Spiritual Battles and the Toxic Cemetery :: By Candy Austin

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:13-15, all scripture KJV).

With Tears I write:

Have you ever Loved someone so much and thought that they Loved you, only to find out that their Love for you just seemed to change… especially the more you grew in CHRIST? I have Loved Ones that I Love Dearly! I thought for sure some of them were my Best Friends at one point in time. Somehow, over the years, the Devil stole them away one by one. ‘Stole Them Away’ as in getting them to Betray, Turn Against, and Forsake not only me but other Family Members in this Painful Process as well.

As Devastating and Heartbreaking as this Nightmare Experience has been, we know that we are not alone. Nearly everyone we have spoken to concerning this Last Days Phenomenon could relate to this Experience in one way or another. Family Estrangement is nothing short of a Tragedy in a person’s life. We have also come to realize that it may very well be one of the High Costs of Discipleship! After all, JESUS told us that to be HIS Followers, we are to ‘Count the Cost’!

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:26-30).

One night I was abruptly awakened after having a Dream about one of my Estranged Loved Ones; and somehow, the scene from the old movie Pet Cemetery (which we have not seen since the early 90’s) came to mind. The scene of the Parents Grieving So Much over their Little Son that they Dared to Exhume his Body and Bury him at Pet Cemetery! These Parents wanted to ‘Resurrect’ their Precious Son so badly that it did not matter the Cost! Risking to bring him Back, all the while Knowing that he Would Not be the Same! Sure enough, their Little Boy came back; and not only was he Not the Same, he was now Satanically Evil! Since their Son was So Evil, the Cost ended up being their very lives!

Like the Grieving Parents in that movie, I have been Desperate to ‘Resurrect the Walking Dead’ Loved Ones in my life! Knowing Full Well that these Relationships would More Than Likely Still be Very Toxic, I Longingly took the Risk! By Optimistically ‘Extending the Olive Branch’ not once but several times (that would be my Forever Optimist Mindset apparently stuck on Repeat) over the years, in Hopes that with each New Effort that things might have Finally Changed! Unfortunately, the Best way to describe this ‘Circling the Drain’ Experience would be to liken it to bringing them back from something like the ‘Pet Cemetery’!  A better description to me would be likening it to bringing them back from what I would call more of a ‘Toxic Cemetery’!

Excerpt from:  WiseGeek.com “What Does it Mean to Extend an Olive Branch?”

The term “to extend an olive branch” means to make an offer of peace or reconciliation. This term has Biblical origins, coming from the section of the Old Testament that deals with the flood; the sign that the flood is over is an olive branch brought back to the ark by a dove. Olive branches were also symbols of peace in Ancient Greece and Rome, and they continue to be used in various works of art that are meant to suggest peace, from murals to patches. – Source

The ‘Revived’ Relationships would Last anywhere from 3 Weeks to A Year and a Half each time. But since Minds and Hearts were Not Changed and Issues were Not Resolved due to Lack of Repentance, the Relationships basically did not have a Genuine Chance to Survive and would Painfully End once again! One can Extend all the Olive Branches in the world, but until the other Persons in the Relationship have their Minds and Hearts Right with GOD, no amount of Coaxing and Kindness can smooth over that kind of ‘Walking Dead Toxicity’!

GOD is the Only One who can Change Minds and Hearts! HE Gives every one of us Freewill to Choose. It is up to us to Decide if we Believe in HIM or not! GOD does not want ‘Robots’ to Mindlessly Love HIM. HE wants us to Freely Choose to Love HIM of our Own Volition! Until that ‘Transaction’ takes place inside a person, they are under the Spell of the Enemy! The Devil takes them Captive to do His Bidding which is to Steal, Kill, and Destroy; and that includes the Destroying of Relationships too!

As long as they are held Captive by Satan, they are Blinded to the TRUTH of the Gospel! Since they are Blinded to the WORD OF GOD, they will Not be in Obedience to HIM which is to Love One Another. JESUS tells us to Love the LORD your GOD with All your Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength, and to Love One Another as you Love yourself!

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

And the second is like, namely this, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

Until one is Born Again, they will not be able to carry out this Command.  The Deceiver, sadly, has most of our Estranged Loved Ones Deceived into thinking that they are Christians, yet one can clearly perceive that they do not ‘Have Fruit in Keeping with Repentance’!  Namely the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ such as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.  When a person claims to be a Christian but Their Thoughts, Actions, and Conduct Consistently Display Hatred, Misery, Conflict, Impatience, Meanness, Wickedness, Inaccuracy, Cruelty, and Indiscipline, then one has to wonder if they are just a Christian in name only.

Hence the Reason we will Never Stop Praying for them! When a Family receives this much Opposition in their life, it is evident that there is a Spiritual Battle taking place! So, what we have learned in this Process is that it is ultimately Fruitless to try and ‘Resurrect the Walking Dead’ from the ‘Toxic Cemetery’ while this Spiritual Battle is raging!

The Best we can do is to Pray for them and let GOD Work on their Minds and Hearts In Only The Way That HE Can! Believe me, I have Tried and Tried with some Loved Ones Time and Time again to No Avail! The Realization is that we Do Not have the Ability to Change Minds and Hearts… Clearly that Ability Belongs to the HOLY SPIRIT Alone!

If you are in the Same Boat of this Last Days Phenomenon, the Best Exhortation I can give is to be Thankful in All Circumstances!  I know it sounds Absurd to be Thankful for Heartache, Broken Relationships, and Suffering but many times that is what it takes to Catapult our Relationship with CHRIST to a Whole New Level!

In Our Lives that has been the Case; so in Hindsight, all this Suffering did was Nothing but Catapult Us To Our Most Intimate Walk With JESUS! A Walk that we probably would not have had if this Tragedy did not come upon our Family! Therefore, even though there have been many tears shed, the Reality is that this has been the Best Thing that could have ever happened to us!

If any Tragedy or Trauma brings you Closer to GOD and/or to Salvation, then Discernment reveals that it was Definitely a Blessing in Disguise! Still, we are Praying that it will also become the Best Thing that could have happened to our Lost Loved Ones as well! What the Enemy meant for Evil against us… GOD worked it together for our Good!

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thessalonians 5:18).

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20).


*Ambassador For Christ in All I Do

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*Occupation: Sign Language Interpreter Sub//Highest Calling of Wife, Mother, & Keeper of the Home