Chapter 32: ‘Hawaii’s Healing Vortexes’
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”—Romans 1:21-23
Arriving back at Tommy’s house, my emotions felt a little shaky so I decided to have an honest talk with him before we exited the car. I turned to him and point-blank asked if he was romantically interested in me. I somehow needed to know how he felt in order to figure out my own feelings–which I now know is an unhealthy love addiction pattern. Had I not been so consumed with wanting his affections, then I would have clearly seen we weren’t compatible in any way, shape, or form. Yet because I wasn’t ready to accept that, I decided to press him for a declaration of his feelings. This of course did not go well. Convinced that I was doing the right thing, I turned to him and said, “Tommy, I would really like to know how you feel about me and where you want this to go between us.“ He looked at me blankly and did not reply.
Humiliated, I got out of the car in a huff and went into the house. I decided to resort to my trusty coping skill at that time—getting drunk. It would take years for the Lord to fully convict me about drinking, and at that time it was the only thing that helped me process all the changes in my life. I grabbed the wine Tommy had bought, and poured myself a glass without asking. Then I decided to wash my hair and relax. I would show him, I thought. I was going to enjoy my vacation regardless of how he was acting. After washing up, I dried and styled my hair, and put on a cute dress. Even though I was stuck at this house in the middle of nowhere, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from having a relaxing time.
When I emerged from the room in my cute new dress and with my hair down and styled, Ryan and Tommy both looked up. Bruce smiled in appreciation as well. I felt better somehow when men appreciated my appearance, as if I the playing field was leveled and I could get my needs better met. My beauty was somehow a source of personal power, a way to make men treat me like a queen, a ‘goddess’. I still felt this was what a woman was supposed to be. I had not yet been shown that my beauty had become an idol, and that I was using it in a way that did not honor God. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking pretty, but I was confusing my attractiveness with my identity. Beauty became an idol for me, a way to gain power and take back control.
For the next couple of hours, Tommy and Ryan seemed to dote on me and pay me special attention. I decided to sit outside and drink my wine in solitude. I wanted to distance myself from Tommy, and I needed some personal space. I hadn’t quite figured out my plan, but I was considering leaving the next morning to get a motel room. Noticing my antisocial behavior, Tommy came outside and asked me if I wanted more wine or anything to eat. He seemed eager to please me, but I was still angry at his rejection. My emotions were so confusing that all I knew to do was to look pretty and be dismissive. Somehow that strategy had been drummed into my head by the world. My plan was to make him want me, then be cold and distant. This was all on an emotional level of course, and it wasn’t some planned strategy. I just knew that I felt very triggered being there, and I was going to reassert my authority any way I could.
The rest of the evening went by without incident. Nothing much happened with Ryan or Tommy, and I had decided that I didn’t want to flirt with anyone at this point. When Ryan went home, Tommy hopped in the shower to wind down for bed. I began to get nervous about having insomnia again, and I didn’t much feel like sleeping next to Tommy at this point. Alone with Bruce in the living room, I decided to approach him about sleeping on the couch that evening. Bruce curtly replied that it was fine if I slept on the couch for a few days, but that he was going to have some friends stay over that weekend. I was a bit surprised that Tommy hadn’t told me anything about that, but mostly relieved I could sleep on the couch for that night. Feeling hopeful that perhaps I would sleep better tonight, I began to wind down for bed. However, when Tommy got out of the shower and discovered that Bruce was helping me get the couch ready for sleeping, he became noticeably agitated. After Bruce had gone to his room, Tommy told me that I had gone over his head by asking his roommate for permission to sleep on the couch. Bewildered, I sat there wondering how sleeping on the couch had become such a huge dilemma, but I decided to shrug it off and apologize for causing any trouble. I was also tipsy and exhausted at this point in the evening, and generally feeling depressed that nothing had gone well with this trip. Deciding that this would be my last night at Tommy’s house, I resolved to put my hurt feelings on the backburner and keep the peace. Tommy sat down with me in the living room, and at first it seemed like he wanted to smooth things over as well. We started to talk about neutral topics, but then out of nowhere Tommy’s tone began to change. His gaze hardened, and he began to philosophize about how he felt the whole Hawaii experience was a spiritual lesson for me. Tommy wanted to teach me all about Mother Hawaii, and how ‘She’ has lessons for us all. He felt Hawaii wanted me to learn about Self-Love, and that our relationship was meant to teach me this lesson. Well, at this point I’d had just about enough rejection for one evening, so this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
I also didn’t want to hear another word about the pantheistic worldview of attributing spiritual properties to the state of Hawaii, and how it was a ‘She’. The way Tommy was talking sounded just like the ‘goddess worship’ cult from which I had just emerged. God was about to show me that the idea of ‘self-love’ wasn’t biblical at all. I didn’t need to learn to love myself more, I just needed to be transformed by the Lord and let God renew me into a new creation. Self-Love is just another form of idolatry, yet the world markets this as the solution to all that ails humanity.
After listening to a lecture about self-esteem from Tommy, I was pretty upset. I couldn’t think of anything to say because my self respect was already really low at that point in my life, so in response to all the rejection I began to cry, which further humiliated me. I hated crying in front of people, because I felt so weak. I knew this was just some old trauma from childhood that kept me bottling up my feelings and afraid to let them out…but I still didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of my tears. However, I officially had enough of the head games, and there were no more words to say. All I could do was cry. I couldn’t believe he was lecturing me about self-love when all I wanted from him was a kiss—to be reassured of any feelings he had for me. How had this trip gone so wrong? I wondered.
Hoping for sleep that night, I tried to relax and forget where I was. I did manage to sleep a few hours, but I was still struggling with a strange hyped up nervous feeling that produced a constant state of vigilance that kept me from fully relaxing. By the next morning, I was starting to feel the cumulative effects of sleep deprivation. I thought crashing on the couch would solve the insomnia problem, but I didn’t sleep any better at all from the first night. I woke up before anyone else, so I decided to make some coffee and check my phone for messages.
Surprisingly, one of the women from my church had texted out of the blue saying she was praying for me. Feeling this was not a coincidence, I texted back to inform her that I was in Hawaii and that it wasn’t going well at all. She immediately texted back saying that she felt I was under attack for some reason, and that’s why she had been praying for me. Knowing exactly what she meant, I realized she was right. I thanked her for praying for me, and told her I would contact her soon. Knowing what I had to do, I started getting my things ready to leave the house. I had already had a bad feeling that there was some demonic energy in the house, but I didn’t know how to articulate that even to myself then. I just knew I had to get away so I could sleep and think clearly. I would later realize I was experiencing another attack of demonic oppression, and my cloudy thinking and insomnia was part of the warfare…all designed to confuse me and keep me from calling out to the Lord. I was still learning the schemes of the enemy at this point, and I did not understand the authority I now had as a child of God.
Just then, Tommy woke up and came into the kitchen for breakfast. Sensing that something was wrong, he asked me why I was acting strange. Realizing I had to tell him the truth, I cautiously explained that I was thinking about getting a hotel room for the rest of my stay. I told him I still really wanted to hang out, but that I felt it would be easier for me to sleep somewhere else. Seeing the angry look in his eyes, I stopped mid- sentence. Tommy looked out the window for a minute, turned to me and announced “I’m taking you to the beach today.” Surprised at his authoritative tone, but happy he was paying attention to me, I decided it couldn’t hurt if I spent the afternoon at the beach before getting a motel room. So, I donned my bathing suit and gathered my things. On the way to the ocean, Tommy told me that he hoped I would reconsider staying elsewhere and that maybe some time at the beach might help me relax. He still seemed very irritated with me in general though. This perplexed me, but at this point I was just happy to see the ocean so I tried to focus on that. Tommy dropped me off at the beach and announced that he would pick me up in a few hours since he still had to fix the water system back at the house. I decided that I would enjoy this time, and try to forget about all the stress between us.
Little did I know, but my time at the beach would turn out to be the only highlight of the entire trip. Things were about to get very dark, but this was a bit of joy even in the midst of what was about to happen.
The Hawaii coast was breathtaking, just the way I had hoped it would be. I spread out a blanket on the sand, and soaked up the sun. The ocean was too turbulent for actual swimming that day, and there a warning against the high tide. Even so, there were a few lone surfers who decided to brave the water. Sitting there watching them while eating my lunch, I felt the first bit of happiness since arriving in Hawaii. Feeling inspired that perhaps I could dip my toes in the water, I gingerly waded into the ocean. However, the waves were rougher than I thought and it knocked me down almost instantly. Laughing at myself for attempting to retain dignity while being knocked about by waves on the shore, I quickly exited the water. Even though I didn’t stay in the ocean long, I felt rejuvenated. When Tommy picked me up a few hours later I was definitely more relaxed. I no longer felt sleep deprived, and instead I felt a rush of vitality. Looking at me curiously, he asked if I’d enjoyed myself. I realized that I was smiling and happy for the first time since arriving, and that it had absolutely nothing to do with spending time with him.
“You still want to get a hotel room? He asked gruffly.
Cheered up somewhat by the tranquility of the ocean, I was surprised to find myself agreeing to stay another night. I thought since the day had been going surprisingly well, that maybe this was a turning point in the trip. Tommy seemed to want me to stay, so that felt nice to be wanted. I also rationalized that I would surely sleep well tonight after being so relaxed by my time by the ocean. Hearing my optimism, Tommy began to tell me all about the healing effects of mother Hawaii, and how ‘She’ brings up all our deep issues so we can let go of them. Being fresh out of the new-age and confused about all the abounding deceptions, I was initially willing to consider the concept of ‘sacred geothermal spots in the earth’–places that perhaps God had created to be charged with healing properties. At the time, that seemed like it could still fit within the Christian worldview.
However, I now know these ‘healing biomeridan spots’ are a demonic concept. Spiritual vortexes of healing are not of God. The Lord heals us if it is in His will, not because we seek a ‘divine energy spot’. Being near the ocean in general does lift our mood because of the negative ions, and this is good for our health. However, elevating the ocean or a geographic place on the earth to a spiritual vortex is definitely new-age thinking.
I also later learned that these ‘vortexes’ were places where ancient pagans considered to be sacred, and therefore conducted rituals and sacrifices to their ‘gods’. Many of these ‘vortexes’ were labeled as sacred due to belief that ‘higher beings’ had visited there once before. So, in effect these ‘sacred healing spots’ like Hawaii, Sedona, Mt. Shasta, Glastenbury, Stonehenge, etc…were in actuality places where heavy demonic energy had been channeled throughout history. So, the new age had repackaged that as ‘spiritual’ and ‘healthy’ for people. Lies, all Lies.
After my relaxing time at the beach, I was finally starting to feel happy about being in Hawaii. Maybe things could still work out, I thought. A sudden wave of happiness washed over me, and I turned to Tommy and touched his arm. “I’m really glad I’m here”, I said genuinely.
Still tense, he glanced at me through the corner of his eyes and studied my expression for a moment. “Good.” He replied.
A strange feeling of bliss seemed to wash over me that day, and I felt like I was my old self again. I should have recognized this as spiritual warfare, but it felt so positive and peaceful…so it wasn’t on my radar.
When we got back to the house, I asked Tommy if he would take a picture of me in my bathing suit and cute beach sarong. I wanted a keepsake of myself after all the weight I’d lost, and I hadn’t looked good in a bathing suit in a long time so I wanted to document this. Tommy began to smile for the first time that day, and happily obliged to be the photographer. Afterwards, I washed up to get all the sand off me. Bruce was gone for the day, and it was finally how I had imagined it would be—Tommy and I were alone and free to get to know each other again. Inspired by my improved mood, I decided to dress up nice for Tommy. Looking in the mirror, I noticed the humidity had brought out some natural waviness to my hair, and I stared at my glowing reflection with surprise. Maybe this could work out after all, I thought to myself. Maybe I was wrong about Tommy and Hawaii. Deciding to ignore the warning of the woman at church, I felt that I could turn this situation around if I tried hard enough.
When I was done getting washed up, Tommy had put on some music and was making me a special drink from a very expensive bottle of Tequila. He had picked some lemons from the tree outside, and he wanted to share a toast. Elated that we were finally connecting, I sat down with him on the front porch table. Enjoying each other for the first time, Tommy truly began to open up. He told me things I never knew, all about his childhood and being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. He told me that when he left the faith, his mother had disowned him. This deeply scarred him, and that coupled with his abusive father had created a lot of anger towards his childhood. Despite his negative experience with religion, Tommy kept trying to seek God. He showed me the book he was reading by a new-age author named Marianne Williamson, and he told me all about his spirit journeys at the sweat lodges. He told me that when I first met him all those years ago, that he was attending the Jehovah’s Witness church at that time. He was confused about who God was, and wanted desperately to find his faith.
I was shocked to hear the real story of Tommy’s life because all this time I had assumed he was a Christian. He professed to be a Christian, but I was about to discover that there are many false Christs in the world deceiving people. Tommy left behind the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but he was now following the books of Marianne Williamson and the idea of ‘all paths leading to heaven.’ This was the New Age view of who Jesus was and what He taught—another cult. I was about to get a crash course in this.
Just because someone claims to be a Christian, does not make them one. That was going to be my biggest lesson of this trip.