Peace Amid the Storm

by Emily Simmons

Barbara Hitt sank into a lawn chair in her backyard. It had been a typical day, filled with conflict with her husband. She noticed a neighbor, known for throwing himself in front of traffic, walking down the street. The sight of several shadowy figures following behind him, beings she believed to be demons, was Barbara's last straw.

"I don't want this anymore!" she cried out in prayer. "God, I'm sorry for messing up my life. Please take this away and forgive me for turning away from you." By "this" Barbara meant her connection to the occult.

Raised a Christian, Barbara attended church, helped out with the children's program, and sent her daughter to a religious school. But when her relationship with her daughter's father ended, her daughter took it hard and began acting out in school.

"We needed help from our church," Barbara says. Her pastor seemed supportive, but in the end voted with the school board to expel Barbara's daughter. Feeling betrayed, Barbara left the church.

Barbara worked day and night to afford another private school; she refused to send her daughter to public school. But her two jobs weren't enough to pay the bills. "I felt powerless; I wanted control over my life," she says.

A Turn to Darkness
Some friends introduced Barbara to the occult. Supernatural power appealed to her. "I knew more about the spiritual world because of my upbringing," Barbara says. "I wasn't just playing games like the people who dabble in the occult. I actually saw things."

Barbara became known for her power. "I've always been pretty discerning," she says. "But for awhile I used it the wrong way." People asked her secret, and because of her Christian background, Barbara sent them to the Bible for answers.

Then Barbara met Richard, a cocaine addict who excelled at hiding his habit. Just months after they met, Richard pressured Barbara to marry him. She later learned that he'd stopped using while courting her, but counted on her sticking around no matter what once they married. On their wedding night, Richard became a drunk, abusive druggie.

"I had done drugs before, recreationally," Barbara explains, "but Richard's 'recreational' was a lot different than mine." In her youth, Barbara smoked marijuana two or three times a year with friends; Richard needed cocaine every two or three days. And if he wasn't doing coke he was drinking. "I either had a paranoid coke addict or an angry drunk withdrawing from coke," Barbara says.

No one from any church would help Barbara because they were afraid. It didn't take long for Richard's abuse to send Barbara to the hospital; his attacks left her with a neck injury, which landed her on disability. Barbara longed to get out of the marriage, but life was easier with someone to pay the bills.

Return to the Faith
That day in her backyard, Barbara determined to turn her own life around. She sought ways to create a more godly atmosphere in the house and uplifting things to watch and listen to. When she found Doug Batchelor on TV, she remembered Amazing Facts from childhood. "My mother used to listen to the radio program, and their literature was always around the house," she says.

In response to her attempts to change, strange things happened around the house. "I could see dark objects flitting around," she says. Finally Barbara dropped to her knees and gave the house to God. Then she filled it with Christian books and literature. "That seems to be what washed them out," she says. "It is a lot more peaceful now."

When Barbara's mother died, Barbara phoned her mother's childhood friend to let her know. Her mother's friend called the local church, and an church leader, Mr. James, came to see Barbara and Richard. He asked if they'd like to study the Bible; to Barbara's surprise, Richard said yes.

Shortly after they began Bible studies, Richard was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. Badly mangled, he was taken by helicopter to the hospital and kept in a coma for six weeks so his lungs could heal. Unable to drive because of her neck injury, Barbara couldn't visit Richard in the hospital. But Mr. James did.

Barbara and Richard have persevered through 11 years of marriage. Though they struggle to make disability payments cover their basic needs and bills, Barbara sends regular gifts to Amazing Facts since she can't attend church. When she found the Amazing Facts website, she began "attending" Pastor Doug's church online. She shares Amazing Facts resources, such as the Daniel and Revelation series, with her children and grandchildren and neighbors. She even led one neighbor to give his life to God before he died. And Barbara and Richard still study together.

Barbara has received several books, DVDs, and Study Guides from Amazing Facts over the last seven years. She still records the Amazing Facts TV programs. Barbara says, "My favorite is the Prophecy Foundations DVD."

Barbara now knows God is guiding her steps day by day. "When I make a step in the wrong direction, God closes the door. So I know that I'm doing what he wants me to do, whether I like it or not!" she laughs. "Watching Amazing Facts on TV and listening on the Internet started all this for me," Barbara says. "My life is better now because I can enter God's presence and feel peace."

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