Coming Out Of Darkness

Recently, I wrote a post called A Sad Little Insight Into The Demonic. In that, I related some of my own personal encounters and experiences with evil spirits prior to my salvation in the Lord.

Here, I want to continue that topic and write a little more about what God did for me, to allow me to come out of that darkness.

By the time I was a young adult, just out of high school, I was already neck-deep in dark things. I was suicidal, depressed, isolated, and constantly angry in my spirit. It was at first, a mostly un-directed rage. I liked few, loved less, and mostly, just resisted the urge to find an easy way out of the pain.

But something happened when I was eighteen: Marilyn Manson released Antichrist Superstar. I had never really heard of him before; I only saw a music video for his cover of Sweet Dreams on MTV one time. Then, a few months later, I heard Beautiful People on the radio. I didn’t know what he was all about, but I liked the sound and decided to find out more.

It came to be, that in time, after getting into his music, and other bands like his, that I realized how to more accurately direct my rage. Ultimately, I was mad at God. But mad is such a small word for what I felt. Full on vitriol is closer to the truth. Some of it was undoubtedly fed or influenced by the music I was listening to, and much was caused by my own sinful rebellion. But there was another factor at play. An invisible hand, if you will, working in the shadows of my life. Eventually, at some point, I was enthralled to an evil spirit. Much can be said and written about that time, but I want to jump ahead and, in fulfilling the purpose of this post, focus on and talk about what God did to bring me out.

It was not an immediate, one and done action. There were steps and stages, if you will, on the road out.

When I was twenty, I began working at a local elementary school as the second shift custodian. It was a small school and didn’t need more than one man to do the job. After or around 6:00pm, every night, the school pretty much went empty except for me and my demons.

Almost every night, I brought a portable CD player with me, and, being by myself, played my music loud, usually singing and screaming right along with it. I had a plethora of angry, depressing music. Some metal, some industrial, some hard rock, all dark. Much, and I mean much of it was very anti-christian.

One particular night, just about a month before my 21st birthday, I was in an especially low mood. This mood was more sad than angry. I didn’t have my portable CD player, however. So instead, I sang out loud lyrics to songs I knew well and had memorized over the years.

As I went into one particular classroom, I found myself singing a song by the band Blue October from their album Consent to Treatment called The Answer. It’s a sad, depressing song about a man who realizes he’s unwanted by someone he thought he loved. A part from all of that, however, there is a bridge in it that I personally related to. It goes like this:

“There’s Paxil, Welbutrin, and Zoloft–it’s proven–no side effects, but the rest go unnamed because they worked like a charm on me…” I related to such a sentiment because I had been through the psychiatric world myself, and had been on Paxil, and other, different anti-depressants.

So, I finished singing that song, and as I did, I sank even lower into my own misery.

Next, I decided to sing The Minute of Decay from the album Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson. But before I did a sidenote: Having read his autobrography A Long, Hard Road Out of Hell, I knew that when he recorded that song, he had been in the studio with a pile of coke in front of him. I also knew, from his own confession, that he had recorded the first four lines while crying. One might not be able to tell at first, but once one knows, it’s easy to hear the tears in his voice.

So, with that knowledge in hand, when I began to sing the first few lines, I attempted to imitate that broken voice sound that comes when someone is crying. It opens like this:

“There’s not much left to love. Too tired today to hate. I feel the empty. I feel the minute of decay.”

It continues:

“The minute that it’s born, it begins to die. I’d love to just give in, I’d love to like this lie”.

The next lines are as follows:

“I’ve been to black and back. I’ve whited out my name. A lack of hope, a lack of pain, a lack of anything, to say.”

As I was cleaning the room, I noticed I didn’t have a certain cleaner on my cart that I needed. So I stopped doing what I was doing, and left the classroom to go back to the storeroom and get the supply. That’s when it happened.

I was still singing the song. As I walked away from the classroom, a sudden, terrible cold seized me. My body temp plunged in an unnatural way. At the same time, my voice became coarse, almost strangled, like I couldn’t speak. Oddly though, I couldn’t stop singing the song, and I couldn’t stop myself from walking down the hall.

Next, something threw my head back and I stared up at the ceiling as I continued on. A part of my mind was still operational. I was a bit panicked because I didn’t know what was going on and I knew I couldn’t control myself. As the lyrics of the song rasped from my mouth, as my body, frozen and uncontrolled, stumbled down the hall, I next found, against my conscious will, with my head as far back as it could go, to the point of pain, my arms being lifted up to heaven. I was quite a sight, I imagine.

There I was, at close to 8:00 at night, in an elementary school, at work, shambling down the hall uncontrollably in a spiritual agony, feeling like I was descending into madness, perhaps even dying.

Step after a step, word after word, all the while, arching back in my pain, feeling like all the life I had within me was bleeding out, I kept walking.

Right at the end of the hall, into the open door of the storeroom, I whispered the last line of the song:

“I looked ahead and saw a world that’s dead. I guess that I am, I guess that I am, too.”

Then immediately I crumbled, and fell crashing to the floor in violent, torrential sobs. My glasses went flying, and I just laid there in a ball, agonizing cries of pain pouring out of me, again, no surprises here, uncontrollably.

And then, almost as sudden as it began, it was over. I sat up, wiped my eyes, found my glasses, and felt fine, like what had just happened hadn’t even. I remember, I asked myself “what in the world was that?”, but except for the memory, it was like nothing at all had occurred.

Through a process I’m not going to detail here, I eventually spoke with a Christian friend of mine that night and told him all that had happened, in great detail. He listened, and then, at the end, said “You should pray about it. Ask God; He knows what happened.”

I left work early that night. I went home, went into a hot shower, thinking about praying. A battle raged within me. I had never prayed in my life. I was on the verge of becoming physically ill. There was this constant pressure to not pray. The more I thought about praying, the more nauseated I became.

Finally, I knelt down next to my bed, with my unread, never opened Bible given to me by my friend’s youth pastor, and prayed,

“Jesus, what happened to me?”

I picked up my Bible and began reading. I read for some time, until I came to Job 16:20. When I did, the Holy Spirit fell on me, and I knew, I had received my answer.

Job 16:20,

20. My friends scorn me, but mine eye poureth tears out to God.

That night, earlier in the evening, the Lord Jesus had personally, privately, of His own accord and in His own love and mercy, exorcised the evil spirit that had, for so long, been in my life. Since I was fifteen, as a matter of fact.

It would be another three years before I was fully ready to repent and give my life wholly over to God. Like I said, steps and stages. But this step, this stage, was my first on the road out of darkness and into light.


~ by votivesoul on 11/04/2012.

2 Responses to “Coming Out Of Darkness”

  1. As a former trad. satanist, I can relate completely to this testimony, brother. Jesus is good!

    • Amen. Even though we don’t really know each other, to read what you wrote causes a swelling of gratitude in my heart to our Great God and Father for what He has done for you in Christ Jesus. Bless the Lord. Thank you for sharing.

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Mark Showalter's Blog

Always seeking to know God more

Theo-sophical Ruminations

A collage of theological and philosophical musings

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