When life coach Lauren Roskilly was 14, she started having terrifying fainting episodes. Eventually she was diagnosed with an incurable heart condition that left her unable to leave the house alone. Depression and anxiety followed, but an unexpected chain of events saw her healed both mentally and physically
Growing up with my siblings in East Sussex, I was introduced to the occult by my mother, who did tarot card readings with me and taught me secular meditation.
One day she took me to a spiritualist church and another time bought me a beautiful purple, velvet spell book that I wanted.
Sadly, I was being bullied at school, and started feeling depressed. So in my bedroom, I lit candles and incense and tried casting a spell over the girls who had been calling me names. I had no more trouble from them, and I was really pleased with my newly found sense of control.
I would black out twice a day or more, but the doctors didn’t know what was happening
Around the same time, aged 14, I began fainting regularly. Sometimes I would black out twice a day or more, but doctors didn’t know what was happening.
Once I got to college, I met my partner, but later discovered he was seeing another girl. Feeling very alone, I took an overdose of paracetamol, but told my partner and spent a night in hospital recovering.
A few months later, we got back together and I decided to move in with him. We had a daughter in 2004, born seven weeks prematurely, and we got married a week after leaving hospital!
Light bulb moment
That year I was approached by an older gentleman in a pub who told me things about myself he shouldn’t have known, and invited me to join his witchcraft coven. Excitedly, I took his number.
That evening my partner had, providentially, invited our Christian window cleaner to our house, who shared the Gospel and talked with us for hours. Until he showed us a video about Creation, I was on the defensive. Watching that video, though, turned on a light bulb inside me. I knew that I was sinful, Jesus had died for me and I needed to repent!
After saying the sinner’s prayer, I immediately knew I had to get rid of my rune stones and spell books. I was ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit and stayed awake until 3am, writing my first Christian poem.
I believe my salvation on that precise day was God’s plan to stop me becoming more deeply mired in occultism.
Soon after, we started going to church, and in our second church both my husband and I were baptised by full immersion. A community church then became my spiritual ‘home’ for about 13 years.
In 2007, I suffered a miscarriage, but a year later in 2008, I was thrilled when my son was born.
Deliverance from occultic past
On a weekend away with our community church, I was dramatically set free from the spiritual burdens I’d been unknowingly carrying.
After the Bible teacher listed occultic practices Christians must avoid, I felt as if a fireball was growing in my stomach. Everyone was asked to leave, and the leaders and my friend started praying intensely. I began retching, but nothing physical came out.
They told me I had been ‘delivered’ from all the occult stuff accrued in my past, and the subsequent worship session was the best I had ever experienced. I felt so light and relieved!
But the relationship with my husband became rocky; he became addicted to narcotics and alcohol. He had had numerous affairs over the years, too, and one day I finally asked him to leave and filed for divorce. My family and church were incredibly supportive; they were my rock, and so was Jesus!
By 2018, I had been faint-free for three years, passed my driving test and had started a health and social care degree with the Open University.
But in March 2019 another blackout sent me to the cardiology ward for a week. Once discharged, the episodes continued regularly, so I went on sick leave and stopped driving.
That July the cardiologist finally diagnosed neurocardiogenic syncope, which relates to having a slow heart rate. When he said there was no cure, my heart sank. The depression returned and soon I was on antidepressants and referred for counselling.
I experienced daily fainting episodes, which often resulted in concussion. Stuck indoors, I couldn’t go to work, church, or even to the garden as we lived in a first-floor flat. For the next three years, I could not leave the house alone.
My daughter kindly helped by cooking and cleaning, but it was a dark time and I began self-harming, which I hid as I felt so ashamed. I hated that I couldn’t do what mums are supposed to do, so I withdrew from family and friends, and even stopped praying.
Months passed and eventually in 2020 I started talking to Jesus again, just small prayers such as, “Help me Lord, I’m fed up.”
I started talking to Jesus again, just small prayers such as, “Help me Lord, I’m fed up”
Finally I felt ready to stop denying my difficulties. Bawling my eyes out, I literally cried out to God, resubmitting my life and asking him to relieve me from the darkness.
Over the next week, I began to contact my family and a few close church friends. I tearfully admitted self-harming to one friend and asked for prayer.
Release from depression
My friend invited me to her church service, where we asked for prayer for physical healing. As a lady prayed for me, I fell on the floor, but unusually, I wasn’t unconscious. She prayed about any negative emotions I was experiencing, although I hadn’t even mentioned that!
I felt such a sense of relief, peace and freedom. Later I realised the syncope hadn’t been healed but the toxic emotions definitely had! No more did I feel despair or lack of control.
After that, I sensed I should start writing and speaking about Christianity and mental health, and in 2021 I published a book combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with biblical meditation. The aim is to help Christians overcome unhelpful thoughts and feelings by renewing their mind (Romans 12:2).
I was invited to help host a London conference, but due to anxiety about fainting, I still couldn’t leave the flat alone. In November 2021, 270 people at an online conference prayed for me, and for the first time in 24 years I found myself saying, “I trust God for healing.” Over the next few months my health improved and the anxiety reduced.
At last, in February 2022, I began leaving the flat, taking a wheelchair and wearing a thick winter hat just in case I had an episode. A month later, a woman on the bus saw the wheelchair and told me: “Jesus died for you on the cross and by his stripes you are healed. You don’t need that chair any more. Don’t look back; look forwards.”
Then we prayed together. I was totally blown away, convinced that I was healed. The anxiety literally disappeared and I’ve never used the wheelchair again!
In the months that followed I got my driving licence back, took the kids to Croatia (my first holiday abroad in 22 years) and even went to Las Vegas for a Christian conference. I am now an accredited life coach, helping Christians tackle mindset difficulties and live out their God-given mission.
I was totally blown away. The anxiety literally disappeared
The Lord is our healer. He broke my physical, emotional and spiritual ‘chains’ once I surrendered my life to him. It’s been an incredible journey and I continue to enjoy each day with him. I now tell this story for his glory!
Lauren Roskilly is author of ‘Christian Based CBT’ and other books. She runs Mindful of Christ Ministries and has featured on Elevation TV Network and United Christian Broadcasters.
Could the lack of true disciples be the reason for church decline?
If we had more disciples in churches, we would have fewer problems, more unity, more growth, and more names written in heaven
By Tim and Tope Pearson
There are four stages that lead to people coming to faith, yet fewer than 50 per cent get beyond the third stage.
These are the four stages that should lead to a full relationship with Jesus:
A: Agnostic/atheist. People come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences or even religions, but have never been told, or have believed, the Gospel message. Once they hear this and realise that they are sinners and need a Saviour, they can move onto the next stage.
A disciple knows their authority to heal the sick, cast out demons and be a messenger for God, accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles
B: Believe. Once a person reaches this stage and believes that Jesus died for their sins, washes them clean and gives them eternal life, they start their journey with him.
C: Convert. Now they are a convert, they realise there is a lot to learn; they need to understand Scripture and the new life they have received. They may have gone on an Alpha course, joined a small group and attend church regularly. However, this is where most Christians remain. After a while, they find their comfort zone and stay there, not realising that there is a vital last stage.
D: Disciple. This is the stage where Jesus wants us all to be. He did not say “Go and make converts”, but “disciples”. The difference is that as a disciple, you follow, take after, become more like Jesus and in doing so your life changes dramatically. A disciple knows their authority to heal the sick, cast out demons and be a messenger for God, accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles.
Therefore, if we had more disciples in churches, we would have fewer problems, more unity, more growth, and more names written in heaven.
The importance of discipleship and its impact on relationship
Most people would admit how daunting it can be when you start a new job. It reminds us of being the new boy or girl at school.
We can remember the peaceful and encouraging experience of having someone buddy up with us in a new job. This is far better than being thrown in the deep end and making loads of mistakes, which can irritate, and even hurt, many colleagues and managers.
Similarly, as a new believer in Christ, we all should be prevented from walking the Christian journey haphazardly. This was never Jesus’s intention, hence why he gave his disciples the Great Commission.
Discipleship is therefore key to our relationship with God our Father in heaven and our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours. These are the main areas of discipleship which will help us hold to Jesus’ teaching:Seeking God; prayer; Jesus, the only way; the Word; sin; the Cross; repentance; forgiveness; the Church; water baptism; Holy Spirit baptism; love; counting the cost; discipleship; fasting (self control); tithes and offerings; miracles, signs and wonders; disputable matters.
We hope to cover these topics in a forthcoming series.
Excerpt from ‘The Lonely Soldier’ by Tope Pearson:
“It is crucial for the older generation to teach the younger God’s law. We can see an example in Scripture where Ezra was told to teach people how to be God fearing (Ezra 7:25). Likewise, Jesus commanded his disciples to teach all future disciples to obey everything he taught. Hence discipleship training is paramount today and something, God willing, Equipping the Saints (ETS) Ministries will continue to teach until Jesus returns. Read Matthew 28:18-20…”
Tim & Tope Pearson are co-founders of Equipping the Saints Ministries. Find out more via etsministries.org.uk or call 01733 230 769