When I was 15, I went through complications with my mental health due to chronic anxiety. Growing up, I never had anxiety issues. It didn't start until I got to highschool for reasons I wasn’t sure of at the time. Going through this took a great quantity of joy out of my highschool years. The pivotal times of my teenage years were spent hyperventilating, being anxious for no apparent reason, and letting my mind draw me away from enjoying times with family and friends. I felt alone and only surrounded with the company of more anxiety. On the outside everything appeared more than fine. My grades were good (kinda), I was on the track and cheer team, had friends, and even had my own little hair business. However, on the inside I felt like I was viewing life through a foggy glass screen, suffocated by fear, and was never in the present moment. I didn’t really know or understand God at the time, so I didn’t understand that this was a spiritual issue and not something that really could be dealt with in the natural world. Struggling with anxiety while also trying to find yourself in highschool isn't necessarily the ideal combination. I was trying to find myself while also trying to stay in a good head space constantly. Anxiety wasn’t the only thing I was struggling with. I was struggling with lust, insecurity, and a plethora of other things. Some days I couldn’t even get myself to speak to people. Some days I wanted to be super outgoing and hang out with everyone! Somedays I wanted to lock myself in the bathroom stalls at school and cry. I started to forget who I even was before I started dealing with anxiety, which led me into identity confusion and trying to find myself all over again when I barely even knew who I really was yet in the first place. All I knew was I wanted answers and help to get out of this tormenting cycle. The worst feeling you can experience is knowing what it feels like to be emotionally balanced and normal, only to wake up one day not even remembering what peace feels like. To look in the mirror and not be able to see yourself. It felt like I lost myself and just became my suffering. That was the worst part of my reality at that time. I walked around silent, not telling anyone what was on my mind. My theology was that “If i talk about it, it's going to get worse” or “The more people know, the more anxious i'm going to feel''. I was silenced with unrealistic scenarios from the devil, the father of lies. There were times I wanted to pray and cry out to God and beg him to take away the torment I was feeling...but I didn't because I was terrified of the idea of crying out to God and having nothing change after. That would have crushed me. It’s crazy how lack of knowledge and understanding can keep you so bound! I preferred to just find my own way out. I was on a mission to get my peace back, not even understanding that I was striving to do what only God can do. One of the most dangerous things you can do is to search for peace in all the wrong places, and that's exactly what I did. I was looking for anything that can calm my soul thinking it was going to make me feel better but it really just made things worse. The bible saids “They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wounds. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. - jeremiah 6:14 . For me these “superficial treatments'' were new age, alcohol,weed, sex, parties and toxic relationships. I used all of these things just to escape the reality I was in. I came into new age spirituality because I thought that meditations and mantras were going to give me my peace back. It started off really innocent and small. I just started to do meditations and mantras to calm the anxiety. Then I found myself slowly getting deeper into buhddist and hindu practices, like crystals, sage, law of attraction. I was getting deeper into the practices because I believed the deeper I got, the more peace I would potentially feel. This is how Satan gets you. He doesn't throw things at you all at once, he starts small and works his way up so you can never notice when he’s operating in your life. Deception! All these new age practices did was open a door for me to start unintentionally dabble in witchcraft! I was manifesting, doing full moon rituals, using crystals, sage, you name it, i did it all. I even had an altar of crystals built in my room. I thought I was going through a “spiritual awakening” but I was only losing myself more. Due to my identity confusion, horoscopes and astrology became my best friend! It’s so easy to have everything in this world tell you who you are other than God, who's the one who’s actually known you before you were even formed in your mothers womb (Jeremiah 1:5).
Some of you are reading this and might be dabbling in some of these practices. You might be thinking, what's wrong with crystals, sage, astrology, mantras, etc. All these things are just modern day witchcraft, packaged up to to look cute and innocent. People have this misconception that evil things are always supposed to be presented looking dark, when in reality satan makes the most evil things look beautiful and glorious so you can be deceived into trying it! 2 Corinthians 11:14 saids, “But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Using crystals, sage, and other new age practices to give you peace and empowerment is actually idolatry and sorcery because you're giving power to a rock when you should really be going to God for these things. How can you go to the creation before the creator? Romans 1:25 saids “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!”. Essentially, the main purpose of witchcraft is to try to imitate the power of God. The thing about this power is that it will always be limited because it was conjured up by human wisdom, which can never compare to the wisdom of God. The devil will try to seduce you with a counterfeit power of God so you’ll never experience the true power of God.
To me spirituality made sense because I was always free spirited growing up. I even could sense things about people all the time, and I would always be right. However, I didn’t understand that God gave me the gift of discerning spirits and prophecy. Satan was trying to pervert the gifts that God placed inside of me and make me a Psychic Medium, which is the complete counterfeit of a Prophet. Going through these things made me realize that anything in this world that tries to sell you peace without Jesus Christ being involved, is setting you up for failure and to be put in a deeper hole then you were in before. Jesus saids in John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.” Jesus makes it clear that the peace that comes with following him can never compare to the artificial peace this world gives. Looking for peace in the world will only have you more lost and confused. I was so frustrated with life. I hated myself. I used to be embarrassed that my name was Gold because I constantly felt like I was never living up to the standard of my name. I felt cheap, like I always sold myself shorter then what I was actually worth. Just a hot mess. All of these things were slowly dimming the light that God had put inside of me. I had no sense of direction. I never knew what was next, I just let the winds of life take me anywhere. You never want to be in a place in your life where you're just a leaf blowing in the wind. You want to be a tree. Something stable, rooted, secure, and bearing fruit. You want to be a branch grafted into the vine of Christ, like it saids in John 15:5. I was in this cycle of my life all the way until my sophomore year of college. Summer 2019 was when God met me and when things shifted completely. I was at my lowest point and was just tired of being in demonic cycles. I was tired of the parties, the drinking, smoking, toxic relationships, and being confused! During this time period, God also opened my eyes about new age spirituality and how I was basically doing witchcraft for years and didn't know. That confused me even more because new age spirituality was all I knew, that was how I lived my life. So I just cried out to God and said “I want to talk to the one and only True God, the one who created all things, the Supreme one. I need help! I don't know what I’m doing, I don’t know where to go, I’m so Lost. Please give me guidance, I'm so tired!”. I said all of this while sobbing in my room by myself. There's something powerful about crying out to God when you're at your weakest point. Jeremiah 29:13 saids “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. From that experience, I realized that desperation is the key to unlock the Lord's Presence to manifest in your life. I obviously didn’t know any bible scriptures at the time, but it's almost like my soul already knew what to do in that moment. After crying out to God, I felt the urge to call one of my friends at the time who was on fire for God. She prayed for me and I couldn’t stop crying! I had this urgency to get up, throw away all my crystals, new age books, everything! I remember her saying on the phone “Gold, you don’t have to be sacred anymore, Jesus is with you now”. Something about that made me feel so safe and secure. That night, I accepted Jesus Christ completely into my life and I was radically saved. The next morning, I woke up completely different.
There was an unexplainable peace that was over me. I felt a weight lighted off of me. It was honestly miraculous. My eyes even looked different when I looked in the mirror, like I could actually see myself now. The peace I felt that morning was the peace that 100 chakra meditations, crystal chargings, and astrology would never be able to give me. That peace filled a void in my soul that I used to believe would always be vacant. Jesus saids in John 7:37-38 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” He also says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Welcoming Christ into my life revived my soul and I truly felt that living water in my heart that he talked about in John 7. I used to believe that I was so “enlightened” and “woke”, and knew all the answers to life, but I realized I didn't really know anything at all. The devil is so strategic, he makes you rely on your own wisdom and understanding and makes you believe you're the God of your life. He knows that if you think you're the lord over your life, then you'll never come into alignment with the real God of your life. Since that day, I was on a journey of continuous transformation. All I wanted to do was learn more about God and to help pull people out of the same pit that I was in. As you can see from this story, I was pulled out of darkness by the overbearing light of Christ and my life was never the same. I don’t look like what I went through, and that's the beauty of the unexplainable miraculous transformations that the Lord does in our lives. So what started off as a tragedy that caused me to be in a place of darkness for so long, actually ended up helping me find my purpose. I'm hoping that with this book, this will be the same outcome for you as well. The bible says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. - (James 1:2-4). When I was finally out of this dark place, God showed me that my whole life was just a refining process. Just as gold needs to be refined by fire in order to be in its most authentic form, that was what God was doing to me. I was actually living out my name the whole time and didn’t even know. That's my story, and there's a lot more to it that I would love to share with you guys. Feel free to ask me any questions. God bless.