By Greg Reid
(author of The Color of Pain)
In my autobiography, Nobody’s Angel, I tell the story of my life, and how the first eleven years of my childhood were a black hole of emptiness. Things had happened, but they had been so horrific I had entered into a world of Forget. I went from a once polite, gentle, God-loving child, changed overnight into a slovenly, sexualized, angry, hard-drinking, rebellious, destructive, secretive, occult-addicted pre-adolescent. My father asked me once,“Whatever happened to that neat little boy I used to know?”
“He died a long time ago, Pop,” I replied, though I knew he couldn’t understand.
Starting at eleven-years-old, I entered the world of the occult. I was drawn into the darkness of it and never could grasp why. I was exploited by predators, raped, and abused and experienced all types of evil. This went on until I felt that I was at the brink of death. A staggering sense of loss and grief had become my constant companions. By the time I was fifteen, I had lived what felt like an entire pathetic life.
I guess my parents should have asked more questions about the changes in me, but at the time they were struggling with serious health issues, and their lives couldn’t take on anymore than what was already consuming them.
In the spring of my 15th year, I met a man hitchhiking who turned out to be a Christian. He gave me a copy of a book called The Cross and The Switchblade. It was the story of Dave Wilkerson, a skinny Pennsylvania preacher, who went to New York and faced down the worst, most deadly gang leader in New York, Nicky Cruz, and told him Jesus loved him. Nicky beat him up. Dave kept on him, and Nicky finally became a Christian.
Eventually, after some very dramatic events, I too surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and became a Christian. Had that not happened, I believe I would have died before ever reaching the age of twenty. I had been on a road to destruction.
Over the next few years, I continued to heal under the protection of some dear Christian friends and a seventy-six-year-old Baptist saint who took me in and loved me and taught me about God’s unconditional love. I devoured the Scriptures, and they broke the lies. I fought a vicious battle with sexual issues, depression, unhealthy relationships, deep loneliness, and a smoldering rage.
I went immediately into “ministry” at sixteen, and before I was twenty-six, had been around the world. The occult, and demonic influence, had wrapped itself in every fiber of my being, and God gently and firmly took me out of it all.
How was I to know that everything inside me would fall apart in my twenties, when as a respected teacher and youth leader, I would have to face a nightmare worse than anything I could imagine? God was now ready for the ordeal to come to me that I know broke His heart, but would be the final deliverance and revelation of who I was and where I had been. I was about to go to the gates of hell—not as a warrior—but as a wanted man, a traitor to the devil, and a terrified child. Those first forgotten eleven years of my life were about to intrude into my adult existence. I had to go back into the dark and empty corridors of my forgotten past to retrieve the truth and, in so doing, become fully prepared to go to war against the satanic powers, organizations, and occult rulers who continue to destroy the lives of thousands of innocent children today.
It was the summer of my twentieth year, and I was home from Bible school for three months. It was the beginning of the crack in the wall that would lead to my descent into the mouth of my satanic past. Nearly a decade would pass before all of the horrible ugly truth came out. But the Lord was with me all along the way; and today I can say that He has healed me. Yes, there are and always will be scars, but His love and His Word have been my Deliverer. (from chapter 1, The Color of Pain, Greg Reid, Lighthouse Trails)