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Florence Johnson: An Atheist's Pain

As a result of her mother's negative spiritual influence, Florence grew up to be a proclaimed atheist and was tormented by her past. Read Transcript


Reporter: FLORENCE

JOHNSON'S CHILDHOOD WAS

PAINFUL AND CONFUSING.

WE WERE IN A

SINGLE-PARENT HOUSEHOLD.

MY MOTHER TOOK US TO CHURCH

ON SUNDAY.

SO WE WERE TAUGHT TO BELIEVE

IN GOD.

HOWEVER, DURING THE WEEK, IT

WAS ANYTHING BUT GODLY.

IN OUR FAMILY WE HAD A OUIJA

BOARD, WHICH IS A QUOTE,

UNQUOTE, GAME.

AND WE USED IT TO CONTACT

THE SPIRITS.

AND I ALSO REMEMBER FEELING

VERY UNEASY WHEN THAT WENT

ON.

VERY FRIGHTENED, AND HAVING

A VERY HARD TIME GOING TO

SLEEP THAT EVENING.

Reporter: FLORENCE HAD

STRANGE AND SCARY

EXPERIENCES.

SO I WOULD SEE THINGS,

HEAR THINGS, BUT AS A CHILD,

I WAS TOO FRIGHTENED TO TELL

ANYONE.

WHEN I SAY SEE THINGS,

SHADOWS DARTING IN CORNERS.

I DID HEAR VOICES AT TIMES.

I ALWAYS FELT THERE WERE

PRESENCE THERE TRYING TO GET

MY ATTENTION.

I SPENT MANY, MANY YEARS

TRYING TO MY BEST IN MY OWN

POWER TO IGNORE IT, TO

PRETEND IT WASN'T THERE.

IF I SAW SOMETHING, I WOULD

LOOK IN THE OTHER DIRECTION

AND ACT LIKE I DID NOT SEE

IT.

BY THE TIME I WAS AN ADULT,

I WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK.

I WAS AFRAID OF DRIVING.

Reporter: SHE DID THE

BEST TO IGNORE THE CHOICES

AND CONTROL HER FEARS.

SHE MARRIED AND HAD

CHILDREN.

BUT HER NEW HUSBAND WAS

ABUSIVE, SO SHE TOOK THE

CHILDREN AND LEFT.

THEY MOVED IN WITH FAMILY.

BUT HER FEARS INTENSIFIED.

I WAS TERRIFIED OF JUST

ABOUT EVERYTHING.

I HAD CLAUSTROPHOBIA --

EVERY PHOBIA YOU COULD THINK

OF WAS MY WAY OF DEALING

WITH THE ABUSE THAT I

SUFFERED.

Reporter: CHANCE'S

BROTHER SUFFERED THE SAME

PAIN SHE HAD, BUT HE FOUND

AN ANSWER IN CHRIST.

HE INVITED HER TO VISIT

THEIR CHURCH.

I WOULD CHANGE THE

CONVERSATION OR ZONE OUT

AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, BUT HE

PERSEVERED, AND FINALLY I

DECIDED TO SEND MY KIDS TO

CHURCH.

I DID NOT GO INITIALLY TO

KNOW GOD.

I JUST WANTED TO KNOW WHAT

MY CHILDREN WERE BEING

TAUGHT.

BUT GRABBED ME.

IT WAS ONE NIGHT AT A CHURCH

SERVICE WITH MUSIC.

I KNOW NOW IT WAS THE SPIRIT

OF GOD BECAUSE PEACE JUST

ENVELOPED ME FROM MY HEAD TO

MY FEET.

I WANTED TO GET UP WHEN THEY

GAVE THE SALVATION CALL.

I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING

HERE I WANTED.

Reporter: FLORENCE

ACCEPTED CHRIST INTO HER

HEART AND TRUSTED HIM TO

TAKE AWAY HER PHOBIAS.

SHE ENJOYED PEACE FOR A

WHILE, BUT SOON THE

EXPERIENCES OF HER CHILDHOOD

RETURNED.

I WOULD BE DOING DISHES,

AND I WOULD HEAR A LOW

MURMURING IN MY EAR AND I

WOULD TURN AROUND AND SAY,

WHO IS THAT?

BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ONE

THERE.

I WOULD SEE PRESENCE

MOVING.

GROWLS, LIKE THE GROWLING OF

AN ANIMAL.

I BECAME PETRIFIED.

SCARED IN MY OWN SKIN, IN MY

OWN HOME.

SLEEP WAS NON-EXIST TENT,

TENT -- NON-EXISTENT, AND IT

CAME TO A HORRIFYING HEAD

ONE PARTICULAR NIGHT.

AND I SAT ON MY BED, AND I

LITERALLY FELT A PRESENCE

SIT BESIDE ME.

I LOOKED OVER AND SAW THE

INVITATION ON THE BED AND A

GROWL IN MY EAR AND I

SCREAMED, AND IN THAT SECOND

I FELT, IF THIS IS WHAT IT

IS LIKE TO LOVE GOD, AND MY

NEXT SENTENCE WOULD HAVE

BEEN, I WANT NO PART OF IT,

BUT, INSTEAD, IT WAS LIKE

OWOH, NO, THIS IS THE DEVIL

AND I WILL HOLD ON TO GOD

THAT MUCH HARDER.

IMMEDIATELY I STARTED

PRAYING.

I FELL TO MY KNEES, GOD HELP

ME.

I PLEADED TO HIM.

I FELT A DIFFERENT PRESENCE

PROTECTING ME.

WHEN I FINALLY WENT TO

SLEEP, IT WAS THE FIRST TIME

I HAD SLEPT -- ACTUALLY,

UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP, AND IT

WAS EXAGGERATION, ABOUT TWO

YEARS.

I FELT AS IF THE PRESENCE OF

GOD WAS HOLDING ME SAFE.

I KNEW IN MY HEART THAT

WHATEVER THIS BATTLE WAS, IT

WAS OVER.

Reporter: FLORENCE

HASN'T HAD ANY EXPERIENCES

LIKE THAT SINCE, AND IS

CONFIDENT THAT GOD PROTECTS

HER EACH DAY.

HE IS, IN EVERY SENSE OF

THE DAY, MY FATHER.

I DO NOT THINK OF GOD AS

SOME PRESENCE OUT IN THE

CLOUD SOMEWHERE WITH A LONG

BEARD.

BECAUSE OF GOD'S PRESENCE IN

MY LIFE, I KNOW WITHOUT A

SHADOW OF A DOUBT, HE WILL

SEE ME THROUGH ANYTHING.

ASK GOD TO HELP YOU BECAUSE

HE WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY.

HE SHOWED ME.

HE GOT ME OUT, AND THAT

CHANGED MY LIFE FROM THAT

POINT FORWARD.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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