then, she heard a young woman’s voice pleading, “Help me. Help me. Help!” Jessica asked her friend, “Did you hear that?” But, of course, her friend hadn’t.

With no guidance from a spiritually mature Christian, she was frightened and spent most of the next three years sequestered in her bedroom. She needed to figure out how to live with the increasing activity, but didn’t know where to start.

Things started to improve for Jessica at 16, when she visited out-of-town family and met a Christian woman who was the first to validate her ability. This woman introduced her to a church group who possessed similar gifts. When they learned the depth of her ability, they could not help but use it for their own gain. While Jessica was relieved to be validated, she felt like a side show act.

Soon after returning home, her family located a spirit-filled Christian church. Unlike her previous experiences, this congregation acknowledged her abilities in a positive manner. Through wise counsel and prayer, they determined she was sensitive in the Spirit and was not a force of evil. Jessica, a Christian believer in Jesus, has been validated and knows she possesses a God-given gift to be used for His glory to help others as He leads her.

Today at 18, Jessica’s open to wherever God leads her. Had the first church shown her love and encouragement, she could’ve felt better about herself, and been much further along in her Christian walk. In addition, she feels she lost time where she could’ve grown her abilities at an earlier age, instead of stifling them. She is learning to rebuild her trust in people and feel more comfortable being who God intended her to be.

Please do not repeat these wrongs. Let’s learn from Jessica’s experience by recognizing we are all children of God.

See last week’s post: “Ignoring spirits won’t protect or benefit you.”