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Deliverance from Darkness

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                                              After Deliverance                            Before Deliverance

PERSONAL TESTIMONY

I grew up in Michigan in a family of 14 children. My parents had 9 boys and 5 girls. We grew up in the church. When I was in 5th grade I heard the message that Jesus was knocking on the door of my heart and wanted to come in and would I let Him in? Yes, I accepted Jesus. I really felt Him come into my heart. Although I had received Jesus, I didn't understand what the cross was all about because I hadn't really understood sin. In my early years, I experienced sexual abuse, 3 local teenage boys sexually abused me from the 3rd grade until the 7th grade.

In my teenage years, I began drinking and drugging. After barely graduating from high school, I shared an apartment with a girl from high school who introduced me to the night club scene. So we began to frequent the clubs. The clubs played alternative music which was "new" then and it attracted some really strange looking people, as well as bisexuals and homosexuals. Due to my sheltered upbringing, I had really never met anyone gay, until then. As I continued to go to these clubs, the influence of the people, and the music, took me on a path that almost cost me my life. I began doing cocaine with my live-in boyfriend. Somehow in all that mess, I ended up moving closer to Detroit and that was where my real trouble began. Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

I worked as a nursing assistant at the hospital and had rented an apartment, away from my live-in boyfriend, due to his alcoholism. A few months after having my own apartment, I got back together with my ex-boyfriend. One day, my boyfriend brought our next door neighbors up for a drink. They were a punk couple about my age. The girl's name was Candi and the guy’s name was Brent. Candi had a super short hair cut and no eyebrows. She told me she had shaved them off for a photo shoot. Brent had a pink mohawk and was talking to my boyfriend about cutting up human cadavers! Candi told me about the club that she worked at as a female bouncer. It was an underground punk club that wasn't advertised in the local club paper. I had heard of it before, but had never been there. She invited me to come and check it out, so I went one night after work.

I followed the directions which led me to a high rise hotel in a seedy part of town. The entrance to the club was in the back, I opened the heavy black iron door, and climbed the stairs. I could hear the thump of music, the walls and stairs were black and there was barely any lighting. I came to another door and opened it. I saw a huge man who was wearing makeup and was all dressed in black, and sitting next to him was my next door neighbor!!! She was wearing full makeup and looked much different from our first encounter. I was scared. They were the only two in this little room before entering into the main club. Their job was to frisk anyone who came in the club, they were looking for guns, drugs, alcohol or weapons. So she frisked me. Sheepishly I entered the club, everything was painted black; there were not that many people there yet because it was too early!!! I went up to the bar and turned around and noticed a huge mural of the Last Supper. I didn't realize the implication at all!!! I had no idea that this was a haven for witches and warlocks.

So, as I continued to frequent the club, my looks changed and so did my heart. I ended up shaving my head bald and piercing my nose and getting tattoos. All the clothes I wore were black.

During my friendship with Candi, she took me to some new age bookstores. My mom had always warned us of these bookstores, telling us that they were of the occult and had forbidden us from ever going into them. Well, now that I was on my own, I didn't listen. So, whenever I went into these places, I would sense something strange, but didn't pay attention to the fact the I was sensing darkness.

Now that my heart had become harder, Candi got me a job working as a female bouncer in the underground punk club. It was during this time in my life that I began to experience violence and power. Candi had taken me under her wing and brought me into the group of people that ran the club. Fights were part of the scenery there and they were welcomed. Candi was small, scrappy, and mean. She was used to fighting and somehow never got hit, but did a lot of damage. She also, had a notable presence about her, and at times I wondered if it was demonic. This magnetism she had was unlike anything I'd ever seen or experienced. She had swarms of people around her at all times and they all seemed to be "in love" with her. I also saw people bow down to her. Sometimes, she would look at me in the eyes and I would get really confused, my eyes would water and I would do whatever she asked of me.

Over the course of time, my employment went from a nursing assistant to stripper. Candi and I danced for money for two years in Detroit. It was at this time that we became a couple. In our first months together she mentally and emotionally abused me, weaving a lie that would take us to Hollywood, California. Her dream was to be rich and famous and convinced me that it was possible. I believed everything she told me. So we packed up our things, sold our belongings and moved to California. We took two other people with us, one was another lesbian, who was to be our body guard and the other was a straight, Sicilian guy, who had a lot of money.

In 1994, the four of us arrived in Hollywood on a one way ticket. The shuttle from the airport dropped us off on Hollywood Blvd. And Labrea Ave. Hollywood Blvd. Is the street where all the stars have their names on the sidewalk. We had no place to live, no car, no job and no prospects of anything. So with our 12 suitcases we camped out in a motel for a month.

One night, while still living at the motel, Candi wanted to go up into West Hollywood to check out the gay scene. West Hollywood is a gay city. When you drive through the city you can see the gay flag waiving. The flags are hanging up and down the center of Santa Monica Blvd. There are gay shops and gay and lesbian bars and clubs. West Hollywood is home to the largest lesbian club in America.

Candi had an objective in mind and it was to find out "who was who." So, we left the other two in the motel room and set out for West Hollywood. We had to walk a few blocks and then catch a bus. I had no idea that Hollywood was a very dangerous town as we walked off into the night. It was around 11 pm and chilly, so, we both wore our biker leathers. We were dressed in all black, both of us were wearing baseball hats and combat boots. (We looked like two guys.) As we headed toward Santa Monica Blvd., two guys at a pay phone noticed us, as we passed by them. The guy at the pay phone immediately slammed down the receiver. Both guys started to walk behind us with intent in their steps. I knew they were going to do something, and Candi seemed to sense it too. Our conversation had stopped as we pretended everything was okay. I could feel my heart pounding so loudly. I grasped the chain that was in my pocket and thought of slamming one of them in the face, but I was way too scared.

We continued to walk, they continued to pursue us, about a foot behind us. Then, out of my heart I prayed these words, "Lord, please help!" As soon as the words left me, a blast of heat came inbetween us and the two guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I felt the heat go down the back of my legs. They turned from following us and veered off into the parking lot. We continued to walk, I was stunned, not saying a word. Candi broke the silence and asked, "Did you feel that heat?!!" I exclaimed "YES!!!!!" I told her that I had prayed and so both of us thanked God. Two radical lesbians walking down the street thanking God!!!

When we were children my mom taught us this scripture, “Whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” Joel 2:32a She said we could say Jesus' Name in any kind of dangerous situation and that He would help us, she was right, God had heard my cry.

Needless to say this didn't cause me to repent because I had chosen to believe a lie and so I was deceived into thinking I was okay with God and that I didn't need to repent. In my mind, when God answered that prayer, I was more convinced than ever that I was on the right path.

Time passed, as we pursued "who is who" in the gay night life. We ended up meeting women from all walks of life in Hollywood, from executives to actresses, producers to musicians, even some movie stars. We were over our heads in "who is who." The night life in Hollywood was much different from Detroit. Hollywood was a 'movie,' nobody was real, if they hated you, you never knew it. Acting wasn't just for the movie screen. In Detroit, if they hated you they told you and you fought about it.

We were in some movies as extras and also on TV as extras. (Although Candi did end up with a speaking role on 'America's Most Wanted.' She played a punk, lesbian, heroine addict who had ended up robbing banks to support her addiction. The strangest part of all, was that we had known the girl in Detroit and she had attended our going away party!!!!! The show aired and they caught the girl!!!)

Hollywood had so many 'important' people and yet it was such a shallow and empty place. I remember wanting to have a real conversation with someone. I wanted to talk to a real person but everyone had to have their "image." They couldn't let you see that they were longing for the same kind of thing too.

One night, while returning home from a club, we walked from the parking garage into the lobby to take the elevator up to our floor. Also waiting, was a couple who lived on our floor. One thing I knew about her was that she was a crack addict. A few moments pass and then, without any warning, her boyfriend grabs Sophie, our bodyguard, and throws her into the open elevator and begins to pound her in the face. He is screaming, "Dyke! @$%@$ Dyke!!!@$#%&* Dyke!!!. His girlfriend is screaming "Stop it!!! Stop it!!!!"

Candi jumped into the elevator to help. I was left outside of the elevator, stunned. Everything had happened so fast. As I watched, I decided that I needed to help too, so, I dropped my things and put myself right in the midst of the mess! I got pushed up against the side door and my elbow hit the button for the basement. The elevator doors closed, the man doing the punching, punched me in the face twice. It hurt!!! I didn't like this side of violence! Candi managed to make it through the fight without getting punched. The elevator descended to the subbasement and we all piled out into a little room. Nobody was around. The man who had been doing all the punching was the last one out of the elevator and reaches into his back pocket and looks at me dead in the eye and says, "I'm going to kill you." He looked at Candi and said, "I'm going to kill you," he looked at Sophie and said, "I'm going to kill you," I knew this guy wasn't kidding. Again I prayed these words, "Lord, please help!"

As soon as the words left my heart, the man extended his hand to me and said, "I'd like you to accept my apology." I was stunned. We were all stunned as he continued to hold out his hand to us. Finally, Candi said, "I'm not shaking your hand!" We all got back into the elevator with this guy. There was peace as we ascended to our floor. Not a word was spoken on the ride up. I think we were all still in shock. When we had gotten back into our apartment, I told them that I had prayed. This answer to prayer still didn't cause me to repent.

Again, the Lord had answered a small prayer from a lost girl, little did I know what He was doing until hindsight. He was wooing me unto Himself, showing me He was Faithful to His Word and to His Name. Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting Love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” My family continued to pray for my salvation.

Another night, after snorting crystal meth, Candi and I walked from the club to 7-11 to buy cigarettes. There was a man sitting on the ground outside the door to the store. He had long blonde, filthy hair and very blue eyes. Candi and I were stunned to see him crying, so we asked him what was wrong. He was holding a note in his hand from someone (it seemed like it was from a Christian although I don't remember all that it said) It also had a pin of an angel attached to it. We sat and talked with him and when I looked into his eyes, all I could think of was Jesus. It seemed as if Candi was just as interested in talking with the man as I was. She went in and bought him another bottle of vodka and then we all sat on the ground around the corner.

I continued to notice that every time I looked into the man's eyes, I felt like I was looking in Jesus' eyes. It was strange, his eyes were so gentle and kind and filled with tears. The feeling I had while being near him was one I have never experienced with a stranger in my entire life. I never wanted to leave him, I wanted to go where ever he went. And I remember saying these things in my heart. Then he said some things to me, that I still wonder about to this day, I guess we had been talking about our eyebrows, we both had shaved some off and then put black pencil on to make them higher and more defined. He looked at me and said, "you are going to grow your eyebrows back." I said, "no I'm not." He said, "yes you are." I said, "no, I can tell you for a fact that I'm not!" He said, "yes you are." It was such a funny little thing to go back and forth about but he was certain when he said it to me, I found it kind of funny. Then, a little more into the conversation he looked at me and said, "you are going to leave her." This time I didn't argue with him. I didn't understand why I didn't argue with him on this point. I wondered at his words. Needless to say, Candi was furious with me for not answering him.

Some time passed after that encounter, I don't know how long, maybe a few weeks or a few months. Candi and I were sitting in our apartment planning on going to the nightclub. Every night of the week we were at a different club. She was sitting across from me at the kitchen table and said, "Let's check out this new club tonight," while pointing to the brochure she had. I said, "No, every time I have gotten one of those brochures I get the worst feeling." It was a very strong sense that I should not go to that club for some reason, it was a sense of danger. She said "Well, we owe it to ourselves to check it out, to at least see who is there." I repeated my plea, "No, listen! Every time I've gotten one of those brochures I get the worst feeling!!" She said, "Well, then, let's just sit on the fence about it." Those words triggered something in me. The only time I had ever heard the term 'sit on the fence' was in church. They would always say, "Don't sit on the fence, you are either hot for Jesus or cold, but not lukewarm!"

So, as the words she said, penetrated my heart, something took place. I was sitting in my chair, and I sensed a presence enter the room. It was as if it was coming right for me. It was a strong presence unlike anything I had ever felt or experienced in my life. I was so scared. My heart began to pound as I said to Candi, "Do you feel that?" She said, "Feel what?" I turned toward the direction of where I felt it and held out my hand as if to stop it from coming toward me. My breathing was getting stronger and faster as I said to Candi, "You don't feel that?" She said, "Oh yeah (mockingly) I do feel it, it's warm." What I had felt was cold and I knew from that moment on I couldn't trust her. (Took me long enough!) I held out my hand toward it and began to say loudly, with everything in me, "In the Name of Jesus!!!!!! In the Name of Jesus!!!!!!! In the Name of Jesus!!!!!!" Candi got up from the table and put on her leather and said, "I'm outta here" and left! I got up from the table and prayed this prayer, "Lord, I don't know what You want, but I'm asking You to help me."

As soon as I prayed, another presence came into the room, this one was different from the first. This was an urgent, prompting and I heard in my heart, "Let's go!!! Let's go!!!!" It was an urgent plea, so I gathered myself and grabbed my hat and leather and went out the door. I walked down 3 flights of stairs out into the night. It was a Saturday night in Hollywood and the town was jumping. Just up the street was Hollywood Blvd. With cars full of gang members bumper to bumper. I was out in front of my apartment and prayed to the Lord, "Okay Lord, which way do You want me to go?" I wasn't sure what I was doing outside. Then, I felt a leading to turn toward the right, so, I walked up the hill to the corner and prayed the same prayer. Each time I would pray, I would get impressed to go in a certain direction. I realized I was really being led by the Lord. So I end up coming to an onramp onto the 101 freeway.

I stood at the entrance to the highway and said, "Which way do You want me to go?" Nothing, I didn't feel impressed to do anything, I turned and looked behind me and noticed a slope that went down into a dark ravine. The ravine was filled with bushes and trees and I turned around from it and thought to myself, “I don't want to go down there, there is probably someone sleeping down there.” So, I stood where I was for a minute or so, and then started to doubt it all. I started thinking that I was going crazy and that I had imagined it all. That is when I heard this, (in my spirit) "Brooke, Fear not, for I Am the Lord your God," I was now turned facing the slope. "Though you may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you shall fear no evil for My rod and My staff will comfort you."

There was a tiny little path that had led down the ivy filled slope, and I slowly inched my way down the slope. As I looked around, I realized that I wasn't scared. I also noticed that no one could see me down here either, so I just stood there not moving. Then, a gentle breeze blew by me. I thought of the Lord. Then I heard this, "Love is the most powerful Source in the universe." I was in awe of the words because I knew that my own mind would never conceive of thinking that way, it just wasn't the way I thought. My eyes focused on a tiny little tree about 15 feet away and I heard the words again, "Love is the most powerful Source in the universe." I had a yearning in me to be near the tree that my eyes were fixed on, so I managed my way to the tree. Once I was under the tree, I heard the words again, "Love is the most powerful Source in the universe."

I took one of the leaves from the tree in my hand and noticed that it was shaped like a heart, in fact every leaf on the tree was shaped as a heart!!!!! I began to weep. I said to the Lord, "Okay....Love is the most powerful Source in the universe....what about Candi?" I heard a very loud,"NO!!!!" Just then, I felt like there was somebody down in the ravine with me, it hadn't felt that way before. It was as if a man was standing behind me. I was paralyzed with fear. I tried to turn around to see if someone was behind me but I couldn't even turn my head to look because I was so scared. In my mind’s eye, it seemed like a man with a knife getting ready to stab me. My head was swirling and my mind was confused. An overwhelming temptation came to run out of there as fast as I could. I felt like I was going to lose my mind. And that is when I came to my fork in the road. I had to decide who I was going to live for: Candi or Jesus. It took everything within me to choose and I chose with all of my heart and all of my soul and said, "Nnnnnnnoooooooooo.....Love is the most powerful Source in the universe, Love is the most powerful Source in the universe, Love is the most powerful Source in the universe." The presence left. I had made my decision to follow Jesus.

After my experience at the tree, I went back to my apartment to find Candi standing at the place in our apartment that had many occult artifacts, it was also known as the altar. She was burning incense and wearing my necklace. The incense was pouring out into the hallway. She saw me as I sat down at the top of the stairs, not really knowing what the next step was, all I knew is that I had had a conversation with God. I knew I had to leave but I didn't know how and the strange part was, I wanted to leave. I had never before wanted to leave her, she had been my life. So she came out into the hallway and is asking me where I'd been. I wouldn't talk to her and I refused to come in. She was very attentive to me and sat down in the hallway trying to persuade me to come in. I refused for a while but became so tired I consented, however, I slept out in the living room.

Candi sat next to me furiously writing a note to me. I would doze off and wake up with a startle and there she sat, writing. I tried to ignore everything she said because I didn't trust her anymore.

The next morning, I packed a suitcase and she drove me to the airport and I tried to leave her. The problem was I had no money and didn't even know my parents phone # because they had moved from Michigan to South Carolina. So, I ended up going back home with her. There was a definite break between us and we both knew it but she continued to pursue me. I soon began refusing to go to the clubs with her, which infuriated her because we were known as a team and she never liked to do anything alone.

One night, Candi and I went to the grocery store about 2 in the morning, we liked to shop at night, in fact it seemed like everything we did was at night! So we had finished shopping and came out of store and there was a group of Mexican guys standing around. They worked at the store. Candi walked over to them. She spoke to them in such a low tone I couldn't hear her although I was standing right there. The guys she spoke to, looked at me while she was speaking. I felt very uncomfortable and didn't understand what was happening. As soon as we turn toward the parking lot we encounter a street guy with a “story.” It was often we would encounter street people with a story of this or that and so we would just give them some change or tell them we didn't have any and walk on, but tonight was different. This man was noticeably faking an accent. He said he needed a ride to the bus station to get a suitcase out of a locker. Then he pulled out a wad of money and flips through the bills. (Seems to me if he had money like that why was he asking us for a ride.) I was planning on going right on past him as we usually did but Candi engaged him in conversation.

The man said "You must be a Christian." I immediately blurted out, "Yes, how did you know?" He said, "Cause if you weren't you wouldn't have listened to my story." Then he pulled out a small piece of paper with this on it, d-o-n b-r-o (my last name starts d-o-n and my first name starts b-r-o) I was getting scared. He said, "I'm looking for the don brown motel." We both told him we hadn't heard of it. Then Candi tells me to go take the groceries to the car. I was stunned as to why she would tell me to do that. She never sent me away alone or ever engaged strangers in conversation, she was very street smart. She was going to help this guy look for the motel in the yellow pages. So, I took the grocery cart to the dark parking lot, my heart was pounding because I felt like she was up to something, none of it made any sense. After getting to the car, I glanced over at them and they were looking down at the yellow pages. I noticed that she was speaking to him about something and gesturing with her hand. This went on for a while, so I pulled the car up to the curb and she was still looking down at the yellow pages with this guy and still talking and gesturing with her hand.

I was very afraid while I sat and waited in the car. All I could do in my mind was repeat the Words, "Love is the Most Powerful Source in the universe." Candi had told me once about her Dad being one of seven sons of a Sicilian family. She had told me that her Dad’s brothers were in the Mafia. She had told me the story of how she had met her Dad’s brothers for the first time at his funeral. They hadn't known about her because her Dad had never divorced his first wife but had faked a wedding to her Mom by having a cousin pose as a minister. So up until the day of the funeral, the brothers never knew of Candi, but when they met her they couldn't deny the family resemblance. She told me that they pulled her aside at the funeral and told her that they couldn't deny she was his daughter and said that if there was ever anything she ever needed or wanted all she had to do was let them know.

The street guy and Candi walked over to the car. She got into the front passenger side and he walked around the car and started to open the passenger door behind me! Then Candi states, "Oh, he's coming with us." I said very sternly, "Oh no he's not!!!!!!" So he is standing there with the door half open, waiting for her to tell him what to do. I said, "There is no way we are driving this guy anywhere!" So she says, "Sorry man." The man shuts the door and we go home. When we got home, I told Brent (Candi's ex-boyfriend who was still in her life). He says to me, "Why didn't you let the guy go with you?" I couldn't believe my ears!!! Brent and Candi were the most street smart people I knew. They were always so cautious of people and taught me, "Trust no one!!!" And now, both of them were being exactly opposite of their normal character. I had known them both for about six years now and I knew something was wrong with the way they were behaving. I was really scared and felt very alone.

A few nights later, the phone rang, I answered it and Brent asked for Candi and also asked if we were coming by later that evening. I told him we were. Then he said, "Watch out for the Mexicans." I said, "What?" He repeated himself, "Watch out for the Mexicans." "What is that supposed to mean?" I asked. He wouldn't answer me but said, "Put Candi on the phone." So I did. That night, on our way to his house, we came to the stop sign near our apartment and about 15 Mexican guys surround the car they were yelling and touching the car. I turned the corner and came to the next stop sign and again the car was surrounded with young Mexican guys yelling waving their arms at me. I had no idea what was going on and so Candi yells at me to go, so I stepped on the gas and pulled out into traffic. I was stunned. All that went through my mind was how Brent had told me to watch out for the Mexicans. I was very scared and I didn't trust Candi or Brent. But Candi still pretended to be with me but I could sense clearly she was against me, I would notice her talking quietly with Brent and others and when I came around she would stop talking. She had never done this to me before. I felt very alone and very scared. A few days later, as this battle continued, Candi and I went for a drive to Malibu. She was really making an effort to win me back and I was becoming confused.

We pulled over to buy some cigarettes. She went into the store, as I waited. I looked over to my left and saw an older black man. He looked homeless. He came up to the car and started to spray the windshield and wipe it with a newspaper. I wouldn't have minded if he had asked me to do that, but he didn't, so I was infuriated!!! I sat watching him while he smudged my windshield, then he went to the other side of the front windshield and smudged it some more. Then he came around to my side again to receive his payment!!! I wasn't pleased but didn't want any trouble, so, I cracked the window and gave him a few coins. Candi opened the passenger door and got in. Just then, the man looked right at me and pointed, and said with a stern voice, "You know what you need to be doing!" The words hit my heart like a knife and pierced it, and immediately, Candi snarls, "Don't listen to him!!!" Wow!!!!! I was absolutely amazed!!!!! Here is this perfect stranger who says one thing to me, and her reaction to his words showed me that the Lord had spoken through that stranger and that the devil was speaking through her. It was his voice through her commanding me not to listen to the Voice of the Lord!!!!! I knew from that moment on I had to get out and get out soon!!! Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is Living, and Powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The rest of that day didn't go well between us because my heart had heard the Lord and I wanted to obey Him. It was either the next day or day after that I made my decision to call home. I sat in front of the phone, nervous and wringing my hands. What was I going to say?? My parents had taken a stand against the way I lived and we didn't have much of a relationship, yet, I knew I could call and they would help me. So when Candi was out, I picked up the phone. My mom answered. "Mom?" I said. "Can I come home?" "Sure, how long do you want to stay?" She asked. "No, Mom, I mean can I come home? I think my life is in danger." Immediately my mom knew she had to act quickly. A few years earlier my mom and dad had received a word of knowledge concerning me and it was this, "If Brooke tells you she wants out, you need to act immediately!!!" So my mom had remembered this and proceeded to call all of her praying friends. "Pray!!!!... Brooke is coming home!!!" So the Body of Christ began to pray for me. Then my dad called my brother in California who lived two hours from me, he explained the danger and my brother willingly accepted the challenge to drive into Hollywood. He brought with him an ex-police officer, who was carrying a gun, my sister Rachel and her fiancé, Tim. My sister and her fiancé were pulled out of Calvary Chapel Bible College, in Twin Peaks to come along for the journey into Hollywood. Rachel had gotten her whole school to pray for me months earlier. So my mom calls me back and tells me that my brother and sister and two others were coming.

I frantically began to pack. In my room, lying next to my bed, was an illegal, loaded, assault rifle. Brent had given it to us for protection, but now I was very aware of it. That morning, for the first time in our relationship, Candi had been violent toward me. All my suitcases were in the living room when Candi walked in. "Where do you think you are going?" I had determined not to say a word to her. "Who is coming to pick you up?" She asked. "You aren't taking the car anywhere" she stated with authority. I just stayed quiet. I was scared but calm. The phone rang, I ran to it and quickly answered it. My brother was on our street. (It had been a few hours since I had called my mom.) He and my sister were going to remain in the Bronco because Candi knew what they looked like. So I buzzed the ex-police officer and my sister’s fiancé Tim, into the building and they knocked at the door. As soon as I opened it, I began handing them suitcases. They took them quickly (it was amazing that two men I had never met before risked their lives for me). Candi was demanding, "Who are you? Then she asked me, "Who are these people?" She had been taken off guard. It had all happened so quickly she didn't have time to do much. I got out safely and into the Bronco and she walked out with something in her hand. It was a statue of Baby Jesus that I had wanted to give to my Mom but never did, she threw it into my open window and said, "Don't forget to take this!!" That was the last time I ever saw her.

I was so very fragile and broken. I had been in such deep darkness for so long, that coming into the Light was a slow and delicate process. My life had been directed by a woman who had delved into witchcraft and had read the satan bible. I had been her prisoner. But now, for the first time, I had been released from the prison of my sinful life, and I was brought into the Light. It took time to heal and allow the Lord to restore what the enemy had destroyed. Colossians 1:12-14: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom, we have been set free through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

A few weeks after being in South Carolina, I was reading the Bible but wasn't able to understand it. I read this scripture, “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’” Matthew 16:24 I actually thought that I had to literally pick up a cross. Which I did! I hadn't wanted to do it but because I didn't understand what it was really saying, I figured I had to do it. So I made a cross out of my sister’s walking sticks and carried it on my back down the street of the small town that I had just come to. Needless to say, a neighbor called the police and I was then arrested and taken to the police station. At the police station they questioned me regarding my name, but because the scripture said, deny yourself, I wouldn't tell them my name. So they took me to be evaluated and then put me in the state mental institution (for two weeks). I was put in the worst wing and with the help of the Lord made it through those tough days. I was so new to everything and just out of a world of great darkness that I trusted no one. When I read the Bible, all I would read was the red words that Jesus spoke. I didn't trust anything else. Isaiah 42:3: A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment and truth.

A few months later, after daily continuance in the Word of God, I went to a women's Aglow meeting. The woman that spoke asked if anyone would like prayer for anything. I thought, “Sure I could use some prayer” so, I walked up to the front (I was the only one) and the speaker came toward me with her hands outstretched, she hugged me and began praying in the Spirit. I began to cry, then I began to weep, then I began to wail. She was still hugging me and wouldn't let me go, all I wanted to do was hold onto my stomach because it hurt so much from the pain. The only thing I could do was wail. Every breath coming out of me was an agonizing wail. All the pain of the years of sexual abuse, and the betrayal of the one I thought had loved me. It all came out that evening in that little town in South Carolina. All the ladies gathered around me praying in the Spirit and waiting for the Lord to finish the work He was doing inside of me. It was around 1/2 hour and I was in so much pain all I could do was hold my stomach and cry very loudly. Inside of myself, I was crying out to Jesus, knowing He was the Only One Who could get me out of the pain I was in, then, I felt something leave my body. It was as if Candi had left my body. (That is the only way I can describe it.) Something left me!!!! And in its place was a great peace. I have never been the same since. John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Jesus set me free from idolatry, homosexuality, witchcraft, drugs, alcohol. Never to return again. I also am not on medicine anymore, for depression. Jesus my Lord, has paid the price for my freedom and He has gently and faithfully healed my broken heart. Through His Word and forgiveness, He has enabled me to forgive those who have wounded me. Matthew 6:14-15: If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, you Father will not forgive your sins.

Coming to the cross of Jesus Christ has been the ultimate factor of my change of life. At the cross, I died with Him. My sin was put upon Him. He has forgiven me and He has taken my punishment. When God raised Jesus up, the new Brooke was given new life!!!! I asked God to give me His Holy Spirit. He has baptized me with His Spirit and has enabled me to understand His Word. His Holy Spirit continues to give me courage so that I am able to share Jesus with people. I want to share His Love with the world!!! No one is too far gone for His Tender Mercy. Will you pray for Candi and Brent to come to know Jesus? It has now been 9 years (in May 2005) since the Lord brought me unto Himself.

My hope and desire is that others would come to know His Love, His Power, and His deliverance from strongholds of sin. HE IS THE ONE WHO SETS PEOPLE FREE!!!!!!

Praise the Name of the Lord Jesus!!!!!!!!!

This story that the Lord has given me is a story that could happen in your life or a life of someone you know who needs God's forgiveness. God doesn't have any favorites, His heart is that all men would come to know His Love. You may have read this story and maybe you have never given your heart and life to Jesus. Maybe you have experienced some of the same pain that I have. If you would like Jesus to fill your heart and life you can pray this prayer, and He will. The secret to the effectiveness of this prayer is that you pray it with all of your heart.

"Father, thank You for sending Jesus to earth to become human. Thank You Jesus, for Your willingness to come to earth even though You knew that men would reject You and kill You. Thank You, for giving all that You are for me. Thank You for laying down Your Life on the cross for me, a sinner. Thank You, Father, for raising up Jesus from the dead. Father, I have sinned against You and against others, I have gone my own way. But now, Father God, I lay my life down at Your feet. I ask that You would take my broken heart and life and give me a brand new one. I ask that You would forgive me for sinning against You and wash all of my sins away with Your Blood that You shed. I ask that You would come and live inside of Me. You are welcome in my heart. I ask Lord, that You would give me strength to lay down the sins that I have held onto. I believe that You, Jesus, are the Lord and I surrender my all to you. Thank You for Your Life in exchange for mine. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

If you prayed this prayer, you are now one of God's children!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! The Bible says that the angels rejoice in heaven over one sinner that repents. There are a few important things you need to do now.

1. Tell someone that you believe in Jesus.

2. Ask the Lord to put you in the right church. (You want one that teaches from the Bible.)

3. Get a Bible that you can read and understand and find a Bible study group. You want to surround yourself with other believers who will encourage you as well as hold you accountable.

4. When you begin to read your Bible, look for the Character of God as you read....remember you have just begun the most awesome relationship of your life!!!!

Here is a personal note: I began reading the Bible in the book of John.

Brooke

Please feel free to email me. Jesus4givessin@aol.com

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