BY CHRISTINE MARAVILLA
My dear brothers and sisters in CHRIST,
I am your sister, Christine Maravilla, a young nurse.
Allow me to just give you my testimony, since I could just start with that. I would call this my Damascus experience.
Almost a year ago, around September, I started to feel this void and emptiness. I ignored it because I didn’t think anything of it really… I didn’t really understand or know. I was blind to myself.
However, after passing my NCLEX for my Registered Nursing License in October the emptiness and void grew quickly. It was because my mind was free to think… no more school or other things to do. IDLENESS is the devils playground. As the emptiness grew, I began having evil thoughts. Not of my own will or thinking, but demonic. I didn’t hear voices, but the thoughts I was having were definitely not mine, especially since some were very evil in nature. I had never thought these things before and they decided to attack me then. At that time I didn’t know what this was or what was happening to me. All I knew was that something was wrong. But, the confusion and lost feelings grew. I spiralled down quickly.
To give a little background as to why the things that I am about to tell you happened, I didn’t realize that I was only a “religious” person and not spiritual one. I say this because one can be so religious, so involved in church etc., but not have a personal relationship with GOD, this is what I lacked and did not realize.
Another factor was that I was blind to myself. Think of me as if in a little bubble the entire time and not really knowing reality. I also went through an identity crisis, I was so engrossed about the world due to how I grew up and my perspective on things… I didn’t have an older sibling or figure to guide me, the relationship between parent and child was totally a ‘Filipino culture’ – so there was not really a personal bonding and relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents.. its just that it was hard being open with them because of their authoritative parenting. SO, with that going on, I only perceived the world through TV and other influences from friends – not much guidance in that department.
I was also bullied and picked on a lot because I was too nice or what not, so with all that I internalized all feelings and suppressed everything. All of this made me engross myself in friendships without really knowing myself and who I was, I never took the time to discover myself, reflect on myself and what I wanted etc. You get the picture. So, I had – spiritual crisis, emotional crisis, identity crisis, and mental crisis. ALL the things you couldn’t physically change! If these things were physical, I would have done surgery a long time ago! But no, I needed SPIRITUAL surgery. ANYWAY.
Continuing on to last year…
Evil thoughts started going through my mind. Thoughts that would tell me “You’re going to hell. You won’t survive this world Christine. You engrossed yourself too much in the world and your friends. You only got through school to pass the class and pass the test. You partied too much. How are you going to survive now? You sinned so much Christine. God’s not gonna forgive you. You haven’t confessed all your sins. What are you going to do now?” Those are just some thoughts. There were many many more.
At first I didn’t understand. I was confused. THEN they started condemning me with my sins. ALL my sins since I was a child flashed through my mind like those electronic ads you see, and it would flow through my mind constantly. I was being condemned by them because first of all when I was small, I didn’t understand the sacraments. Secondly, I was afraid of the priest! When I would hear the priest say “I now absolve you from ALL your sins” I thought that meant “Oh okay the ones that are really embarrassing I won’t mention but I’ll be forgiven anyway”, and I grew up with that mindset. So every time I went to confession I would only confess like “oh I lied, I didn’t listen to my parents.” I didn’t confess “I stole candy when I was 6 years old. Or more recent sins like I was hung over at Mass a few times and was a Eucharistic minister” I know – lemme continue. But that SIN was what SATAN beat me up the most about.
ANYWAY. At this rate, I was already experiencing signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, to the point where I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. I was also screaming in my bed.. tossing and turning from the torture of my mind, I could not turn it off. And as much as I didn’t want to think them, the more it came. I didn’t want to wake up at times because only during my sleep was my mind at peace. The very moment I woke up, I was being abused by these evil spirits till I went to sleep. I would even feel a PRESENCE by me and around me sometimes. But that was later on.
After a while, my mom didn’t know what to do anymore, she took me to my primary care provider and my doctor was surprised to see me in my condition. She said that this was not me because I used to be so bubbly and talkative, my doctor at this point called me catatonic because I would barely even talk.
My Doctor recommended putting me on Zoloft (an antidepressant), which only made me feel funny so I stopped using it after a month. I also started seeing a psychologist who later referred me to a psychiatrist for more medication. I got a cocktail of medication, (meaning a mix of 2), and threw that up after a couple of hours trying it.
Eventually, we tried going to the priests for advice. I was going to confession, I was trying to get some guidance from the priests, but I still did not know what was happening to me. I was blind to myself and the world around me.
Around January, I was supposed to commence work, I only went to about 3 orientation days after making the decision to take medical leave because I was not only spiritually and emotionally weak, but I was physically getting weaker also. PLUS, I knew I couldn’t take care of patients with my unfocused mind and all, I I couldn’t even take care of myself. So for the safety of myself and those patients, I had to take a leave.
After taking leave, the symptoms grew worse; the abuse in my mind increased and the spirits were feeding me blasphemous, sacrilegious thinking.. continuing to give me reasons to condemn myself. I abandoned taking care of my body, so I lost almost 20 lbs.
Anyhow.. my ninong (Godfather) had contact with the famous healing priest, Fr. Fernando Suarez.
In a nutshell, I saw Fr. Fernando 3 times throughout the few months and it didn’t get any better. I went to other healers, it didn’t work. I even had deliverance ministries pray over me to exorcise these evil spirits, but it didn’t work. I was getting very hopeless, in despair, very confused and even wondered if GOD even existed. I began to question my beliefs and doubted a lot.
Now even worse in my spiralling hell, I began thinking of suicide. I attempted twice. My thoughts began of killing myself, then the spirits fed that and gave me every way and option to kill me. I found myself researching on the many possibilities to kill myself; the fastest ways, the easiest ways, etc. I would think of drowning myself in my swimming pool, I would think of hanging myself like a friend did back in high school, I would think of jumping out of a tall building, I was even searching for guns in my house. Thank GOD I did not find them. I was that hopeless already. Prior to that I would feel the PRESENCE of “these things”, it was when I started spiralling down fast when I began to feel the presence.
ANYWAY. I was too scared to kill myself. Instead I asked God, if there was a God, where I was confused because I told myself I didn’t believe although I found myself still praying. I asked Him to take me away, to take my life. I shouldn’t be alive because I don’t know anything. (Since I was weak in my faith, I didn’t know any better to not believe these spirits, but SATAN knows your weakness and he definitely was beating me with mine. On all my insecurities, my faults, my limitations, my lack of faith, etc!)
Side note: My family was telling me. “You’re the one suffering the most out of all of us! Which means HE has a big plan for you!” Not understanding this, I would just say “I don’t understand! Why do I have to suffer?!! Etc etc etc.” I did not understand the value of suffering. Now that I do, if any sufferings should come my way, I would gladly accept them because the pain I would feel would be offered to the Lord to use for merit in His kingdom. To save other souls.
ANYWAY – back to my story. I was already at the bottom of my hell, I couldn’t possibly have gone any deeper. My mind was already focused on dying; I had thoughts of my funeral, I had thoughts of me in hell, I had a note ready to give my family. Etc.
On June 23, 2012. There was this Divine Indwelling retreat at a Parish called Holy Family in the Hall sponsored by the Bible Study group of our church. My mom brought me and my dad.
In a nutshell, I was attentive and staring at Bro. Joe (the speaker). It was because he went through the same thing I did! – Well not the same thing, but he had 2 psychiatric exams and 2 suicides as well.. WOW. I finally found someone I could relate to.
Because no one could relate to me, I shut out everyone, all my friends… since February. I worried everyone but I needed to “take care of myself”, because the more I tried to do the things I used to do and enjoy with friends, the greater the void and emptiness. So, I had to shut them out.
ANYWAY. To cut a long story short, the information at this retreat was mind blowing and was my last hope. At first I DID NOT believe it. I did not think that The Divine Indwelling of God and the little spiritual exercise we would do would work. BUT I was already so HOPELESS since nothing else would work!! Psychotherapy didn’t work, medications didn’t work, healing ministries didn’t work, and deliverance ministries didn’t work. What would I have to lose if I just tried this? (SIDENOTE AGAIN: whenever I would do anything spiritual or go to church or anything related to spiritual like the healing and deliverance, the STRONGER the spirits would torture me. This was because, if I were to finally breakthrough, it would be over. The power and light of the Lord would emanate from within me, and His plan for me is big. I would be converting many souls).
So, I tried the Divine Indwelling.
The meaning of Divine Indwelling is that the Holy Trinity dwells in the deepest center of our souls. The Bible, Word of God has several scripture passages, our Catechism of the Church has this teaching, and the Doctors of the church, the Saints, all have doctrines on the DWELLING of God within us.
- Passage that God the Father is dwelling within our soul:
“But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you”. Matthew 6:6
- Passage that God the Son is dwelling within us:
“To whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory”. Colossians 1:27
- Passage that God the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us:
“ Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
“Too late have I loved you, O beauty, ever ancient yet ever new! Too late have I loved you! Behold, you were within me and I abroad; and there abroad I searched for You. Yet deformed as I was, I pursued the beauties that you have made. You were with me, but I was not with you. I distanced away from you through the things You have created, which could not have existed if these were not in You. I have gone about the streets and broad ways of the city of this world seeking for You, but have not found You for I was wrong in seeking for You outside of me, when all the time You were within me. My heart is restless until it rests in You, O Lord.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
It has been told to us BUT no one has taught us HOW to get INSIDE OURSELVES!?
I’m sorry I know I jump around – SO. 3 days later, after I am practicing just surrendering to God (which I didn’t even know how to do) I thought everything was associated with a “feeling”. I had to feel like I was surrendering, I had to feel like I was forgiven, etc. During the 3 days, I was praying and practicing the spiritual exercise and I just said to God “I don’t know how to do anything. I am nothing. I don’t know how to humble myself (not realising that I was already doing that by saying I don’t know anything) I don’t know how to surrender, I don’t know anything, just please help me if you’re there.”
ON THE THIRD DAY. I went to confession. And throughout the day all of a sudden, the devils were diminishing. I heard the LORD speak through my soul. His first message to me was
“No suffering in this life can compare to the suffering I have endured for YOU and the whole world”.
It was then I understood and appreciated my suffering. AND the rest is history, which I can explain more in person. This is getting too long!
I am ALWAYS with HIS Spirit within me, and HE gives me miracles everyday. He OPENED my eyes to how beautiful life really is and HOW HE works in my life and the lives of others every day. I don’t see with my physical eyes. He has given me the wisdom and knowledge and is giving me the messages through my soul. The deeper I go into my interior journey to reach HIM at the very core of my soul, the more HE reveals HIMSELF to me. Some in my mission are already having visions and charisms that God is blessing them with, along with me.
GOD LOVES EVERYONE EQUALLY. We only have to surrender, humble ourselves, and be obedient like a little child, for such is the kingdom of God. We may be physically older, but we need to have the attitude of a little child – which is obedience, humility, and surrender to DADDY.
Because we are made in His image and likeness, meaning if DADDY is KING, we are His PRINCESSES and PRINCES. WE possess all the gifts and graces already within us! We just need to know how to get to HIM to release these graces!!!
Like I said, I did not believe before, but now, I BELIEVE and I am so in love with GOD, that I’m always FLYING with HIM every moment. He gives me the wind beneath my wings. I am in an ECSTASY of love for HIM. For those of you who have not been there will be more at the Divine Indwelling retreat, I cannot say more because there is so much!!
There are times that I don’t even know what or remember what I’m saying because it is HE speaking through me. I give myself COMPLETELY to Him everyday. And eventually when I get deep enough,
“It is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me” Galatians 2:19-20
All DADDY wants is to participate in our lives. And let HIM handle the big things. That’s why Jesus said “Cast your cares upon me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. We also must be careful with the charisms and gifts of the Spirit. It is not us who can do these things but only when we are united with HIM can we be invincible.
“For I am the vine and you are the branches. He who remains in me will bear much fruit. For without me you can do NOTHING”.
Do not get attached to the gifts. Get attached to the GIVER.
SIDENOTE: Again, during my hell, many people were praying for me. The power of prayer is amazing. The highest form of prayer is the Mass. Even though I was tortured in my mind during mass, I still went. 9 months of my purification period. Even with all the healings, deliverances, etc. God did not allow me to be healed because He needed me to be purified for that long. Until I was nothing, only then HE raised me up. And now I rely on Him completely. Daddy takes care of everything for me as long as I remain with HIM in my heart.
Its amazing too…9 months it takes a baby to develop in the womb…it took me 9 months to be in my Hell and purification…it took 3 days for Jesus to resurrect from the dead, HE HIMSELF resurrected me from my DEATH. And DELIVERED me from EVIL in 3 days.
P.S. My calling after my “Breakthrough” with the Spirit of God is to the Youth and Young adults. Because I can SEE now how much confusion and emptiness there is within them, though they do not show it. We all keep masks on. But within us are our pains, sufferings, confusions, I can sense these things in others. The stronger and deeper I go to unite with HIS Spirit, the more HE allows the graces to flow and for me to see what to do with my mission. God has a big plan for me. He has a big plan for everyone. Only when we UNITE with Him will HE show us the way.
Many people may think “Ohhh if I go to God, I have to be a priest or a nun. NO! Wrong thought! God only wants to participate in our lives. He has a purpose for each and every one of us. We need to only allow Him to help us and be with us. Because like any parent, they want to be involved in their children’s lives. He especially wants to be a part of ours!
Who knows? Yes maybe you are called to be a priest or a nun, but you are also called to other vocations. Single blessedness, marriage, priest or nun, etc. Just let HIM love you and LOVE Him back. That’s all Daddy wants.AND He doesn’t love one more than the other. The only reason why some people SEEM to be more blessed is because God is giving them the grace OR because they are obedient and have surrendered to His will for them.
DO not be afraid. HE loves you! Soooooo soooooo much. He loves you so much that He created you, He loves you so much He died for you, He loves you so much that HE DWELLS and attaches HIMSELF to you.
“My mercy is so great that no man or angel will be able to fathom it throughout eternity” (Our Lord to Saint Faustina).
God is good and HE loves you.
Love, Christine Maravilla
**The meaning of my name is “follower of CHRIST”, I intend to live up to my name completely. I want to be a saint! By our birthright we are all SAINTS. We only need to unite ourselves with HIM and live how HE lived. HE will show the way.
Maravilla means –Marvelous in Spanish. Marvelous follower of CHRIST? Haha I thought that was funny.
ANYWAY THERE IS HOPE! THERE IS LIGHT!!! FIND HIM WITHIN YOURSELVES AND YOU WILL SEE!!
This is my recipe:
- Divine Indwelling exercise
- Complete surrender
- and Persistence.
Anything else you need, ask the Lord to give you the chance and the grace.
My personal prayer:
“My LORD and my God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I believe you are dwelling in Spirit in the deepest center of my soul. Not because I understand, but because YOU said so. Please give me the chance and the grace to love you deeply as you want me to, serve you completely as you want me to, and be faithful to you forevermore. Mold me into the daughter you intended me to be before you even created me. I love you, I adore you, I trust in you. AMEN”
The only credit I will take is that I obey and surrender to Daddy. Everything else He does through me. I am only His instrument to proclaim His WORD. All the miracles, all the doings, everything I do is because of HIM. ***