Crowns & Thorns: Fighting the Shadow People
“In Jesus’s name, anything that is not of God’s creation I command you to leave this house. God send your guardian angels to protect this house, everyone I love,...and me. In Jesus’s name. Amen.” Every night from about age 6 to age 12 this stand guard plea was a part of my nightly routine. Put on my pajamas, brush my teeth, say your prayers and exorcise the shadow people.
As a child and still to this day, I am a loner type. As a kid I did love playing with others, but I enjoyed me, myself, and I playtime just as much. Just me, my action figures, troll dolls, and a big imagination was all I needed to have fun. At least, until the shadow people would walk by my doorway.
When I was alone focused on something intently, especially when I was in a state of joy, it seems they would walk by and startle me. I could never see them straight on, just with my peripherial vision. When I would fully turn my head in the direction of the shadow people, absolutely nothing was there. However, I was not one to get up to investigate either. I would just shake it off as being nothing. I would tell myself it was probably just my imagination and those scary movies messing with my mind. But, at some point it just happened too often and I finally mentioned it to my mom.
She could tell it really frighten me, but I never outright told her. I thought I had everything under control. I had my nightlight, dragon pillow person, a wall of pillows surrounding me in the bed and my Babs Bunny Tiny Tunes doll to protect me at night. The shadow people could not get me because I had the scenario all planned out. The magic would start if the entities came in my room. Babs Bunny would come alive to wake me up, my pillows would transform into large walls, and the piece de resistance, my pillow dragon would turn into a bonafide fearsome fire breather. Yeah, the shadow people couldn't get me because I had a plan.
Arm the Little Lady
At some point, my mom must have mentioned my shadow people fears to my aunt. One day my mom passed the phone over to me. My little hands grabbed it and in a chipper tone I said, “Hey Auntie!” She let me know she knew about the shadow people. She asked me to tell her all about them. After I shared my piece, she then told me to pray with her. I got down on my knees and assumed the prayer position. The step-by-step guide to my nightly spiritual warfare rally cry began.
See, my Aunt is one of those people that can spit out a Bible verse without having to pick up the Good Book. She was also the great Bible storyteller in the family. She would always have me sitting on the edge of my seat whenever she shared a Bible story with me and my sister. But, she was not one of those over-the-top in your face Christian types (well, not all of the time) . She was one of those know-the-word Christians.
My Auntie did not dismiss my fear as child's play. She treated it as something that needed a spiritual cleansing and gave me my first real weapon against the shadow people. My first real tool to soothe my own soul -- intensely focus prayer and the name of Jesus.
Ready, Aim, Fire
From that moment on I would perform my ritual war cry. After the bed barrier was made out of pillows and stuffed animals and the nightlight was turned on, the war was on.
Are you ready to rummmmmble....Six-year old Kia vs. the shadow people.
As soon as I got my goodnight kisses from my mom and godmother and their bedroom door closed, on my knees I would go to say my prayer. Then, to my feet I would rise. I would check to make sure the hand-woven crosses were on all the doors in my room. Cross is on the closet door? Check! Corss on the bedroom doorway? Check! Then I would say the commands, my war cry: “In Jesus’s name, anything that is not of God’s creation I command you to leave this house. God send your guardian angels to protect this house, everyone I love,...and me. In Jesus’s name. Amen.”
Back into the bed I would climb. I would take care not to mess up my barrier. Under the covers I would dive and off to dreamland I would drift. A night filled with wild tossing and turning and fighting in my sleep. I was such a wild sleeper as a child that by morning my pillows and covers would be all over the floor. My fit bed covers would often be halfway of the bed.
By morning, my worries of the shadow people would be long gone, but on weekends and on those sleep-in days, the brightness of a sunny morning would send my heart into racing palpitation. But, that’s another story for another day.
Analyzing the Younger Me: Crazy Faith
Looking back on this nightly ritual of my childhood, I now understand that level of anxiety for a child that age was not the norm. Back then, I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that when the night fell over the land that something out there wanted to get me.
As a child, fights with the shadow people with the word of God were the norm for me. It was just something l had to deal with. But, even 'til this day, I still wonder who or what the shadow people where or what they represented.
A psychologist would have probably come to some subjective conclusion from the DSM-IV and diagnosed me with some form of psychosis that manifested as “shadow people”.
If my mother took the clinical route instead of the spiritual approach with the younger me, at a very early age I would have been pumped full of pills as my brain was still developing. I believe that this would have resulted in me being turned into a non-functioning mentally ill child with a actual chemical imbalance thanks to the brain alterning drugs that would have been pushed on me to “cure me” and remove the psychotic symptom of the “shadow people”.
Those very drugs that were designed to alter the chemicals in my brain would have severally changed the development of my brain. I am not sure who I would have become if brian altering drugs would have been introduced to me at that age.
Childhood Terrors vs. Child-like Faith
My biological father, if he would have been a regular daily fixture during my childhood, would have probably come in as my protector and superhero to rock me to sleep and stand gaurd for me against the shadow people monsters. He more than likely would have told me not to worry and that he would handle those monsters for his baby girl.
He would have calmed my mind and would have told me I had nothing to worry about because Ironman was here. (That was my Dad’s nickname since he was an ironworker with a tone muscular stature.) However, he was not in my home to play the role of the physical protector, so I found alternative ways to protect myself.
My mother’s actions of directing me to a hyper-spiritual person that I trusted dearly pushed me to form a very intense relationship with my heavenly Father and heavenly Big Brother. If my father would have been in the home, I think I would have entrusted in my earthly father to protect me from the shadows.
As a child, this worry of being taken by the "shadow people" and these nightlight battles with the "army of shadows" was very real to me. It was not psychosis to me. To me, it was a genuine epic battle with the bad guys that lived in the shadows.
As a kid I knew I was going to have to go to war every single night with these entities. In my loner world, I knew I had to handle this all by myself with help from my invisible big brother Jesus and my heavenly father, Adonai.
So, those startles from the shadow people and that night time anxiety that pushedd me into spiritual battle mode thrust me into the arms of the Most High and forced me to lean heavily on my spiritual family, the one that I could never touch and that I could not see, just like the shadow people. Those battles instilled in me that angles, devils, demons, Jesus, and Adonai are real. Just because I cannot see them plain as day, does not mean I can't feel them. It does not mean they do not exist.
So, shout out to the shadow people for making the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so real to me at the tender age of 6.
In the name of Adonai I pray.