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CBN.com "One night when I was asleep, I woke up and it sounded like a man with heavy boots was walking across that floor and then walking down those steps," says Debbie Bowen. "I was just waiting for that door to open at the foot of the steps."
Debbie Bowen was a single mother who had just bought a house in a quiet, family-oriented neighborhood. She had hopes of rearing her infant daughter, Cassie, in their nice, comfortable home. But Debbies life soon became far from normal. In fact, it had crossed over into the realm of the paranormal.
"We moved in, and from the first night that we stayed there," says Debbie, "odd things began to happen. At first it was just occasionally maybe a light would come on or go off. Sometimes when I would leave the room and come back, the plants would be arranged differently, and I would look at them and go, 'What happened?' I thought it had to be a person coming in. The television would change channels, and I didnt have one that had a remote at that time. Id have people come over and spend the night so I could sleep because I wasnt feeling comfortable leaving my daughter any longer."
Even a friends gift of a toy for Cassie took on sinister overtones.
"I put it over on the dresser, and I would come back, and she would have it in her baby bed. It had traveled across the room," Debbie explains, clarifying further that Cassie, only an infant at the time, was in her crib and unable to walk.
Debbie began her search for answers to the phenomenon.
"One of the first places that I went to with my problem was a psychic," says Debbie, "and the psychic told me, 'This is a good thing you leave this in your house.' She told me that the presence in the house would protect her, that it would grow up to be a friend to her. The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. I paid her the money that was due to her, and I left there thinking, No. This is wrong. This is not truth. I knew it in my heart that it was evil, that there was evil. After I made that conscious choice to believe that way, it became more evil feeling in the house. I was still going to work, and I was still trying to carry on as usual, but I was so wrapped up in fear, I cant even tell you how afraid I was."
Debbie continued her search for the cause of the manifestations. She tracked down the widow of the man who built the house, believing that it was his "ghost" that was causing the problem.
Debbie recalls, "When I suggested that to her, she looked me right in the eye and she said, 'Debbie, you have a problem. Its either mental or its spiritual, but its your problem. My husbands in heaven.'"
Since she was a new mother, Debbie thought the problem could be hormonal. She met with her doctor.
"He said, 'No, what you are experiencing is real. It does happen.' He said, 'Im going to tell you this. There are Christians, and then there are Christians, and you need to find yourself some Christians.'
"I visited with many pastors," Debbie continues. "I went through the yellow pages and chose many different denominations. Some believed me, and some didnt. Some just looked at me like I was just crazy. Some agreed to even come over and pray through the house with me, but I could tell that they werent really truly believing me in their hearts."
The poltergeist activity was now almost a daily occurrence.
"At times it would sound like there was someone in the middle of the night tearing the furnace apart or doing something major in my basement," she says.
But it was a dream in which Debbie saw herself throwing Cassie from a boat into the water that finally made her abandon the house.
"I went across the street to the neighbors, and I called a friend who lived nearby. They came and picked me up and took me to their house," Debbie says. "The next day I went in and I got our things and we moved in with a friend."
Debbie told Cassies babysitter about the problem. She asked Debbie what she thought was happening.
"I said, 'I think its demons. Theyre in my house, and I dont know why because I did nothing to invite them in,'" Debbie told her. "She said, 'Debbie, Ive never told you this before, but my sons a pastor, and he agrees: this is demons in your house. If you want to call him, heres the phone number.'"
Debbie decided to call him.
"He said, 'Debbie, Im not ghost busters. This is going to take some commitment on your part.'"
"Basically, what I meant by that was that she was going to have to make a commitment to the Lord," pastor Rick McReynolds explains. "The problem wasnt with the house; the problem was with her heart. I understood that in order to have the kingdom of God in her home, she needed to have the kingdom of God in her heart. It seemed like it was the next evening she said she could come out. It so happened that it was October 31."
"They asked me if I believed the Easter story?" Debbie recollects. "You know, 'Do you believe that Jesus died on a Cross? Do you believe in the Resurrection? I said, 'Of course, I do!' But it was all here [in my mind]. It hadnt traveled to my heart. So they told me how simple that was and to ask Jesus Christ into my heart. It seemed too simple, but I said, 'Lets do it now.' And we did.
"I felt like the weight of the world came off my shoulders that night," Debbie continues. "I remember one thing that they said to me was, 'The angels in heaven are rejoicing, Deb, that you came to Christ tonight.' I thought, Wow! Theres a party in heaven for me! That made me feel so good about myself, and it all became real to me that night, what Jesus Christ had done for mefor me. It became personal. Then they began to tell me what the Bible said about the demons and what it said about the devil and how I, as a believer in Christ, had authority now, that I had authority and that I needed some training."
"The training would be to renew her mind to the truth of the Bible and her authority as a believer," says Rick.
Adds Beth McReynolds, Rick's wife, "Because of the shed blood of Jesus, we have authority over the enemy."
Debbie says, "They kept reinforcing to me, 'Debbie, this has to be real for you. This cant be something that you just do for a few weeks or a month or a year. This has got to become your lifestyle, because once we go and tell those demons to go, they will come back and they will test you. And if youre not filling that house with the Word, if youre not filling yourself with the Word, they will come back seven times stronger.'"
The time finally came to go to the house and pray.
"What we do is we anoint the door posts of the home, just like the Word speaks of, and claim each room, and just plead the blood of Jesus around the house," says Beth. "Then we just open the door and say, 'Get out of here, Satan! You have no more ground in this home.' As were doing that, were worshiping the Lordwe are singing."
"I moved back in and everything was just full of the peace of the Lord, just full of Gods peace," Debbie says.
"It really wasnt any struggle or spiritual battle or anything," adds Rick. "When we walked in there, we felt total peace because the Prince of peace walked in there with us and was in her heart."
Debbie says that her faith was tested when Cassies room seemed to be revisited by "the presence."
"I remember one instance very clearly. I was taking a bath, and Cassie was back in her own room. She was in her crib, and I heard something in her room. I started to get out of the tub, and I just felt like the Holy Spirit said, 'You just ask Me to take care of it, and I will.' So I did," she says.
Debbie and Cassie continued to live in the house even after Debbie married. They moved on when their family grew too large for the house. In all, Debbie spent a total of nine peaceful years there. She says that she will never forget how God stepped into her circumstances with new life and a better way to live.
"I knew that if I just kept on looking, Id find the answer. God led me right to the answer, and that was to the Cross, right to Jesus," says Debbie. "When He became real to me, He washed my house clean and He washed me clean and He saved me. Theres power in the blood. Thats not just a song. Thats real. Thats true."
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.