She came to us because the neighbors she was living with couldn’t control her. She ran away from them many times and through their desperation they sought help from the court system. When the stood before the judge they testified to their inability to control her behavior and to some of her erratic behavior. What they didn’t tell the judge was that she talks to a “friend” that nobody else could see.
The girl with the “imaginary friend” came to us much like many of the others. She was disrespectful, untrusting, and a little wild. What was unique about her was indeed the fact that she didn’t come alone. There was in fact an “imaginary friend” that came with her, but as we quickly learned this entity was no friend to her. Instead, this “person” was something we had never encountered before.
Not being trained pastors, our experiences with the spiritual world only consisted of encounters with the Holy Spirit. We knew there was more to the spiritual realm than what we had personally experienced, but we quickly learned we were encountering something we had only heard about. As we began to explore who this “person” really was, it became apparent that it was a demonic presence that revealed itself to our girl and told her to do things she shouldn’t. It’s name was Maria and it was anything but a friend.
When asked how long Maria had been in our girl’s life, her response was, ever since her step-father introduced her to a ouija board. They had played with the ouija many times and each time Maria appeared. Finally, she began to appear apart from the ouija. It was bad enough that her step-father exposed her to the ouija, but soon after he told his wife that he was leaving and gave her the option to choose him or her daughter. They both couldn’t go with him. The mom chose her husband instead of her own daughter.
It was then that Maria began to take control of our girl. She told her to disobey the kind family that took her in. She woke her up in the middle of the night and told her to misbehave. To leave. To steal. To lie. To cheat. These behaviors continued after she came to us. The other girls in the home testified to the conversations that went on between our girl and Maria. The parents relayed the poor and bizarre behavior. After hearing and investigating we began to pray.
Because of our lack of experience in this area of our faith, we literally googled “how to cast out a demon”. We were not cut out for this. We were in over our heads. We were untrained, unprepared, and unqualified. But after consulting with our pastoral friends we realized we were wrong about ourselves. It was true that we didn’t have the experience, but we were qualified and able. Not on our own of course, but because of the power of Jesus in us. He qualified us. He empowered us. And through Him and Him only, the demon left.
Our girl is now a different person. And not just because Maria is no longer in her life. But because the same power that was in us, is now in her. In place of the mother who abandoned her, Jesus lives. In place of the “imaginary friend” who controlled her, Jesus lives. The girl who was out of control, has given control, to the One who is in control.