A picture fell off the wall, cabinets opened and closed by themselves, and the doorbell rang with no one there. Because of these paranormal activities, Isela’s mom believed an enemy had cast a spell on them. She fought it by resorting to tarot cards and palm readers.
Naturally, Isela followed her mom’s example.
“I wanted to seek answers and I needed guidance of some sort,” she says on a CBN video. “I figured, ‘Hey, this is the way to go. This is the way to get answers.’”
But she never found the answer. Instead, she fell into a trap that occasioned despondency.
“I wanted to end my life. I thought what am I living for? What do I have to live for?” she says. “I was lost and I turned to drugs.”
She started drinking heavily and wandered the streets at night with nowhere to sleep.
She wanted to gain control of her life through witchcraft, but more and more fear and loathing took over.
“I knew that the devil was with me this whole time,” Isela says. “I felt him. I felt a negative presence. As weird as it sounds, I wanted the negative presence as weird as it sounds. I thrived on the negative. I thrived on the dark. I was so consumed, and I was in such a bad place. That was all I knew.”
Eventually, Isela kicked the drug habit and had a child. She moved in with her boyfriend whom she would later marry.
If she hoped to leave the darkness behind, she was mistaken. The spirits who had legitimate claim to her soul followed her — and began to afflict her daughter.
“She just randomly out of nowhere started pointing from where she was sitting and she was saying, ‘Monster. The monster close to me. The monster touched my feet.’
The little girl would squirm and wriggle to try to get away from the chimera. If Isela had tolerated or even yearned for a darkness in her life, her daughter was a different story.
“I was just anxious, and I couldn’t sleep at night,” she says.
The demonic presence intensified. Handprints showed up on her daughter’s arms and legs. Then bite marks.
Isela didn’t believe in God, but she turned to an aunt and uncle who were Christian ministers.
Her aunt came over and prayed over the house.
“I felt an overwhelming sense of peace,” she says. “I felt incredible, a very peaceful feeling.”
But more paranormal activity occurred. As the aunt was praying, a candle in the other room exploded.
“Something had caused that, something that didn’t like the prayer, something that didn’t like the good things that were going on in that house.”
Next time, her uncle came and led her in the sinner’s prayer.
After praying, “I just knew this is something to be. Things began to change right away in the following weeks.”
For the first time in her life, the evil presence and the paranormal activity ceased. God filled her with the Holy Spirit and indescribable joy, she says.
“At that moment, I knew that this was something that was happening and it was supernatural and to hear that it was a gift from God. I thought He loves me that much He loves me that much to give me this gift. Why do I deserve this after everything that I’ve been through and experienced, and all of the bad things I have ever done?
“It’s just an amazing feeling. It’s an overwhelming feeling of love and peace and joy, and just everything that’s good. I feel completely new. I never thought I could be different. I was in the dark for so long and just to have that light upon me is the most gratifying and the most amazing and beautiful feeling in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Danny O’Neil studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.