I had several song versions of this verse rattling around in my head. My mom sang it to me on roller coasters and driving through thunderstorms. It was my mantra for many different fears, but mostly for the invisible, spiritual world. As a believer, I literally believed in angels and demons floating around. I would sense the negative spirits of certain rooms and be afraid to look certain directions, worried that I might get a glimpse of evil. I remember one night, when I was about 21, I got so terrified of demons at home alone, that I went out and drove aimlessly around town.
I vaguely had confidence that as a believer, I was safe from becoming possessed. I also sort of thought that you could always just driving the demon away by name dropping Jesus, but I had a nagging suspicion that if I didn’t say it with enough mojo, it might not work. I once heard a story of a little girl becoming possessed and losing her swallow reflex. I legitimately got dysphagia anxiety, where any time I was either worried that I was sinning or was exposed to something of an evil nature that I wouldn’t be able to manage my secretions. Experiencing anything potentially dangerous, I would will myself to swallow continuously to keep the demons out.
One positive change that I have noticed since deconverting is that I have much less fear. I can focus on tangible threats rather than worrying about evil spirits floating around. I can deal with threats objectively rather than trying to cast out demons. Sure I lost my imaginary friend God to protect me, but I also lost the monsters running that I needed protection from to begin with.
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