Ok, this is kinda difficult to communicate. I want to write to you about something that happened to me, which I don't know what it means. You see, it's about visions and having heard voices and had what I believe were spiritual encounters. But in the same time, I know I have an illness, called schizophrenia, I take medicines for it - so most of this could all be imaginary stuff that I would be wise not to pay any attention to or place importance on. It's really troubling me, so if ya have some words of wisdom about it, please tell me.
I don't know where to begin actually. I have this problem since around autumn 2000. I was hearing voices, saw images, had paranoid thoughts. I've not been a christian then, in fact I was only 22 and for all purposes was an atheist/agnostic all my life up to then. I lived a weird life, I was convinced that a woman which I had met over the internet loved me and I sought her in the internet. It's very confusing.
Anyway, the whole story was a real drama and around christmas 2001 I wanted to kill myself, so I jumped into the river and nearly drowned. But somehow I managed to get to to the surface and swam to the shore. And soon the ambulance arrived and I went into the hospital with them. After some intensive medical care I was brought into a psych ward where I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The following two years were hell. I was prescribed with a drug that not only did not curb the constant voices and images I was seeing, it also made me extremely fearful. I spent most of my time in bed. I was still no christian. Although I believed then that God existed, I felt the whole christian system of theology that I was aware of as being the mainstream doctrine, was terribly unjust. I have an atheist father - why should God send him to hell? In fact, the whole story revolted me. Think about it - the bible, in the way I interpreted the book back then anyway, said that there would be a general resurrection, after which some would live forever in bliss while others would be thrown into a lake of fire to suffer eternally. If people receive God's judgment for having been evil in life - why not letting them remain dead? Why throwing them into endless agony and torture for infinite billions of years? This made little sense to me. But the christians I had gotten to know over the internet believed it. And so I thought it's the truth.
I still loved Jesus. Something about this man always appealed to me. I sometimes didn't think highly of him too, in fact in december 2000 I had blasphemed him in the internet, but I chalk this up to the illness and demon influences. It wasn't what I really thought of the man.
I tried to get close to this Jesus and receive help from the Lord with my situation. So I read my christian mothers calendar, went to church sometimes, read the bible and discussed christianity online when I had a chance to go into the internet. I met a christian at the killdevilhill.com boards, an ET believer who was nonetheless very loving and patient with me. He started a prayer chain for me about which he said that a lot of christians participated in. I went to my doctor again one day because I was still very ill and couldn't take it much longer. Suddenly she said you gotta go into the hospital again you need other medicine - after having insisted on me taking these crappy meds for more than a year, even when it didn't help much at all. I went into the hospital, the old meds were dropped and I got a new medicine, Olanzapine, which, to make a long story short, completely took away all voice hearing and seeing visions. Within two weeks, I was healthy again and felt much like before I got ill. But - I didn't ascribe this to Jesus. After getting healthy again I fell back to how I thought before. I thought I can't take this old religion. I had doubts surfacing again about Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac, the flood, eschatological judgment, the law, everything. In short, I fell back to atheism, not to a real atheism because I still thought God is possible, but to an agnosticism wary of all religions because of ... humanitarian reasons. It was a humanism of sorts.
I lived that way for around two years. It were rather happy years, I spend my time at the computer, discussing stuff online and playing games. Subjectively, I was happy.
But in spring 2005 things changed again. I was thinking at that time that I was transsexual, and spend a month eating very little and not taking my medicine. Sometimes I think that way I utterly stressed myself and made myself spiritually sensitive. But I don't know what exactly happened. I only know that back then one evening I had a weird experience which I don't want to describe here, except for saying that I felt like being fucked by some imaginary being. I think it was a devil. It was really really weird. However, I think back then God came to my rescue. In the evening, I thought about God and confessed, "Dear Lord, I can't know for sure. I don't know if the bible is trustworthy. I don't know whether Jesus is real. How could I possibly know? I can't travel back in time and take a look..." And then, suddenly, I heard a voice that seemed to come from a very far distance. It was utterly majestic and beautiful. It said, in german, my mother tongue, "I will guide you". Then I looked in the direction of the voice, and saw something like a mountain. I saw only it's base. It was in a night, but it had many lights glowing. As if people lived there. And I looked at myself and saw a light shining on me.
Next day I went back to the hospital. And there I met a man who, as it turned out, had similar experiences like I had. He also had blasphemed God, and had also been in a highly erotic relationship with a woman. He was a christian, and believed in Jesus.
There is where I made a mistake of sorts. I didn't honestly pursue the faith trusting in God's guidance. Instead, I retook my medicine and retreated into my flat again to sit at the computer. I felt somewhat drawn to God so sometimes I went to church. But I didn't feel right.
And in 2006, the schizo reared its head again. I began again to have visions and stuff which at the time seem very convincing and impressive, but usually turn out to seem very unreal and weird too. For example, for some time I had images of a person with a thorns crown who put his blood in my head. It was all very strange.
In 2006 I decided to pursue Jesus via the mainstream protestant path. I discussed the faith online and tried to believe like anyone else. My mother got in touch with a woman who did demon delivery, and I had a long telephone session with her. It was very stressing, but apparently successful. I actually saw a demon thing move out of me. It looked like a brain with two tiny evil eyes. And one other thing happened. The woman asked me whether I wanted to confess something, so I confessed the transsexuality. It was something I hated, but which I was addicted to nonetheless. And guess what, it made snap and I was free from it. All the attraction to it - GONE.
For a time I was very happy and believed in Jesus like others told me. I had intervals wherein which I lost faith, such as when a friend of mine died, but at other times I was very faithful. In 2007 I went back to atheism for a while because my schizo went up again and I found no other way to distance myself from what happened. But in autumn 2007, while in a rehab program to make myself fit again, I returned to God with the intention of staying with Him for good.
But the schizo, or the demons, take your pick, didn't leave me alone. Also, at some point I wasn't taking my medicine properly anymore. So I ran around fantasizing again. I thought I was a prophet. I had impressive visions all the time. Until they got all dark and evil.
Then happned something. I heard a man come to me who said, sit yourself next to me. ANd listen. And don't believe in insolence like a little child. He said, your salvation will be decided in two weeks from now.
It was not an easy time. I believed in God as good as I could. But the demons were always there. When I drove home from the clinic via the railway, I had another impressive encounter. I saw a man with a black beard, beautiful and strong, I saw only His face. I pleaded to Him to have mercy, as I was having schizophrenia, and He smiled to me and seemed to love me.
Oh I forgot, in the hospital, one day, I also had a good experience. First it was bad, it seemed like the demons destroyed my faith. I had the crazy idea that I would have to walk to Rome and ask the Pope for help. While I was on the road, and despairing, I saw someone come from Heaven. He said, "I am a man familiar with suffering", which reminded me to a quote from Isaiah about Jesus. He said, "you trust us", and He kinda repaired me. Soon all the fear was gone, even thought my schizo still ravaged me.
So here I am. I hear voices sometimes till, and feel demons close, but I am sober and rational. I would really like to believe in UR, but I don't know if it's the right doctrine. I never had God tell me what to believe about it. In May I was in the hospital again and got some additional medicine, which reduced my schizo experience to nearly zero. But I don't know what to think of it. When medicine is so effective against visions and the like, I guess most of what I experienced were delusions. But what about the man who told me my salvation would be decided? I am really not sure about that. After all, he said, sit yourself next to me, while I saw no one around me.
Now that I told most of my story, what would you tell me?