Lost And Found

lostandfound

Something was off. I felt it in my spirit. Like smoke suddenly filled my nostrils and I smelled the evil I had come to believe didn’t really exist. I got lost down the long and winding road seeking truth and fell into a rabbit hole of deception. “Kumbaya” finally brought me to the Lord but by default. And I’m grateful that the veil was torn. The real one and not the one the spiritualist speak of in the jargony fluff of their so-called enlightenment. I saw the light AND the darkness and the darkness that masqueraded as light that I paraded around in unknowingly. I wandered so far away from Jesus and found myself in the arms of the enemy who was vying for my soul. And it started out so innocently. And with the purest of intentions. And I get now why they say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I was seeking truth. Desperate to satisfy this underlying insatiable hunger for the truth of why I am here and how to perfect myself and find true happiness. So I started voraciously reading. Consuming everything I thought would provide me a clue and ultimately the key to the kingdom. Unfortunately at the time, The Bible was the shelf-help and not part of the self-help. I let Oprah tell me which book to read so I could have “my best life now.” I wanted to know “the secret” and ultimately came to find the real secret was that they wanted to keep my best life now from me and wanted to keep a secret the very thing that would truly set me free. Jesus and the Bible. Both containing the truth they didn’t really want me to know. The “they” would be the evil forces spiritually at play and they wanted me on their team badly. They still do. This battle against good and evil is a for-real thing and I was blinded by this reality because I was living in a fantasy.

I’ve always been a sensitive soul. I am highly empathetic and feel things at the deepest levels. It often felt like a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Certain things were too hard to be with and so I found a safe bubble that no one could pop. Inside I had my silver lining pen with unicorns eating popsicles and if anything tried to put graffiti on my walls I would draw over it with rainbows until it colored me happy. I was delusional and I thought I was enlightened. That’s how deceptive it is. And it’s gradual. Those books led to seminars that left me with such a high on possibility, I had to keep following the yellow brick road. And I did. For over a decade. Because I always came up empty. I was a personal growth junkie and I had grown tired of trying to “fix” myself and become something or someone that would appease and satisfy myself and the masses. And that’s where Jesus steps in. Through my invitation alone. Because that’s how he works. He’d always been there. The entire time. Through the pain and the strife. The yodeling echoes of “Where are you God” when things wouldn’t go my way. Deafening his eardrums because he was always standing right beside me. Patiently waiting for his divine intervention. And he was intervening on my behalf. Always. It maybe didn’t look like I wanted to, but he was. And that leads me to that moment of surrender that completely changed me and my experience of him forever.

I had attended yet another personal growth, self-help workshop. I’ll not mention which one.

It was a week-long event and had chosen to only do the intro which was the first three days. It was amazing. I had such unbelievable breakthroughs that I had to stay and experience the rest of the week despite the weird vibes I had started picking up on. There was a battle going on in that setting and in my spirit. Part of me wanted so badly the breakthroughs because it was greatly feeding my addiction to them. The other part of me was saying something is off, this is kinda creepy, we need to get the hell out of here.

I’ll spare all the details and include the ones which matter most. Evil was present. I saw it. Felt it. Experienced it first hand. It was staring me in the face and for the first time, I allowed myself to see it. To witness through the spirit of discernment that was so strong it fought for me and I fled that scene.

For a week after I had suffered from PTSD. I was frightened to my core and filled with anxiety and confusion. I was afraid to sleep at night because I thought I wouldn’t wake up. I had to stay overnight with friends because I was so terrified. I refused to go to seek medical help for fear they would give me medication or put me in a straight jacket. So I suffered until I cried out to the one who ends all suffering.

I was at my best friend’s house and she was afraid for me. I was afraid for myself. Thought I was losing my mind and worried I’d never recover from the hell that had unleashed its fury on me. We were both in tears caught up in our fears and in a moment of grace and desperation, I spotted a Cross nailed to her wall and I hit my knees and cried out for Jesus from the depths of my soul. I asked him to please help me. Please help me, Jesus. And he did. Instantly. It still brings me to tears even as I write this because that is how unmistakably, palpably, holy REAL he is. That dark spirit that was upon me broke off of me instantly. I was set free. By grace. By God. By the way, the truth and the only thing that has ever given me my life back. I’m changed. Never the same. I only needed one book and one teacher. And I’m so grateful for that encounter. Even the evil one that led me back to him. I knew him as a little girl and accepted him into my heart when I was nine years old and allowed the world to paint a different picture of him. One that wasn’t as vivid and lovely as I remembered. And so I went astray and it paved the way for my homecoming. I just had to knock on the door and he was there with open arms. Reminding me that I’m still his little girl. The daughter of a King. And that his Kingdom is for his glory and his story. And that he holds the key. He sets us free. And who the Son sets free is free indeed. And I’m so grateful that I am free indeed. We only need one book. And one teacher. And it is my divine and holy calling to share with others the Gospel of his Grace…

~Audra Erwin

The “High on Life” Coach

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Audra Erwin High on  Life Coach