From early November 2020 till I was discharged in early January 2021 — all
during the holiday season — I lived a nightmare. I was in a hospital 90 miles from home during the Covid pandemic when visitors were not allowed. Carolyn was calling me nearly every day, and I was talking nonsense. My spirit was still alive unto God, but the Oppressor was living in my mind. Once when Carolyn was in a church service, she let me hear the worship over the phone, and she said I stayed still on the phone for quite sometime listening. I longed to return to God’s Presence, but my mind wouldn’t let me.
SATAN KEPT TELLING ME I WAS GOING TO DIE
Satan kept telling me I was going to die — even going as far as telling me that I had committed the unpardonable sin and that there was no hope. I kept repeating that to Carolyn and asking if Daniel and her were going to be alright without me. I’d been in this state for a few months now, that she wondered within herself whether I’d ever come out of it. Part 1 and 2 of this testimony are on my timeline and personal blog (Holy Fire Ministries).
THE DEVIL IS A HARD TASKMASTER
I was another person. Full of fear, heavily depressed, intimidated by people, living in isolation…totally opposite of who I really was. I can tell you the devil is a hard taskmaster. The nurses would invite me on outings with other patients to get exercise and fresh air, but I never wanted to be around people. Other times they’d invite me to do arts and crafts and various activities, and most of the time I declined to go. One time, however, I decided to go and I felt like I was suffocating in this small room with about a dozen or so people. Satan was tormenting me constantly. It was almost like I couldn’t physically breathe.
Psychiatrists and nurses didn’t know what to do with me. They had reached a dead end. The next step was to place me in a mental institution. I can’t even begin to tell you the thoughts that flooded my mind when the doctor told me that.
You see, as a junior in college during my pre-conversion days I had been institutionalized for a few days due to what was termed a psychotic break. That was in September 1978. So I was having flashbacks of that time. Satan made sure I remembered it. Back then he had spoken to me in an audible voice and told me I was going to die one night. So here he was repeating the pattern again. Due to the constant state of fear and panic I was in he kept applying the pressure. I was getting close to a total and complete mental breakdown, and Satan was laughing with evil glee.
The doctors made one final suggestion to Carolyn that would help alleviate my fear and depression. It became almost like a last resort. They wanted to perform Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). ECT is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions. There are minor risks and side symptoms involved, including a small percentage of death, but generally it has proven to be safe and they aid greatly in recovery from mental health symptoms.
Neither Carolyn or I wanted to sign off on doing ECTs. The devil again kept telling me they were going to kill me. Fear was gripping me. Day after day the doctor kept persisting on me signing the form. Carolyn didn’t want to sign it either in case something went wrong. She didn’t want to live with that guilt. So she began to pray about whether I should submit to these ECTs.
ANOTHER WORD FROM THE LORD
The Lord calmed Carolyn’s concerns, however, by saying this:
“Look at this as if I’m laying hands on Bert and My power is going into him.”
Praise God! My precious wife had heard from the Lord and faith came into her heart again. So we signed off on having ECTs administered to me. Immediately there was a change. The next time she called me after the first treatment she noted the difference immediately in my voice. I was coming back to my rightful mind. Glory to God! Hearing from the Lord is the secret of living a victorious life. She had heard from God. I was greatly helped. Delivered and set free!
On January 4, 2021 I would be discharged after a few more treatments, and go on to have a some more from home over the next several weeks. By mid-March, exactly one year from having the stroke I received my final treatment. I was gray and thin as a rail when I got out of that psychiatric ward, looking gaunt and haggard from Satan harassing my mind during those many months. But thank God I was of sound mind again.
And then the glory came…
Stay tuned for the real good part and the manifested blessings of the overcomer. Get ready for Part 4! It’s amazing!
This photo was taken a short time after I was discharged. I was able to drive again and return to leading a normal life. Hallelujah!