[Missionartist’s Note: I am privileged to write this amazing true story of my colleague and fellow missionary, Katrinna. As can be observed, I wrote it in the first person in an effort to stay true to Katrinna’s voice.]
I started dreaming of death when I was fifteen.
It happened several times a week… I would drift off to sleep, and then the screaming would begin. Women screaming. I would feel someone, or something pulling my legs… someone, or something strangling my neck. And all around me I could see evil spirits, phantoms of huge ominous shapes.
No fifteen year-old should have to fear going to bed, but I did. For years, I experienced these nightmares and sensations.
I tried to tell my mom about this, but when she replied, “Oh, you’re just tired. Drink more water. Sleep earlier”, I realized telling her would not help.
So I tried to help myself.
I tried to muster all the powers on earth available to me by praying hard to my gods. I learned certain enchantments, oral mantras I was instructed to chant before bed. I wore an amulet and kept it with me everywhere I went. I acquired a written charm from a friend and put it under my pillow, hoping against hope that it would help me sleep.
None of these worked.
It was one of those nights – I was so tired, my body inevitably exhausted from the psychological trauma and the lack of sleep. My mind desperately tried to grab on to any happy, peaceful memory I had, and a single memory from my earlier childhood flickered.
It was a memory from my happier days as a child, almost seemingly random. I was in grade school, and we were singing a song…
A song! It was a simple tune, and as I recalled it, I realized I still had the lyrics memorized.
“As the deer panteth for the waters, so my soul longeth after Thee.
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee.”
THEN the most amazing thing happened — I fell asleep.
Without any nightmares, with no hint of death. No women screaming, no strangling. Just sweet, restful sleep. And I was aware of a great steady peace embracing me. I felt secure, as if someone almighty and trustworthy was giving the peace I so coveted.
I wondered then about this song. That songs and chants are written and dedicated to gods, I knew as much. All I knew about this song was that it was written and dedicated to the Christian God.
Then I went to college.
It was in my first year in UKM when I met a senior who happened to be a Christian. Because of my previous experience with the song, I listened intently when she shared to me about this God, and about this God’s love and salvation.
For three months, I struggled with the concept of other gods. See, I believed in a lot of things, like incarnation and karma—concepts obviously incompatible with Christianity.
I researched and compared – this Christian God seemed insufficient compared to all my other gods combined. Why should I give them up?
Still, I kept one foot in Christianity because I had experienced, first hand, the power of their God. When I mentioned the name “Jesus”, I felt peace; His name literally was the source of my peace.
And so my curiosity of this God kept growing and nagging at me that I was forced to look back at Christianity and this time, really look. What I found out astounded me… And finally, I decided to trust this Jesus Christ and let Him take control of my life.
After receiving Christ, a great, wonderful, peace came over me.
This peace was slightly familiar – I had a taste of it when I first sang the song, but this? This was at a whole new level, as if a banquet was now opened to me, whereas I was only allowed a spoonful of it before. It was the most satisfying thing in the world.
I have never regretted my decision since.
And to this day, none of these spiritual attacks have happened again.