Rescued From the Brink of Insanity
By Debbie White
The 700 Club
CBN.com - When you first meet her, you’d never know. She’s beautiful, articulate, a caring mother of two children. But Paige Torgersen has a dark past. And there’s a reason she wants you to know her story. “Things happened that I didn’t really see as abnormal because I didn’t have a normal picture of life.”
‘Normal’ to Paige was a mother who married six times. “She thought she was making the right decisions. She thought that each marriage was the right thing for us.”
‘Normal’ was a biological father who drank until he passed out every night. “He would say that his life was not worth living and part of it was my fault. It was my mother’s fault.”
Then ‘normal’ became a succession of stepfathers and stepbrothers who used Paige as a sex object and her mother as a punching bag. “I would walk in the room and he would be hitting my mother. I would try to defend her, and so he would start abusing me. He would spank me until I used the bathroom on myself.”
These images are picture perfect; Paige as a six year old celebrating her birthday, Paige at nine with an impish grin, Paige as a teenager, cheerleader and homecoming queen. But the girl who looked so full of life on the outside was slowly dying. “I was constantly in fear. I began to take everything in and put it in a different place so I wouldn’t have to think about it. And that’s kind of the way I would paint the picture to the outside world. I would never tell them what was really going on, on the inside.”
She broke free from the abuse after high school graduation, but the damage was done. Paige began to repeat the same tragic mistakes as her mother. “I chose the same type of people that I had been around for so many years.”
Paige had her first child, a daughter, still hoping that a better man would come along. “And I thought, ‘Well, this next one, he’s going to be the one.’ Then there would be that moment where everything would go south and I would say, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore.’”
One boyfriend did seem different …at first. They had a son together but this man, while not abusive, eventually taught Paige how to destroy herself. “He introduced me to drugs. Yes. And that became my escape. I hit bottom with that, and I couldn’t function anymore normally.”
That’s when Paige says she first heard ‘the voices.’ “(They were) telling me to kill myself. It got to the point where the voices were telling me to kill my family. The voices were telling me to kill my daughter. See, my daughter was the love of my life. I would never do anything to hurt other people and I had always guarded other people. These voices began to get worse and worse. I would put my hands over my ears and I would say. ‘Stop that! Stop!’ I thought I was going crazy. I thought that I had lost my mind.”
After 5 months of torment, Paige quit all drug use. And the voices? “The same day, as a matter of fact, that those voices stopped, that night was when the Lord intervened. The most angelic, the most peaceful, loving voice; you just can’t even imagine. I knew that God was speaking to me. His presence was overwhelming. In the beginning I was fearful, but then suddenly, the fear was gone. I was comforted. I had peace and joy I’ve never had. It’s like I had a sudden reverence for God that I never known. He showed me moments from my childhood and how bad decisions had opened the door along the way for the demonic realm to control my family.”
Paige says the vision that followed was horrifying. “Suddenly, I was in a holding cell. I was in a very dark, dank, really scary place. I was saying, ‘Why am I here? Lord, why am I here?’ because I thought that He had come to rescue me. I thought I had died at that point. I couldn’t touch anything. I couldn’t feel anything. I could hear these moans and these cries and voices, but I couldn’t see them. It’s like they were tormenting me.”
“I remember having no communication at that point with the Lord. He didn’t answer anything I said. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t scream. I immediately knew what eternity was. There was no sense of time whatsoever. I could hear people crying and wailing and I thought, ‘That’s my funeral. I’m listening to my funeral.’ I walked to the door and as I opened the door, I started to step outside and I was shocked that I could see a beautiful scene outside but inside it was very dark, very scary, and no sense of life whatsoever. That was the moment where I understood what death was.”
“I tried to cry. It was very clear in my mind that I totally missed God. I could see very clearly visions of the party scenes, the sexual perversion that I had participated in, the things that I had done willingly. I could not remember anything at that point from my childhood, anything before I became accountable for my actions. I remember trying to cry out to God and begging God for another chance. I started screaming and crying, I said, ‘Oh God, you’ve got to get me out of here. You’ve got to get me out of here. I’m in hell.’ I had a very real picture of hell, and the damnation I could have experienced.”
Where does a person go after a vision of hell? Paige says she didn’t know where to go or what to do. “Honestly, I didn’t know that I had to pursue Him. I didn’t know that I had to desire a relationship with Him. I had to find God. I had to have that joy and that love that I had never felt. I only felt that love during that visit with Him.
Paige began her search for God in earnest. “I started reading the Bible and praying. I began to fast, and suddenly God stepped back into my life in such a great way. He said, ‘I was waiting on you. I’ve been with you the whole time, and I was waiting on you.’ When I realized it was my choice. I said, ‘You went out of Your way to visit me, and to tell me all these wonderful things and to show me what I never could have known. You are here again and I am never, never, ever going to lose You.’”
“I started sharing everywhere I went. I would tell Him how much I loved Him. He was everything to me. I would say, ‘I’m sorry. Please forgive me.’ The repentance was very important.”
Paige found a church and grew in her relationship with God. She reconciled with her father before he died and she has forgiven those who abused her in the past. Today, she has a wonderful relationship with her mother who became a Christian, too.
Paige believes she was spared an eternity in hell. That is why she is so passionate to tell her story. “I want to shout from the tallest mountain that people have no idea what happens when they leave this world. They take their last breath. There’s no way out and it is terrifying. If your heart is right, if you really want to get right with the Lord, all it takes is that prayer and the repentance.”
“I’ve never known love or had an identity until now and my identity is in Christ. I had never known there was so much joy and love in a relationship with God. Knowing Jesus as your Savior, and changing your life, allowing Him to come in and transform your heart and change your life… Words can’t describe it.”
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