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Spiritual Warfare Forum: spiritual guidance

by Catherine Frakas 18 Oct 2002

spiritual guidance QUESTION from svm on December 29, 2002 I married a man six years ago who is from a different cultural background than I am. After our wedding, his expectations of me changed so much that after a year of trying to meet his demands, I could no longer stand to live with him and we separated in 1998. Since that time, I have been living alone with my two children in a town four hours away from the city he lives in, attempting to maintain a weekend only relationship with him. He has been supporting us financially the entire time.
Throughout the marriage, I have suffered immensely, and lost everything.
One night while I was sleeping next to my husband during a weekend visit, I felt a spirit attempt to enter my body. It was a sensation that I had never felt before, but it was one that I could not mistake. I told it to go to where its loved ones were waiting for it and it left me.
My husband and I continued on in our tumultuous relationship for years. This year, I finally had enough of the fighting and decided that I wanted to get a divorce. My feelings for him had left me completely. I decided after giving it one final last try in August which foiled again, that the marriage was over and I no longer wanted to stay in this painful situation. The following week, I met a very nice man who was divorced with two children and looked like someone who could potentially be a future partner for me. We spent two weeks talking on the phone almost every night for hours at a time before we went out on our first and last date.
The Monday after our date, I was sexually harassed by someone at my work, which has never happened to me before. I reported the incident to my supervisor and either she was not very supportive or I was not very good at communicating the incident , but we ended out getting into an argument about the incident and I went to human resources with my complaint.
That week, a friend handed me a printout of a document called spiritual warfare from the internet, an issue we had never discussed before.
The following Saturday, under the stress due to my failed marriage, the extreme tension at work, confusion about the new love interest, and serious arguments with my mother at home, I had a nervous breakdown. I was committed to two different hospitals over a ten day period.
While I was at the hospitals, I recognized that virtually all the patients there were struggling with spirituality in some form. For some reason, the patients in the first hospital looked toward me as some kind of leader. All I did for them while I was there was pray for them and give them love and understanding whenever I saw them in pain. There were times I forgot about my own situation because there was nothing I could do about it while I was locked up, so I focused on doing what I could to help them.
When I was released from the hospitals, the doctor diagnosed me with a life-long mental illness that would require that I take heavy a antipsychotic medication for the rest of my life. My family was very attached to the belief that I would die if I got off the medication.
When I realized that I could not speak properly, chew, see or feel anything while taking the drug, an experimental new antipsychotic, I realized the drugs were killing me. So, I checked into a hotel for three days while I detoxified in order to avoid interference from my family.
I prayed continually during these times, for myself and for others. I felt when people prayed for me, even when I had no information to lead me to think that they were. I felt evil attack me on several occasions, especially when I was in the hotel. On one incident, I felt a sensation that started in the middle of my back and went all the way up my spine and out through the top of my head which terrified me and nearly led me to another breakdown. With the help of a friend from the hospital who I called on the phone while I was detoxifying, I made it through the night without any major injuries or outbursts that would get me committed back into the hospital.
Since I have been off the drugs, I have returned to my regular self but my life has fallen apart. My husband took our son to the city to live with him, insisting that he will not return him to me and that I must remain in our marriage. I was fired from my job, and my husband has threatened with taking my car if I decide to divorce him. I don't have a job in the city, I don't want to take my other child out of school in the middle of the school year to move down there, and I am afraid I can't afford an apartment in the city by myself. I am afraid that if I move in with my husband, he will drive me crazy or abuse me again and that I will be trapped.
Because of all the conjunctions that have happened during this period, I believe that a spiritual power is clearly directing what is happening to me and I also recognize that God has sent many people to help me get through it. I know God loves me and that I am special to Him. I have faith, but I am afraid of making the wrong decision, so I am wavering back and forth between two options.
I am afraid of moving back into my husband's house, but I can not bear to sit by and allow him to keep my son away from me. I also recognize that my husband does not make a great father figure and that my son needs me.
Please send me some prayers or any help that you can think of that might help me to clarify what I need to do in this situation and help me recognize what God wants me to do.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 31, 2002 Dear Svm:
I am sorry that all these things are coming into your life. We will be in prayer for you.
There are two promises that God makes to us. Since God is not a liar we KNOW that He will keep these promises, but we must have faith that He will keep the promises.
The first is a passage from 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
No matter what temptations we have, God WILL give us the strength to overcome them IF we allow Him to help us.
The second passage related more directly to your situation:

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
He God is telling us that not all things will be good, we will have tribulations in our lives, but all the bad things and all the good things work together for an ultimate good.
In otherwords, when life gives us a lemon, let God make lemonade out of it.
Remember these promises, that no matter how bad things get, if you keep your faith, God will bring you out of these experiences for an ultimate good.
As for specific advice on the particulars of your life situation you need to contact a local priest, religious, or catholic counselor who can act as a Spiritual Director. Before advice can be given in specifics one needs to know the full story and the full context of what is happening. That is not possible on a forum like this one.
Catholic Charities usually offers counseling on a sliding-scale basis.
On the custody issues and marital issues you need to contact an attorney. Your husband CANNOT take away your car, for example, if a judge says you are to have the car.
It is critically important to protect your rights by contacting an attorney.
The local Legal Aid Society may take your case. They charge on a sliding scale.
If you are abused do not hesitate to find a Batterd Woman's Shelter.
You may pray some of the prayer in our Catalog linked below, especially Hedge Prayers of Protection.
We will be in prayer for you.
God loves you.

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