Teresa Sutherland's innocent fascination with horror movies
and scary novels led to a driving compulsion that had her enslaved to the
very fears that haunted her.
"I remember going to the drive-in with my folks. It was my sister and
me. And we drove in, and we were all excited, and then the lights went
down and we were watching this movie. And all these horrible monsters
were coming up and eating people, and I was shocked," recalls Teresa.
started as an outing to the drive-in turned into a Pandora's box of terror for
"I would wake up and I would look underneath my bed very
slowly because I just knew there was going to be one underneath there. And I was
afraid they were going to come and get in the bed with me. They were in my closet.
They were outside my window. They were everywhere," she says.
Teresa soon became addicted
to the fear she had tried so hard to avoid. She began to crave the horror movies
and books that scared her.
"When I started watching stuff about demons and
possession and haunted houses and ghosts -- that stuff really attracted me. I
liked that stuff; it was scary. I'd watch it over and over and over, and read
the books over and over and over again just to scare myself," she says.
The bad dreams
of her childhood grew into haunting nightmares.
"When I was a kid, I mostly
dreamed about seeing monsters, you know, finding 'em here or finding 'em there.
But when I started watching the other kind of movies, I was the one that became
involved in my home with these things that I couldn't see. I would see things
floating around my house. I would see things coming at me. `It's just a dream,'
that's what I always told myself. `It's only a dream. It doesn't mean anything.'
You know, your imagination does all kind of weird tricks on you when you're sleeping,
so anything you dream doesn't mean anything. So that's what I told myself."
two failed marriages and the loss of her children, Teresa's life spun out of control.
But her addiction to fear grew. As her third marriage faltered, she continued
to feed her hunger for horror.
"Every week I'd buy a TV Guide when
I went to the grocery store and I'd go through the entire week of programming
and picking out all the scary movies so that I would know what time every single
one of them came on so that I could sit down and watch them," she says. "And I would plan
my entire schedule around what was going to be coming on the TV."
the God of her childhood seemed far away.
"God, to me, was like when I read
the stories in the Greek mythology. He was like Zeus, to me, up on a hill, way
out somewhere in space. He was sitting up there and He was watching everything
I did and He would try to manipulate me, I thought, just like all the rest of
the spirits out in the spirit world."
Through the prayers of family and
friends, she learned that God wanted to have a personal relationship with her.
changed my whole life to realize I could sit down and just talk to Him like a
person," says Teresa. "I began to talk to Him just like He was there. I probably
wasn't real religious at the time, but I felt like I could just sit down and say,
`Hey, you know, I'm glad that you're here with me. I'm glad I can just sit here
and talk to you.'"
Teresa committed her life to the Lord and her taste
for horror began to fade.
"When I asked Him to come in and fill that hole
and that gap in me, I was completely full and I knew that's what it was I'd been
looking for. I was dealing with a spiritual battle," she recalls. "Whenever He showed me
that I was able to be free with Him -- He and I worked together on it -- He showed
me what the addiction was, that it was a spiritual thing, and then I was able
to be free."
Teresa now enjoys a life free from the grip of fear.
keep in touch with the Lord. I know His voice. He said I would know His voice.
I know His voice. And whenever He talks to me, and He says, `Hey, what are you
doing?' I know that voice. I know the sound of my Master. That's how I keep up
on top of it, because I know His voice."
from CBN.com's Halloween Page
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