Note from Eric: I must have cried three or four times while reading this story. Linda rejected God at an early age and then lived through many years of what she describes as “hell on earth.” The faithful prayers of a man at work led her to know there was a way out. One day, she found the Way.
JESUS, GET ME OUT OF HERE
by Linda Laine
I grew up in a Buddhist religion.
When I was 15 I gave my life to Satan. I practiced black magic and later white magic (I thought it was good). I would like to add, for the benefit of those who just dabble, that when you open the door to the occult you open the door to an evil that only Jesus can shut.
When I became an adult I received my own Buddhist altar and became heavily involved with the new age movement. I was even teaching my daughter about these things. During this whole time no one ever shared the message of Christ with me until my 30’s.
I know this may seem hard to believe but I bare witness to this fact and I hope that anyone that reads this will become a little more aware of how their witnessing does make a difference. Just because you are born in America does not mean you have heard the message. I remember one thing, when I was living in Hollywood I was walking down the street and a young man, carrying a bag, walked down the street passing out miniature bibles and saying, “Jesus loves you.” I don’t know what happened to that bible and it was about 15 years later that I was saved, but I NEVER forgot that young man. I was never witnessed to again until 12 years later.
My life was in such a depressed state. I was suicidal and was hospitalized twice for severe depression. The group of people I called friends were users and being around them would suck the life out of you. My life had become so dark and depressed. It was like being sucked in to a black cloud and you don’t have the energy or will to even care if you get out or get help. I reached a point where I refused any more counseling or medication because I didn’t care if I got better. I finally reached a point becoming fully convinced that I had already lived my life, died and was in hell. Suicide attempts failed and reinforced my beliefs. I could not die because I was already dead.
One Monday morning, at work, an Army Colonel, [Colonel Murph,] approached me and said that he had thought about me and my daughter Sara over the weekend.
I said, “Oh?”
He replied, “Yes, I was in church and the two of you came to my mind and I just want you to know that the Lord has put a burden in my heart for both of you and I want you to know that I am praying for both of you.”
I was rather stunned and didn’t know how to respond. I kind of just let it go because it really didn’t mean anything to me.
At this time, having been battered and thrown out of my home, I was just beginning divorce proceedings from my brief but second marriage. I spent the next three years going back and forth to this man, dragging my daughter along with me.
Finally, on another rebound, he came to me saying his mother was dying and we ended up together again. She died and then his father’s cancer came back. He asked to move in to my house and asked if I would help take care of his father.
I said yes, so he moved to my house with his two teenage kids and his dying father. This was such a stressful time as I was taking care of all of them and working full time as well. This also turned out to be a rewarding time because it was the first time I ever talked to the real God, not my god.
Chuck (my husband’s father) had become so special to me and I shared a tenderness with him that I never had with my own father. One night I was talking to him about dying and he said he wasn’t afraid. He said he was going to be with Doris in heaven and then he dozed off to sleep. I cried as we held hands and I prayed. I said, “God, I don’t know if you can hear me from hell, but if you can please answer my prayer. I know I deserve to be here but Chuck doesn’t belong here. Please heal him or bring him home to You. I know I don’t deserve your ear but I hope you hear me and answer my prayer. No one should ever suffer like this.”
Two days later Chuck died there in my home. Two hours later my husband said he was ready to finalize our divorce and that he and his children were moving out and getting on with their life. He expressed his gratitude and walked out the door.
I was beyond devastated. That black hole just got blacker. I would sit in the corner in the dark holding my head, rocking back and forth and cry out in such agony. The torment I began experiencing was more horrible than anything imaginable. I would walk through the house screaming at God, “God, get me out of here! I don’t want to be here anymore! You took Chuck when I asked so I know you hear me! Now, get me out of here!”
My daughter was very much in the middle of all of this took care of me much as anyone would take care of any crazy person. I used to shake her and yell, “Don’t you understand, I just don’t care!!! I don’t care about you, I don’t care about work, I don’t care about this house, I just don’t care!!!” She got to the point of becoming stone faced when I spoke to her. Her emotions were gone.
One day at work, Colonel Murph called me into his office. I thought I was in trouble. It had been three years since he talked to me about Jesus. I walked into his office and he got up and shut the door. He walked back to his desk, sat down and began sobbing.
All I remember him telling me is this, “Linda, Jesus loves you so much. I have not stopped praying for you and Sara. I have prayed for both of you every day since the time I told you that the Lord had placed a burden in my heart for you two. The Lord loves you so much and I wish you could know just how much he loves you. He has such a good life planned for you and wants so much for you to believe in Him. Please, please trust Him.”
No one ever told me anything like this before. Frankly, at the time, I think I was more moved by his tears and sincerity. No one ever cried for me before.
I just want to add here, if the Lord has put it in your heart to pray for someone, please don’t stop. Their very life and eternal life may depend on it.
It was during this time, just a week or so before, I was flipping through the channels on TV. I stumbled upon TBN and I could not change the channel. As a matter of fact Murph mentioned TBN and specifically the Praise the Lord show. I very haughtily replied, I’ve heard of it and as a matter of fact I just started watching it. Very soon after this Murph moved to Alabama.
I continued to watch TBN and all I really remember is they kept talking about Jesus and the wonderful things He has done and continues to do. I left this station on all the time, even while I slept. At first I kept it on in the background in my room while I listened from my bathroom floor in the dark. Eventually, I started to sit in front of the TV.
I had no idea what they were talking about having never been around Christianity but I began to want to know this Jesus. I mostly remember Benny Hinn, with such a gentle spirit, holding his hands up to the camera and saying, Come on. It’s by faith…
I wanted so much to have faith that Jesus could heal my mind. Every time anyone said the sinner’s prayer I would cry and pray. I just wanted to know Jesus. I did this every day for about three months. Finally, one night I stood in front of my TV and saw a joy and peace I thought I would never have. Satan said to me, “That’s not real. I put that on to taunt you, to show you what you could of had but instead you gave your life to me. You’re in hell and you’re mine forever.”
My whole body froze and tears just ran down my face. Finally, I walked dazed to my living room and I remember thinking, “I can’t get out of here. I have no where to go. I can’t die, I can’t live, I’m stuck.” I told Satan, “I know I’m yours, I know I’m in hell, but I am not a willing participant anymore. I know this is your territory but I will defy you all the way. And if you want to cast me out of hell and into an eternal nothingness I will gladly go.”
Then I stood up in the middle of my living room, looked up crying and lifted my hands to heaven and screamed as loud as I could,
“JESUS, GET ME OUT OF HERE. I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE. I’M SORRY FOR WHATEVER IT IS THAT I HAVE DONE TO MAKE YOU SEND ME TO HELL. I AM SO SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME. JESUS, THEY SAID THAT IF I CALL ON YOU, YOU WOULD SAVE ME. THEY SAID THAT IF I CONFESS YOU AS LORD AND SAVIOR THAT YOU WOULD COME INTO MY LIFE. JESUS, GET ME OUT OF HERE, I BELIEVE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN SAVE ME. I BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD. I BELIEVE YOU DIED FOR ME AND WAS RAISED UP. I CONFESS WITH MY MOUTH THAT YOU ARE THE LORD AND I BELIEVE WITH MY WHOLE HEART. PLEASE, FORGIVE ME. PLEASE SAVE ME.”
Needless to say, by this time I was on the floor. I stopped crying, got up and sat down in the chair. I noticed something was different. I wasn’t laughing or filled with joy at that moment but what I noticed was that for the first time in my life the noise in my head stopped. All of the confusion was gone. It was just quiet. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Suddenly I heard a different voice than the one I had been listening to. He said, “He’s a liar.” I sat up and said, “What?” and He said again, “He’s a liar, everything he has told you is a lie.” I thought about it for a moment and said, “Wait a minute, if he’s a lie, then I’m not in hell. If he’s a lie, then I’m not already dead. If he’s a lie, then my life isn’t over, it’s just beginning.”
I stood up, angrier than I’ve ever been, I yelled, “Satan!!! You are a liar, everything you have taught me is a lie. I gave you my life as a child and it wasn’t my life to give you. I’m taking it back and it belongs to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You get out of my house, get out of my life, get out of my daughter’s life, get out of my job, my friends, my finances. You get out now, in the name of Jesus, you are no longer honored here or welcomed. OUT!!!
I sat back down dazed, or totally amazed is more like it. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. I immediately took vacation because I really needed time off. I had no idea what had happened to me. It wasn’t until about a month later that I realized I was saved.
I heard people talking about it but experiencing it was a whole other ball game. All I knew was I was not the same. I spent the whole morning standing in the kitchen, looking out the window to the sky and I kept singing the “Alleluia” song. It was all I knew. I just keep singing and crying. Finally my daughter came home. She asked if I needed anything and I called her to me. I just looked at her, started crying again, and said, “He’s alive!!! He’s alive!!!”
She asked, “Who’s alive?”
I said, “Jesus. Jesus is alive — He’s not dead, He’s not just a story or someone in history. He is really alive!!!”
She looked at me with a very puzzled look and said, “Sure mom, whatever!!!”
I told her, “Listen to me. If you never listen to anything else I say, listen and believe this, EVERYTHING I have taught you is a lie, EVERYTHING. I was so wrong and have lied to you all your life. What I said about Christians was wrong. What I taught you about crystals, psychics, spirits, ghosts, and master-teacher guides was a lie. The only truth is Jesus.”
She thought I really went over the deep end and asked to go back to her friend’s house. I spent every moment I could reading the bible. It was so exciting and every word seemed to come to life. The Lord ministered to me in such a marvelous way.
Shortly there after my daughter gave her life to Jesus and is such a blessing to me. She examined me carefully at first and saw that it wasn’t just a temporary thing or a fad. She saw a new mom.
Within a couple of months after being saved I had the chance to talk to Murph. I told him what happened and he truly rejoiced with his whole heart. He just kept saying, Praise the Lord, thank you Jesus. A few months later he went home to the Lord.
One more thing, about my Buddhist altar…
One day I was cleaning out all my “junk” which included digging up the crystals I had buried around my house. We went through and threw out everything, crystals, tarot cards, wands, books, stones, chimes, bells, candles, and everything else. I got to my altar in the closet and the Lord told me to leave it there. I questioned Him, thinking it wasn’t Him, but there was no doubt… it was Him. So I left it alone.
About three months later for days I kept hearing, “Not by power, not by might, but by My spirit.” I didn’t understand what He meant.
Then one day I was in my kitchen and the Lord said to me, “Recall the altar.”
I said, somewhat startled, “What?”
He said, “Recall the altar. Give it back.”
I told Him I would throw it away but He said to give it back. I told Him I would send it to my mom’s and again He said give it back. I told Him I didn’t know where to take it. He just said, “Take it back to where you received it!”
To make a long story short, I found the church in Dallas where it had come from. I called to find out when I could come and entered into a conversation with a man. After much debate I told him to tell me where to bring it or I’ll just throw it in the dumpster. He asked my name, I told him, and he told me his name. He just happened to be the man that was the head of the church in San Francisco, where I grew up, that taught me there was no Jesus Christ. He had been transferred to the Dallas headquarters. Well, bless God, I about fell out my chair. I knew it was the Lord.
I took the altar to him. As I started to park next to the only car in the parking lot, the Lord said, “No, not here.”
So I went all the way around and ended up parking nose to nose with this car. I got out of the car and as I approached the building I recognized the man immediately. He was talking to three other people who were evidently going to lunch. As they walked off, I introduced myself to him and he then tried to stop the other three people. I headed to my car and was at my trunk while the three people were getting in to their car in front of me.
He yelled to them, “Wait, don’t go. This is the lady I told you about.” They smiled and waved at me and proceeded to get in their car.
He yelled, “No. Wait. She is the one that wants to return her gohonzon. This is the lady I wanted you to see.”
They stood at their doors smiling, waving and congratulating me. They said they are so happy for me and hoped to get a chance to talk to me sometime.
He stomped his feet, waved his arms and said, “Don’t you hear me? Don’t you understand me? She’s bringing it BACK.”
They smiled, waved again, got in their car and drove away. We both just stood there. He as completely baffled and I was awe struck.
We went inside and asked many questions. He asked me if people came to my house and left literature.
I said no.
He asked if I had friends that were talking to me about Christianity.
I said, “You don’t understand, when I became a Christian, I lost every single one of my friends.”
He asked if I had a husband or boyfriend that converted me. I said no.
I finally told him, “You don’t understand, Jesus Christ Himself came into my living room in Grand Prairie, Texas and touched me.”
I was right, he didn’t understand. Then he asked me what religion I was. I told him I didn’t understand the question because I didn’t know what the religions were or what they meant. He asked if I was Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc. I kept answering no to all my choices.
He asked, “OK, then tell me what kind of church you attend.”
I said, “The kind that loves Jesus.”
I apologized for being so difficult but explained that I just didn’t understand. He said I must belong to something. I said, “Well, all I know is He’s alive and He came in to my living room and saved my life. I have read my bible and the only religion I found was the body of Christ and if I must belong to something I guess you could say I am a member of the body of Christ.”
Right at that moment the Lord said to me, “Not by power, not by might, but by My Spirit you were saved. Let this be your testimony.”
My life has never been the same!!! Praise the Lord!!! I thank the Lord Jesus for never forgetting me. I really was a horrible sinner yet He didn’t forget me or leave me behind. In spite of everything I have done, He has forgiven me. I’m still amazed and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks that He remembered me and saved me.
There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t share my testimony with someone. Jesus truly is the most precious thing I have. Without him I know that I am dead. It’s only because of Him that I have life and truly do have it more abundantly.