Chapter 6: The Man from the Vision
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”–James 4:7
Feeling like a complete failure, I braced myself to return home yet again with another tragic tale of woe. So we set off back to Oklahoma–me in severe back pain, with my cat in the back seat and my mom driving my car. When I returned back home, I had high hopes that my visit to the chiropractor would solve all the problems with my back. However, that was not to be. As it turned out, I received an incorrect alignment from the chiropractor, and then later found out that this misalignment had led to a myriad of other muscular skeletal issues. It was like another nightmare domino effect.
In the coming months, I gradually began to develop repetitive stress disorder in my arms and wrists, severe carpel tunnel, painful plantar fasciatis, and problems with my knees and ankle joints. There was one day in particular I remember not being able to pull up my own pants after having used the restroom. Defeated, I cried out in pain. Calling for my mother to help me put on my pants…well it broke something in me that day. It was at this point that I surrendered to my new life, one of ailments and sickness. I couldn’t work a desk job, and I couldn’t work outside due to the heat problems I had. I had no idea how I was going to earn a living. There I was, back again at my mom’s house. I was grateful I had my mother, but I couldn’t understand why my life was a total nightmare.
I had no idea why my life seemed to be falling apart, and I felt like humpy dumpty—unsure if things would ever improve. I wondered at the time, if I had been cursed. Not sure if I even fully believed in curses, I still suspected that the abuse in my childhood had somehow created an inexorable path of pain, one that saddled me with some sort of evil residue if you will.
I would of course later discover that I had been cursed by my ex-boyfriend James. The way I view this is that I wasn’t resisting the devil, so there was an entrance for the demonic in my life. Whether or not it was the curse, or my own increasing interaction in the occult that took me away from the Lord’s protection…that I don’t know. I’m by no means an expert on this matter.
However, having no clue about how Satan attacks us, I had no way of protecting myself or asking God for protection. If I had been a strong Christian then, I would not have feared the devil. However, I was mired in occult practices and very much at the mercy of the evil one due to my own reluctance to fully turn towards the Lord.
I did feel like something was ‘off’ with my life, but I just kept trying to fix the issues myself. I didn’t know how curses worked, but both times I tried to move had resulted in catastrophes, and I feared there was something strange about that. I didn’t dwell on this too much then, but it was a nagging fear in the back of my mind telling me I would never be happy, and that the deep pain and childhood secrets I carried would haunt me forever.
Yet, through all this despair there was a tiny bit of light during this time. It was here in the darkest hour of my life so far, that I received a surprise email from a man named Tommy.
I would only later recognize that this was a FALSE light, and only meant to further draw me into the occult.
You see, due to the depression I had decided to try out the whole social media phenomenon. It was new to me at that time, and I was curious to see if it would help me feel better about my life. I found that I was able to use the computer once a day if I was very careful and wore my carpel tunnel gloves. Hoping I could connect with others and find some comfort this way, I started my first online profile on what was called Myspace. . One day, a man sent me a message out of the blue. I had no clue who he was, but he was super cute. His message simply said that he was drawn to my smile, and that his name was Tommy from North Carolina coast. He seemed nice enough, and it was very flattering to be singled out by such a handsome guy. I was fascinated that he lived what I regarded as a ‘fantasy coastal life’. He was a surfer guy, and had pictures on his page of himself.. golden skin, bare chested ..surfing in the ocean. This was all so exotic compared to where I lived, a landlocked state. I had never known anyone who surfed, and it was very alluring to me. I remember feeling surprised that Tommy had curly sand brown hair and a beard, and for a moment I remembered the vision yet I don’t know why this realization didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks.
I didn’t notice he looked exactly like the face in my vision…
Over the next few months, we became long-distance friends. We were both creative souls, and we connected through our shared worldviews. We would message each other frequently, and talk on the phone about all kinds of things. He was employed as a plumber and electrician, and would spend his free time surfing, reading, and writing poetry. Basically, he was everything I always wanted in a man.
“Jen, There’s no such thing as a man who works with his hands, and writes poetry,” my parents would say.
This of course, just motivated me to find that exact type of man even more. I also remember Tommy told me he read the Bible and prayed. Not since childhood had I heard a man talk about things like that, and I remember feeling a bit jarred hearing him speak those words. I wondered if he was like all the judgmental people I knew long ago, the ones who called me a slut for wearing a mini-skirt in middle school, the ones who locked me in a church room and wouldn’t let me come out until I learned to speak in tongues. I didn’t want anything to do with that again. All the people in my friend group identified as agnostic, and even if they believed in Jesus they didn’t read the Bible or go to church. That was our parent’s religion. Ours was going to be better we said. We were far too cool and above the social confines of religion.
This was the mindset of my friends at that time–viewing Jesus as mainstream and a part of the overall mind control of the government. So, meeting this man who was so ‘cool’..yet read the Bible…it was strange for me. But we kept growing closer, and finding out we had many similarities and views in common. Tommy had a dysfunctional childhood, same as mine. We connected in this vulnerable space, and our bond deepened. Then, one day over the phone he told me that he had purchased a plane ticket to visit me. My reaction was one of shock and excitement, as I was secretly hoping that he would do something romantic like this. However, as soon as we got off the phone I began to panic.
Almost immediately, my anxiety kicked in and I started to worry I wasn’t skinny enough for him. I had seen all these girls in bikinis on his Myspace page, and I didn’t have a bikini body then because of all the spinal injuries. I had never felt so self-conscious before with a guy. At the time, I thought it must be because I liked him so much, and that this was all part of getting to know someone new. Determined to conquer this anxiety, I set about to find a cute outfit for his visit, one that would hide the weight I gained on my midsection. However, try as I might nothing seemed good enough to wear for the thought of Tommy’s visit. I began distressing over shoes and every little detail. I couldn’t seem to reassure myself that I was his ‘type’ or that I was good enough for this man. I just couldn’t relax.
A few days before he was set to visit, we were talking on the phone when out of the blue Tommy brought up the topic of bisexuality. Earlier in our online friendship, I had confessed to him that I had messed around with other women in college, and wasn’t really sure if I was bisexual or not..but that I mostly liked men. He was concerned about this, because he thought it meant I would cheat on him..and so he started asking me lots of questions about it. I tried to reassure him that wasn’t the case at all, but he told me that he felt nervous because his ex-wife had cheated on him. Feeling very uncomfortable at this point already, it didn’t help matters any when he began to talk about the Bible and insist that we should read it together.
Well, as you can imagine this freaked me out back then. I felt judged and began to get deeply triggered that Tommy thought I was damaged goods and needed ‘saving’. I already thought I knew God, so I didn’t appreciate him pushing his beliefs on me.
I worked up the courage to tell him I didn’t want him to visit me. He was really upset, but understanding of my feelings. Feeling triggered, I also told him we shouldn’t talk for a while, and I was surprised that he was so kind about this and that he respected my wishes.
After hanging up the phone, I was strangely relieved and I felt a heavy burden lift. This interaction with Tommy would prove to be a very important piece of Satan’s deception for me in later years.
Because Tommy was the only professing Christian I knew, I believed everything he said and did was representative of Jesus. Tommy didn’t do anything wrong by witnessing to me, but I would learn that there’s a counterfeit Christianity that has deceived millions of people, and that not everyone who claims the Lord is a true follower of Christ. This realization would change everything for me, and would help me understand the hypocrisy of some professing believers.
The Devil will send people into your life disguised as believers.