by Gloria Venables

“What you are planning to do is forbidden, because the life inside you does not belong to you but to God.” That’s what I heard from a figure in white when I was about to get rid of my unborn son. That and being saved from almost certain suicide convinced me that God had been looking out for me through my damaged early life

I CAN SPEAK FROM FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE OF GOD’S LOVE AND FORGIVENESS because he saved me from the demonic forces which had ravaged my early life, pushing me towards killing my unborn son and then to almost certain suicide.

My early home life was totally dysfunctional; my father was in the Marines, but while he appeared to be a tough guy, it was my mother who ruled the roost. She was heavily involved in spiritism to the extent that she didn’t need to go to a séance and ‘invite’ the spirit world in; she invited them into our home every day, so all sorts of nasty things happened.

At 2I, I escaped and went abroad, looking for adventure. The landscape changed, but inside I still felt lost and sad. Then I fell in love and life changed in the company of a very charming young man. But suddenly he was gone and to my horror I realised I was pregnant.

The old familiar sadness returned: was my life cursed? The ‘thing’ growing inside me would make life even worse, I knew; it had to go. (If my language offends you it is an indication of how totally self-absorbed I was back then; MY survival was all that mattered).

A friend obtained something to solve my problem. Handing over a bottle, she assured me it was strong stuff, guaranteed to do the job. Shut away in my room, bottle in hand, I hesitated. If it was strong enough to kill off this thing growing inside me, would it harm me, too?

As I stood there, undecided, I realised someone was standing beside me. I turned and saw a young man, no taller than myself, dressed in white. His sudden appearing didn’t frighten me; since generations of my family had practised spiritism, I had witnessed several supernatural events when growing up. They terrified me, but that young man’s presence filled me with peace.

Looking at the bottle in my hand, he spoke: “What you are planning to do is forbidden, because the life inside you does not belong to you but to God”.

Revelation exploded into my head like fireworks on a dark night: He spoke to me of God, so God really does exist! He knows what I was planning – God has been watching over me all this time! He spoke as if the life growing inside me is as important as my own!

The stranger disappeared but I was transformed! I had always found the world to be a cold, unloving place. If there was a God he, too, was cold and unloving. Now, all that changed. I was filled with love not only for the life growing inside me, but for life itself. But the enemy does not let go easily.

When my dear Robert was born he became the most precious thing in my life,but as anticipated, being an unwed mother was so hard. In the street I was pointed at and mocked, and even my family found my situation difficult at first.

But, amazingly, God began to do miracles in Mum’s life. First, he saved her from suicide. She used to regularly converse with spirits and one day was drawn to a beautiful scene outside. Perching on an upper floor window ledge, she saw lovely people who called out to her, “Why don’t you come and join us?”

Edging further out on the ledge, she was arrested by another, very loud voice, which commanded: “Come back in and read your Bible!”

That saved her from certain death and she read Psalm 23 which really spoke to her. Next she was set free from nicotine and alcohol addictions. Mum was very dependent on about 60 cigarettes a day and one day she had reachef for a new packet of 20 when she heard a strong voice: “That is going to be your last cigarette – throw the rest in the fire.” The voice was so commanding that she obeyed! When she tried to smoke again, it made her vomit.

It was the same with her beloved gin bottle – even trying to drink made her sick.

Now she was sober, Mum grew to love Robert and they formed a close bond, but I felt my life was still very much on the dark side. I was living with Robert in a top flat in Croydon and at night when I was alone, the same voices which had tried to make Mum jump out of window used to pester me all time: “Oh, you poor thing, all alone with no-one to love you. Why don’t you just take your own life?”

Afraid I’d lead Robert into the same mess as I’d had in my life, when my dear boy was three, I became convinced my presence was actually harming him and he would be better off with Mum.

Before I could commit suicide, though, I agreed to accompany Mum to a Gospel service. It was New Year’s Eve, 1967, and a little group of Pentecostal Christians had hired a hall in a local pub in St Leonard’s on Sea. I went along determined that would be my last night on earth.

But the Lord had other plans – that night Jesus Christ appeared to me. I fell to my knees in shock but he simply held out his hands to me, and told me he loved me. I experienced an intensity of love that I never believed possible. Something dark and terrible left me and has never returned.

That night I was born again into a life of miracles, blessings and joy. Particularly in the 1970s when I lived in Essex, we used to see such incredible things and I long to see the Church move in supernatural power again.

My dear Robert and I still had some difficult days ahead, but today he is involved with supporting young people whom he loves. As for me, after 12 years as a single mother, I married Tony and we had our own son, Graham, but sadly Tony did not live to see him grow up. Then, aged 40, I met my second husband, Richard, and have had a happy 30 years of marriage to a man who enjoys a wonderful friendship with my son.

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