After listening to Jan Markell’s Radio broadcast today, the Lord opened my eyes and clearly showed me why I have suffered with what my neurologist calls “Night Terrors” for over 40 years.
Before I describe to the reader how these terrors manifest in my life, I am posting Jan’s show which is entitled “The Prime Time Occult Invasion.”
Listen to Jan, Jill and Eric as they discuss this Occult Invasion:
The Prime Time Occult Invasion <click here to hear the show
I’m taking the reader back in time to my early childhood years. Most know that I was brought up in a Jewish home. My father had been raised Orthodox, but my mother had been raised secular (although Jewish) and it was decided that we would not be an Orthodox Jewish family.
I attended a Conservative synagogue in Bethesda, MD. As a family, we really only attended services during the High Holidays – Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. We did celebrate the Passover in our family each year. I saw so much joy in my father’s face when we celebrated holidays. I remember watching him as he read Hebrew fluently. He had a glow about his face that was seldom there. I loved watching him.
It was decided that I would be the one girl in the family to be confirmed in the synagogue. My older sisters had never learned anything about our heritage or about the Old Testament. My brother was Bar Mitzvah’d and I was confirmed. My sisters and brother are all atheists to this day.
The Search for Jesus
As a very young girl, I prayed to God every night. I had not been told much about Him, but I knew that He was there. I inherently knew that He cared about all of us. And so I prayed for others in my family. I prayed that the ongoing mistreatment by my family would stop. It never did, so I started asking God to help me not to be so sad. And I asked Him to help me understand who Jesus was.
The Woman’s Voice in the Night
My quest to know who Jesus really was began at a very young age. My piano teacher was a Christian. I had Christian friends. I was even allowed to go to church clubs on some Wednesday nights with my friends.
When I was around six or seven years old, when my parents would go out and I was left at home with my older sisters, I became very frightened. My sisters mistreated me and I knew that they were in no way watching over me; so when I would get into bed and turn out the light, I would be gripped by a sense of fear – really terrifying fear.
I began to hear a woman’s voice – more like a whisper – calling my name. I’d open my eyes and think “That’s just one of my sisters” but when I would get up to investigate, both of my sisters were fast asleep. A dream, I thought…..just a dream.
The woman calling me became a nightly occurrence. I increased my praying to God. I asked him to take that voice away but it continued.
When I was in third grade, I woke up one morning completely dressed for school. Even my shoes were on. I kept wondering how such a thing could happen. I didn’t tell my parents because they would have just laughed at me. And I definitely did not want my sisters to know.
Fast Forward to Early Twenties
I worked in VA and lived in a beautiful high-rise apartment building. I believe I was about 24 when the most bizarre thing happened. I had gone to bed – lights out. The next thing I know, I am standing in the lobby of this building and a very sweet old man had his hands on my shoulders. He was saying “Are you okay? You were walking around with your eyes open but you could not hear me, and I don’t think you could see me.”
I quickly made my way to the elevator and went up to my floor. I saw my apartment door was wide open. I went in and closed and locked the door and sat down. I was trembling.
Things got worse. Friends from my floor would tell me that they heard me screaming during the night. It was not just humiliating – it was terrifying. I began to fear falling asleep. Some nights I stayed up until 3 or 4:00 until I just drifted off wherever I was sitting. My job was getting more and more difficult for me because of the lack of sleep.
I Got Married
I had warned my husband to be that I was suffering with these night problems. After we were married, these events intensified. They became a nightly occurrence. But now I was running and hurting myself. The reader must understand that during these “Terrors” I remember nothing. Sometimes a shadowy glimpse of the prior night’s horror would come into my mind – kind of like when you try to remember a dream but it leaves and you’re left with nothing.
I always knew the next morning that something awful had happened during the night. I knew it because I could hardly think – my brain was in a fog and it was so difficult to concentrate.
When children came, I didn’t want them to be scared if I yelled out during the terror. When I found out for sure that I had screamed and ran during the night, I would say to the kids “Mommy was acting silly last night, did you hear?” Then we would all laugh, but I was dying inside.
Moving to the Townhouse
We were all so happy to have our first “home.” But I had not thought about that very tall flight of stairs. Before this we had lived in apartments. The very first night in the town house I had a major terror attack. I fell down the stairs and broke a finger. The pain brought me out of the attack and I just sat on the couch and cried.
We had to go to the ER because the finger was the size of a big pickle. I was so embarrassed when they asked what happened. I told them that I caught it in the sliding glass door. I couldn’t bring myself to tell how it really happened. By this time, I was certain that I was losing my mind. Remember, this was five years before I was born again.
After a tragedy in our family, I was led to Jesus by a Christian couple. I was so overjoyed to finally know who Jesus really was. It made sense to me why I had such a longing for so many years to understand who He really was.
The couple went to a Charismatic church and took me with them the next Sunday. I remember them having a group over to their home. They asked me about myself and I told them how I had searched for Jesus most of my life. But I also told them how I was plagued with these terrifying events in the night. Many of the group were certain that this was demonic “oppression.” They laid hands on me and prayed for God’s protection. They prayed that God would hedge me about to protect me from the evil which happened in the night.
But the night terrors continued. I began to sleep downstairs on the couch.
A different church
I had left the Charismatic church and found another. It was an independent church, but much like a Baptist church.
I attended a lady’s Sunday School class which I loved so much. One Sunday they asked for prayer requests. I had never told a doctor or my parents or anyone other then my husband and children about my terrors. But that morning I told this group of Christian ladies about the years of suffering with these night events. I began to sob. They all prayed for me and the teacher asked me to stay after the Sunday school was over.
She told me that she thought that I should be in a sleep study at NIH (National Institutes of Health). I told her that a doctor must refer a person to become eligible to go to NIH. She said for me to call them and that she would pray for me all during that day. I told her that I would.
I called NIH the next day and spoke directly to the Neurologist who headed their sleep lab. He wanted me to come into their study for a week. I did, and they picked up one of my terrors on the EEG machine. This doctor told me that what was happening to me came from my adrenal gland emitting an enormous amount of adrenaline for an unknown reason. He gave me a medicine but I could not take it. It made me feel so tired and I had responsibilities. I stayed home with my kids and also did day care to help with the bills. I could not be groggy when watching all of the children.
Some ladies from my church pleaded with me to come on a retreat with them. I was so nervous about being in a strange setting – nervous that I would have a terror in the night. They finally talked me into coming. I had one of the worst terrors ever on that retreat. I felt so sorry for the older ladies – I was told that they were terribly frightened when I ran and screamed, and as usual, I did not remember anything about it. I was just thankful that none of them had a heart attack! That was the first and the last lady’s retreat I ever attended.
The Spiritual side of my terrors
While listening to Jan’s radio broadcast, I remembered the Christian group who truly believed that I was being attacked by Satan in the night.
The Lord has brought me a long way in my life, despite the mistreatment by my family and so many other things. Jesus gave me the privilege of leading my father to the Throne of Grace the night of his death. I can’t wait to see my dad in heaven.
I do believe that these terrors were meant to shut me down – to keep me from being used by the Lord Jesus for His glory. But I also believe that God did not take away these terrors for His reasons. Perhaps they kept me closer and more dependent on Him.
The Lord has taken my life, which has been filled with so many griefs, and He has made it into something beautiful.
But that’s what He does with His people, isn’t it?
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you” (Psalm 91:1-7). (Emphasis added)