The following are excerpts from my memory journal. Although they weren’t actually written in a cute floral notebook, they are indeed truthful. Each one of these memories is an indelible mark on the walls of my mind…
For as long as I can remember, there has been a monster in my house. I am not really sure what type of monster it is, but I know when it shows up. Sometimes I can even see the monster on my Mommy and Daddy’s face. Something about them just doesn’t look the same. Then they start acting differently and I wonder if the monster is making them act that way. I didn’t think I was afraid of monsters until this one started showing up. I really hate it too so I hide in my room because I don’t want to see it. But when the monster leaves, they are back to normal and once again we are a loving family.
July 2, 1995
I’m too old to believe in monsters but now my little sister can see it. I try to reassure her that monsters aren’t real but she is still scared. It’s so evident that something evil is still showing up around here every day. My Mommy still acts strange when it shows up. I’m not sure if this evil thing is affecting my dad because he isn’t here anymore. Through my intellect and nosiness, I am going to get to the bottom of this. After all, I really need to know so that I can promise my baby sister that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
July 2, 2002
Over the past several years, I finally got it. Yes, it is a monster. Yes, it is evil. It’s a demon from the pit of hell. I am still a bit confused though because it doesn’t act like the monsters that I see on TV that are like it. I have since moved to another state so that I won’t have to deal with it. Now I feel kind of guilty because I left my baby sister to fight the demon alone. I pray that she’s ok. I wonder if she even understands what she is up against. God, please protect my sister and please kill the demon that resides in the house with her. Amen.
July 2, 2009
My sister is now older and she too understands what we are up against. It’s gotten really rough these last few years, but today God answered our prayers! I haven’t been this excited in a long time! I have been consciously, and subconsciously, battling this thing—this monster, this evil thing, this demon—for nearly all of my life. As an adult, I have been worn out on the battlefield and needing backup many days. But today, the one person that needed to jump in the battle stepped up to the frontline. My Mommy said, “I’m tired of being on these drugs.” It was at that moment that the monster started searching for a new place to stay…
October 24, 2011
That life-changing moment was nearly three and a half years ago and when I talk about it, my emotional response is still the same. That day, I immediately got on the phone and sought help. When I found The Women’s Treatment Center, they wanted to do a phone screening with her. She picked up the phone in the kitchen as I listened attentively in the bedroom. The exchange went something like this:
Q: “How long have you been using?”
A: “About 25 years.”
*The monster was pissed off as he grabbed his suitcase.*
Q: “What do you use?”
A: “Crack- Cocaine.”
*The monster shoved his chains of bondage in the suitcase.*
Q: “How often do you use?”
*The monster packed up his anger and depression.*
Q: “How much money do you spend to get high?”
A: “Whatever I have.”
*The monster grabbed all the rest of his junk (selfishness, pride, bitterness, greed, stubbornness, etc.) and stuffed it in his luggage.*
Q: “Are you ready to stop using?”
*The monster slammed his suitcase shut and stomped out of the house…NEVER to move in again!*
Today I write in my virtual journal not to alienate my mother or air all of her dirty laundry. Rather, I write that you too may overcome. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11 NIV) If you’re the daughter or sister or mother of the one who’s living with the monster, I say to you, STAND! “…And when you have done everything you could, you will be able to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13 ISV) I prayed for my mother for over 15 years without seeing ANY progress. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Be relentless in your pursuit! I am reminded of Jacob who wrestled with God throughout the night. I imagine from God’s response that He was tired of Jacob the next morning: “Let me go; its daybreak.” (Genesis 32:26a MSG) Jacob’s response: “I’m not letting you go ‘til you bless me.” (v. 26b) Seconds after that exchange, God blessed Jacob “right then and there” as it reads in the Message translation. And just like Jacob, I clung to God and got on His last nerves until He blessed that situation!
In addition to standing and praying, I FASTED. In Matthew, the disciples were trying to cast demons out a little boy when Jesus reminded them that some only go by praying AND fasting. (Matthew 17:14-21) The spirit of bondage has a strong hold and depending on how long it’s had a grip on your loved one’s life, you may need to do more than just pray. I denied myself so many things that I loved (food, music, TV, people, outings, etc.) because I loved my mother MORE. What are you willing to sacrifice for the one that you love?
Lastly, I ask that you love them right where they are. As a teenager, one of the best pieces of advice that I received was to ask God to show me how to love my mother the way that He loved her. With that, my daily prayer became, “I love my mother where she is, but I praise You, oh God, for where she is going!” Remember, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NLT)
Thank You for my ______. God, I ask that You keep them safe during this period of their life. Lord, please give me the words to say that would aid in their recovery. Teach me how to war in the Spirit on their behalf. Please help me not to give up on them because I know that You won’t give up on them either. God, I will not let You go until fix this! I know that You are able! I thank You right now for my _______ but I praise You for where they are going! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I am sure that you know someone who is residing with the “monster.” Today I EMPOWER you to STAND up for and with them! I EMPOWER you to PRAY for them without ceasing! I EMPOWER you to go on a sacrificial FAST for them! And finally, I EMPOWER you to LOVE the hell out of them!
Today’s EmpowerMoment is dedicated to my lovely mother! You are a champion and hero in my eyes! Congratulations on 844 days of being free and clean! I love you!
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.