I bind the demons that are controlling Suszana and giving her the power of telepathic communication and consign them to the lake of fire or to whatever place Yah'shua shall send them.' Then there was complete silence."
"Wow!" I said. "That's amazing. What happened next?"
"Nothing. Nothing at all. I tried to communicate with Stan but the line was, as it were, completely dead. I then realised that he possessed a power that was greater than my own. I was shocked because I had always thought, since meeting Ray, that the gods of Christianity were weak and ineffective. I thought that their doctrines were all wrong. Then I started to feel a deep guilt - a really deep guilt for what I had done to Stan earlier..."
"In leaving him?" I asked.
"No, in asking my spirit guides, who I later learned were demons, to punish him for taking my children away from me. I literally put a curse on him. It was the only revenge I knew. He suffered terribly from a heart condition after that."
"But....surely Christ would have protected him from that??" I cried.
"He couldn't. You see, Stan had a weakness: me. He loved me so much that he refused to renounce our marriage vows. He thought that if he did that he would lose me for ever. I had committed adultery and he had every right to divorce me but he wouldn't. That was his undoing. You see, so long as those vows were in place, it gave me a direct channel to him. It fooled him for years. What he didn't understand was that renouncing his marriage vows didn't mean that I ceased to belong to him. Even Yahweh divorced Judah and Israel for playing the harlot, but they still belonged to Him. Stan was blinded by his love for me and this was his fatal flaw. I was able to really damage his ministry and health through that, though I didn't know how much at the time."
I was shocked. This was all so other-worldly to me. Here I was encountering what Paul meant by struggling with unseen powers for real. Suddenly Paul's words took on flesh and blood and I was frightened.
"Well, praise the Lord, Stan eventually saw his error thanks to Kasia who has a prophetic gift and he reluctantly renounced his vows to me. The moment he did this the connection between us, which was a channel for demons from me to him, was broken, and he started to recover, and his ministry started to increase again."
"All because of you...", I gasped.
Suszana lowered her eyes in shame. "Yes," she whispered.
"Well, you're together again. What happened?"
I could hardly wait to hear the rest of the story.
"Things started going wrong between me and Steve. He felt an alien in Poland, couldn't get a job, and saw that we were slowly drifting apart. He wanted to go home to the States but I wouldn't. He started taking vaccations to Florida more and more regularly.
"And then one day he didn't return. He said that he had found another woman and wanted a divorce. He missed his daughter, though, but knew he would never get custody. I was alone again in Kraków with my two girls. I had been in contact with my eldest daughter sporadically - but she wasn't as interested in having contact with me as I had hoped. My son never wrote to me. Nothing had gone the way I had wanted it to. Stan had waited patiently for fifteen years for me, interceeding on my behalf. Destiny was coming full circle for me and I couldn't escape it. The Lord and Satan were at my heels - I had no peace. I was getting older and tired. I just gave in.
"So one day I packed a bag and as bold as brass arrived here at Raj. I wasn't completely defeated, though, and I would have one last try to get my own way. It was Satan's last hold on me.
"I arrived at the house and demanded to see my two eldest children. I was angry - really angry. All the hate and bitterness in my soul suddenly welled up within me as I stood outside the house.
"Stan came to the door. 'What can I do for you, Suszana?' Stan had said softly. I demanded my children."
"'I'll go and see if they'll see you,' he replied and went off. Five minutes later he reappeared and said that they did not want to see me. They were looking at me from an upstairs window and had got frightened by the evil powers that had started to manifest in me.
"I started to rage and rant, calling Stan every despicable thing I could think of. I felt the spirit of murder well up in me and I would have killed him had I had a weapon at hand. Stan knew that I was beyond reason and just stood silently.
"Suddenly, he raised his right hand, and with a fiery look in his eyes, shouted: In the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah, I command you to be silent!'
"My tongue went stiff, as though suddenly deep-frozen. I tried to speak but nothing would come out of my mouth.
"'Ye legions of hell, I command you, in the Name of Yah'shua and by the power of His blood, to come out of her!'
"I shrieked at the top of my voice and collapsed onto my suitcase on the ground. The next thing I knew I was in the living room lying on the sofa wrapped in a rug and shivvering with cold. I was sweating profusely. Stan looked over me, a look of seriousness in his eyes.
"'Suszana', he said, 'I cannot prevent the demons I just threw out of you from coming back and taking control of you again unless you renounce your life in the occult and your adultery, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have been made free only for a very short time by the grace of Yahweh. You have to choose now or else you will be possessed again and will have to return to Kraków, possibly even more under demonic bondage than you were before.'
"Stan's wives were all in intercessory prayer for me. I sensed that I would not long have a clear mind like I did at that moment. I felt clean, my thoughts were pure and whole, and I could see the bondage I was in. All that remained was my pride.
"'This may be your last chance, Suszana,' he said with a note of eternity in his voice.
"He was deadly serious - I could see that he would accept no argument - just a decision.
"'Just know that we love you and want to take care of you.'
"No strings attached?" I asked. "You won't expect me to sleep with you?"
"'No strings. You do not have to sleep with me but you cannot sleep with anyone else again either. You must be my wife but it is up to you whether you live with me or not. It is up to you to choose.'
"That was all I needed to know. I just needed to be free. 'I'll do it,' I said.
"Stan led me through the Sinner's Prayer and then sent me to shower and to bed. I slept more peacefully that night than at any time before in my life. The next day Stan took me through deliverance as I confessed all my sins and involvement with the occult, renouncing them one by one. I had to return to Kraków to my daughters and to settle up my affairs there, selling my house and getting packed up. I moved into Raj a month later. Stan gave me the guest room you're in now."
"So did you live apart then, " I asked curiously.
"Yes, Stan kept his word. He never touched me. We both knew that if we were to have any sort of relationship again that we would have to start fresh. Though I loved him as a dear friend it took me a year to start feeling anything for him romantically or sexually. He gave me all the space I wanted. We were betrothed after thirteen months upon my returning home and were fully married last year. It's been a long rehabilitation but it's been worth it."
I felt happy for Suszana. "How would you say your relationship to Stan is today compared with your first marriage?"
She smiled. "Completely different. Now it's me who's head over heels in love and it's Stan who is growing in love for me. We hurt each other a lot and so the old "us" had to die. I've remarried a new Stan and he's remarried a new me. We're still newly weds, still growing. Though I was Stan's wife before all of the others, I feel the youngest because it's all so new. The Lord has given us a new lease of life. My girls are happy here, Stan accepts them completely, and I've slowly been able to build up a relationship with my eldest two - I had to start all over again with them too."
Suszana seemed to drift off in a distant gaze.
"It's been a long, long journey."
A tear appeared in her eye.
"There was a lot of pain. I never dreamed it would end up like this. I was convinced that Stan and I were finished permanently. But the Holy Spirit has given me a wholly new perspective on everything. We're so blind, so blind..."
She looked up at me, tears trickling down her cheeks, and smiled.
"I hope you marry Stan - I think you two'd really be happy together. We all like you."
I gulped. It was the first time this subject had been brought up. I didn't know what to say but I could see in her eyes that she didn't expect an answer, and I was glad. I just wasn't ready to confide my feelings yet. I'd only been there half a day and yet I was already being swallowed up into the intimacy and deep, deep love of this family.
Isabel put some cutlery away in a drawer. I had been so absorbed by Suszana's tale that I had forgotten her. She smiled at me. Suszana took her hand and they hugged.
"Isabel means everything to me," Suszana continued. "We were best friends when young and we're even better friends now because we're sister-wives."
Isabel began to cry. She was a sensitive one, easily hurt but also easily moved to tenderness. I could see that there was something special between them.
In the space of a few hours I felt that I had had more crammed into my selfish little heart than in a whole life time. There was such depth here that it left one dizzy with both joy and fear - joy because depth is a wonderful thing, but fear because I saw so much shallowness in myself. I wanted to go deeper - wanted to contain this love. I wanted everything I saw. But at the same time I didn't want the wrestle with my fallen nature that such love provoked. I knew a war for my soul was about to start and that I would have to wrestle with supernatural powers to overcome. I both shrank and rallied to the challenge. I wasn't going to pass this opportunity of a lifetime up. I would yield myself to the Lord and let Him lead me - but, oh, did it tax my faith in Him! I had to yield everything up to Him, both my loves and my fears. I felt vulnerable but, oh, so safe at the same time.
Was the spiritual struggle for perfection always filled with such contradictions?