This story goes back to Asheville, NC, to just before the night God healed me. I'm not sure if you remember, but before making the decision to go to Asheville, God had begun giving me very specific pictures or visions for this city. I noticed there was a very consistent "theme" for Asheville and the visions all seemed to show some sort of hiding...behind masks, behind life, behind the hurts. I wrote them down (around 13 in all) and had my pages ready to go with space underneath each one, room for the details of what God would reveal. There were very specific faces, scenes, patterns and those very important letters "JR". One particular image that stood out to me was that of a pale, dark haired boy hiding behind a wall, lying down or dying - devoid of life. Even though I really didn't want to go on this trip, I was excited to see how God would play the story out for each picture, this one in particular.
The minute my feet hit the ground, I was told there was going to be a drum circle and that we were going. Of course we were (insert panicked face). I also soon learned that the drum circle was a time when downtown Asheville came together to listen to the drummers play and dance in a circle in the center of the city. It was a tradition and a time that many people looked forward too. Let's just say I was not one of them. I'm sure there are a lot of varying opinions about drum circles, but I can tell you my thoughts - it made me nervous and it very much had a feeling of darkness associated with it. And then that feeling was confirmed when I found out it's origin; it was intended to usher in the presence of Satan. So, no wonder it made me nervous! Maybe 10 years ago, I wouldn't have given it a second thought - I would have jumped in and enjoyed the lively music and the crowd of people dancing around. But, over the years, what God has slowly begun doing in my life has given me a very keen awareness of when there is darkness present. And where there is darkness, there is an unseen battle going on between light and dark. So my first thought was - seriously, why does all the crazy stuff happen when I show up?!? But I was ready, well, let's be honest, kind of ready. God obviously wanted me here and I was going to make my time count.
The night was not a disappointment. Kyle, his video guy, my mom, dad, our friend Mary and I all went out and hit the streets of Asheville, heading toward the drum circle. As we were walking, Kyle saw someone across the street that looked very intriguing. In a game of cat and mouse (you'll laugh, later), we would motion for him to come to us and he would motion for us to come to him. I honestly don't remember who made the first move, but I do know that the very first person we encountered that night was a Satanist who thought he was part cat, part human. In an amazing story that still leaves me in awe, he was also the the exact dark-haired boy that God had shown me in a vision a week earlier - his name was Charles, we called him Kitten.
Excited because we knew this was who we were supposed to talk to, and not one to shy away from a difficult conversation, Kyle convinced him to cross the street and began to engage in a dialogue with him, learning what a LaVeyan Satanist was and what had gotten him heading in that direction. We learned that, at some point, he was wounded by the church and, instead of turning to Jesus, he went running in the opposite direction. As the conversation went deeper, Kyle asked me to share my vision with him. With shock on his face and in his voice, he confirmed that what God had shown me was 100% spot- on. He was hiding and, in fact, had just spent the night behind a wall by a dumpster, hiding from the police. The battle between God and Satan continued, both in heaven and on earth....thirty minutes later he had refused to back down, but we had the opportunity to love on someone who had obviously been deeply hurt in the past. Maybe, just maybe, it was the start to healing his wounded heart...
There is a real battle going on and I think most of us don't realize it. Or maybe we just don't want to? Daily. It's going on daily. Every single minute of every single day, a battle in the air above us is waging and it's honestly easier to ignore than to acknowledge. That is until it swoops down just a little bit to hit us right where we are. Then it feels real and that's when it hurts. I learned about it in Flint and I told myself I would never forget. But then I did forget...at least until something came up that reminded me and this encounter with Kitten was was of those moments.
Just recently I had another moment where God gave me a vivid reminder. This time it was in the form of something visual. There was a small group of us praying along a river in Ohio for the strongholds in the region...praying against the darkness that seemed to be rearing its ugly head as light was pressing in. I had stepped to the side to pray by myself and felt prompted by the warmth of the sun to open my eyes and look into the river. It was then that God showed me an image I couldn't pull my eyes from. I believe at that very moment God gave me a glimpse of the battle going on between light and dark, good and evil...the battle for the souls of those walking on this earth. It was mesmerizing, first light would swirl around and be the victor and then from behind darkness would overtake the light in an ugly rippling mess. Over and over the water tossed between light and dark, the sky in the reflection all around it. I knew without a doubt I was watching the spiritual battle that is taking place above us. It was intense, frustrating and beautiful all at the same time. But the coolest thing to me was that the last scene of the picture God showed me was a strong, solid light - victorious over the dark.
Later that night, Kyle told the story of an encounter with a girl who was questioning whether or not God was real. Should she really trust Him with her life? He asked her to pray and seek the Holy Spirit to show her something. What the Holy Spirit showed her that day was exactly what I saw that day - the victorious solid light of Jesus Christ. I don't have confirmation that it was at the exact same time, but I know it was around the same time and in my heart I believe it was at exactly the same time. I believe God gave me insight to the spiritual battle for one young girl's soul and, that day, the light won when she accepted Christ.
The day we talked to Kitten didn't really feel like a victory to me, it felt like maybe darkness was continuing to win in this boy's soul. I realize now, however, that it was just in that moment. I have no doubt that God is running daily after that boy Charles who is hiding behind a wall, behind the identity of a cat. That one day the victory in the battle I watched in the water will also be for Kitten.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." - John 10:10
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12
The following are videos from the encounter with Kitten...they're unedited and longish (about 15 minutes each) - but it gives some interesting insight to an encounter with a LaVeyan Satanist.