Inner Healing and Deliverance
(Please listen to Kelsey’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
About three or four years ago, we were in a good place. My husband was happy in his job, the kids were all three in their little school systems and doing well and doing great. And for some reason, Mom, here, was not–was not doing great. And I started just getting really firey and angry inside about really strange things.
I would wake up some mornings and tears would just be at the forefront of my eyes. I would just be at the, at the point of breaking down at any moment. I’d be at the grocery store and just tears would come up. It was just something was overtaking me that was not me, but was controlling me. And I couldn’t figure out what it was. As we processed all that was going on, I just went and saw five different doctors. I saw my internist, I saw the gynecologist. I just went through the rigmarole of…I even went and saw a dermatologist because I was getting rashes, you know, I was breaking out as these things would kind of surface. And everybody would look at me and say, “I am so, I’m so happy to tell you but I’m so sorry to tell you, you’re totally fine. You’re fine. Your blood work looks great. Your hormones are fine. You don’t have low blood sugar. You’re not going through perimenopause, everything looks normal.” And to most people, that would be glorious news, but to me, I was almost frustrated because I needed something to identify what was making me feel this way. And it was just a continual downward spiral for about a year–just a continual downward spiral.
I’m in a women’s small group, and they would get snippets of it and try to pray over me and pray for me and things just weren’t breaking anything loose. Nothing was really happening. And so after about a week of these tears, just at the forefront constantly in this emotional state, I woke up one Saturday morning, and I just had what I think what would be a nervous breakdown. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced one, but maybe now I have experienced one. It just was a total and complete breakdown. I couldn’t breathe. My breathing was not happening. I just felt suffocated. I felt trapped and super emotional. And we were supposed to be going somewhere and I just told my husband, “You need to get the kids downstairs, get them settled and come up here. We–there’s not–something’s not right, we have to figure this out.” And so he and I had a really long talk and he was calming me down. And I didn’t know if I needed to go to the hospital, but we are to the point where, something major needs to happen. And so he prayed over me and prayed for me and he said, “Why don’t you just go and have some solitude with the Lord. Just you and the Lord.” And so I did.
In this place of solitude, and I will tell you, it was in the bathtub, I’m sitting there with nothing, completely vulnerable. And I’m crying out to the Lord, “What is happening to me, Lord? You know me, You knit me together. I’ve been a believer my whole life. I grew up in a Baptist Church, I got saved at 16. I went to college and was surrounded by godly friends. I did Passion conferences. I was a Kanakuk counselor. I’ve been a part of five different denominations. I’m married to an amazing Presbyterian. I’ve seen, I’ve seen and experienced and learned so much. I know You know what’s wrong with me. Will You, will You help me figure out what’s wrong with me?” And clear as day, in my, in my head, in my ear, I heard, “What you are experiencing is extraordinary and extreme spiritual warfare. Call Keith and Megan Peeler. They can help you.”
Wow. Thank you, Lord. I don’t know why that didn’t happen like a year earlier. But Wow. So just in that moment, there was this peace and I know I’d heard the Lord’s voice before that. But I don’t think I had connected that voice as being the Lord’s voice. That same sound, that same feeling, I can remember even having it on Lovers Lane a few years ago. There was a lot of construction and I felt this voice telling me, “Kelsey, your life’s kind of like this road right now. It’s under a lot of construction, but just wait. It’s going to be a lot smoother later.” And I was like, Oh, like, I know that voice. That’s the voice of God. This is for real. So I literally got my phone and I called Megan. –- They were a wonderful couple that we had done Sunday school with 15 years ago. They had moved around and started different ministries, and we’d stayed in touch. — So I called her and I said, “Megan, I am, I am desperate and whatever you do, I need. The Lord has told me to call you–that I’m experiencing extraordinary spiritual warfare and I need your prayers to help get rid of all this. She said, “Well, can you describe to me when you have these episodes, what are you feeling? Like what’s going on in your body that sent you to a doctor?”
And I said, “Well, there’s some specific places I go where this gets revved up.” And she said, “Okay, when you go to those places, what happens?” I said, “Well, one thing is my chest gets really tight. I don’t know what a heart attack feels like, but it feels kind of like I might be having onset heart attack issues just like something’s really squeezing.” I said, “And sometimes I’m in crowds, where this place is, and I feel suffocated, like I can’t breathe and I need to get away from these people. I need to get away from this place. So there’s this feeling of suffocation. There’s this feeling of tension. And, and I just get really angry. And I said, “And sometimes when I try to talk about it to my husband or my small group or trusted friends, I can’t put words to this, but it feels like claws are like coming on my back and oppressing me like to keep me from talking about it. So I don’t talk about it because I don’t want that feeling. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is.” And she said, “Well, if you are feeling suffocated, and you’re feeling tense and stressed and you’re feeling like something’s oppressing you, those are all words that describe enemy activity. Because that is the complete opposite of what Christ came to do. Christ came to give us freedom, and to break chains and to lift the oppression and to eliminate all that from our lives. So clearly what you’re experiencing is not of the Lord. This is all of the enemy. And if you’ve been to the doctors, and you know, you’re good, then let’s get to work.” So we put an appointment down and she said, “I want you to bring Chandler with you.”
He had been on this journey with me so I didn’t at all feel weird about him coming, and at the time he was an elder in our church. And I kind of love that because they train these elders to really test everything. So Chandler is now a watchman, and he’s always been a watchman for our family and for his people, but now he’s a watchman for the church. So I feel like it was like a double good. He’s coming to support me. But he’s also coming as a watchman, kind of through the filter of “Is this okay? Is this good? Is this scriptural?” And so there was just a nice safety and security in that. I wasn’t afraid of whatever was going to happen in this prayer time, but it was just nice to know he was going to be there and experience it with me. And I kind of had the elder blessing, if that makes sense, from my own church. Because this wasn’t something that I… I knew that they were from our church, and they were missionaries from our church, but it just this doesn’t–this kind of prayer time didn’t happen as much.
So the day of the prayer time comes, and they call it inner healing prayer. So we arrive and my sweet friends want to like catch up and chat. I’m like, “Oh, people, let’s get to business. Like, I cannot do small talk with y’all right now. Sorry. Let’s just do this.” So we go in their back house, and it’s just this incredible safe space. It’s Keith and Megan; they’re a couple, they’re a team. And it’s me and Chandler; we’re a couple, we’re a team. And I just felt like Jesus and the Holy Spirit were just there. You walked into this room and you just feel the presence of peace. Literally from the first opening of his prayer, it was just like something something, something’s going to happen today. This, this is going to be a new day for me.
He starts off, he says, “Kelsey, I just want you to close your eyes and I’m going to read Psalm 139 over you. As I read Psalm 139 over you, I just want you to let your imagination flow. Whatever pictures come to your mind. Whatever words come to your mind, whatever memories come to your mind. Just rest in that and let it be and just tell us and Megan is going to scribe over here, she’s going to write everything down for you. I’m going to be leading and guiding this and there’s no way you can fail. This is a fail proof zone. This is prayer. This is you. This is whatever is on your heart, whatever is in your mind, just go with it. I said, “That was freeing.” So as he’s reading Psalm 139 all of these pictures are coming to my mind and they’re powerful pictures. There is a Jesus figure that walks into that room we were in. It’s the typical robed, bearded, beautiful Jesus in the storybooks that was in my mind as a child, that same Jesus. He walks into the room, and He kneels down in front of me, in my mind, and He puts His hand out. And He says, “Put your hand in Mine. Come with Me. I want to show you a few things.” And so I’m in my mind, and it’s so peaceful. This is so new, but it’s so okay.
I put my hand in Jesus’s hand and He takes me and He walks me over and He starts opening doors. And He starts showing me things about my life, only He would know. He starts opening things that are dreams of mine that I had had as a child. But somewhere along the way, I was told those aren’t good. That you can’t do those things. And He goes, “Kelsey, I put this in you. This is My mission for you. This is what I want you to do.” I looked at Him, I said, “Is it okay? I’ve been told my whole life is not okay to do this, this way.” He said, “You are My child. This is My mission for you. This is what I created you to do. I’m going to open the doors for you. Go! Tell them about Me.” And it was like I, all of a sudden, right then and there, was affirmed that I was His. I immediately recognized my Lord and my Savior. So I knew who He was and He knew me. He affirmed who I was in Him. It was like He was blessing these things in my heart and my soul that had been buried there as a child–He planted the seeds in me as a, as a, as a child. And for whatever reason, I had not felt the permission to pursue. So He invites me in to this world of His that He’s prepared in advance for me–the good works He’s prepared in advance for me. So that was incredible. And I come back to my seat, in my mind, and He’s just present with me. So I’m telling this to Keith and Megan and I opened my eyes and Megan’s just writing all this down for me and it’s just this incredible moment. Honestly, I don’t even remember what Keith was reading in the Psalm 139 because all of a sudden it was just this time with Jesus. I got to experience Jesus. And it was so powerful.
Chandler, my sweet Elder, Presbyterian husband, is checking, you know, watching all of this go down, and he’s loving it. He is like, “Wow, we had no idea what your ministry was. We had no idea that this was available.” Why are we just now, at almost 40, having grown up in the church… I’ve been a part of an amazing Baptist Church. I’ve been a part of wonderful Bible churches. I’ve been a part of even charismatic churches and Presbyterian churches. I, my first memories are in the Methodist Church, my grandmother’s church. How have I had so much exposure to so much truth, and so much Scripture and yet I’m 40, and I’m just now knowing this is available to me? And this is accessible to me. And it’s for me! It’s not for crazy people on the other side of the world. It’s for me. So honestly if our time had ended there, I think I would have walked out completely filled to the brim with the presence of Christ. I’m so glad I didn’t because there was work to do. But right then and there, it was a peace-filled, incredible experience with Jesus.
I had known about Jesus my whole life. I’ve memorized scripture. I did Bible drill as a kid. I did every Vacation Bible School. I did every Bible study under the sun. And all those taught me wonderful things and my head was filled with wonderful, good knowledge of the Lord. And I’m so grateful, but I don’t think, outside of my salvation experience when I had that same peace come over me, and I did feel like I experienced an enormous freedom when I became a Christian at 16. Since then, I don’t think I experienced Jesus like that; in a personal way, that He’s showing me things that only He would know. So, wow! Okay, whooo. Well, what’s next Keith, you know? And so he’s like, “Well, let’s, let’s figure out what’s going on with you.” So I revisit some of the problems I’d been having. And he says, “Okay, it sounds to me like you are just being oppressed by the enemy. And there’s just stuff that we need to get rid of.” He’s like, “So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to start calling out spirits.” I like, “I’m sorry, what?” And this wasn’t in my normal vocabulary. I had spent time a little bit in a charismatic church in high school. So I was familiar with this terminology. I wasn’t totally scared of it. I knew it was there. But that’s for other people. Like, that’s not me. I’m, I grew up in a Christian home. I have wonderful godly parents. I have great siblings, like, I grew up in church. This doesn’t happen to people like me, right? That doesn’t happen to me. So I’m like, “Whoa, we’re gonna. Okay. All right. Let’s go for it.” So he says, “What I’m going to do is I’m going to call out some spirits. And if you feel that feeling– those claws on your back, if you feel your stomach rumbling, if you feel that tension in your chest–if you feel any of that, that’s probably one of them being activated. So why don’t–that’s–we’ll have to write that down as one that we need to address.”
I’m like, “Okay, alright, sounds good. Let’s do this.” So he starts calling out spirits: “Spirit of greed. Are you there?” No. “Spirit of lust. Are you there?” I’m sure it’s been there before, but today it’s not here. He starts calling so nothing, nothing. And then he gets to, “spirit of legalism. Are you there?” Vaaavooo … I just fired in all cylinders. Yes, spirit of legalism is there. So he goes through a few more. So now I know what to expect when he says the right ones. And he says, “Spirit of religion. Are you there?” Yes, that’s one. And so he keeps going and he says “Spirit of betrayal. Are you there?”
Everything that happened in that room was happening in the unseen world. Until I acknowledged, and I think, until we as Christians really acknowledge the unseen, we can’t fight it.
Whoa! Everything was magnified at that point. So he’s said a few more. And we kind of circled back to those. He said, “Okay? I think we have found our culprits.” I was like, they have names! My problems have names! This is, this is huge for me as one who’s been in the past year, being seen “normal, normal, normal, fine, fine, fine, nothing’s wrong, nothing’s wrong, nothing’s wrong.” Thank you that there’s a name to this. I just was so grateful that there was an identifier; there was a root. “Wow, thank you, Lord.” So he’s like, “Holy Spirit, thank you that you have allowed this space and brought forth all of these enemies that are attacking Kelsey.”
At that point, he said, “Well, we’ve recognized who they are, and we we’re going to we’re going to just put them in a line and we’re going to deal with them in a minute. We’re going to go back to that.” So he starts talking to these enemy spirits like they’re children, like a teacher talks to the classroom or a mother talks to a child. “In the name of Jesus, you have to go get in a line, you have to go be quiet and you can’t, cannot manifest right now. You have no power to manifest right now.” I don’t think I’ve ever watched someone speak and pray with such authority. That was, that was new for me that day. And he’s like, “Okay, we gotta figure out what happened in your life that allowed the stuff to come in. There’s a sin pattern in our life that opens a door. Something in your life opened the door for these enemy spirits to come in and attach themselves. Because they were never healed, these wounds weren’t healed or this trauma was never properly processed, or there’s a sin that you keep going back to that hasn’t been dealt with, something’s keeping this alive. So let’s ask the Holy Spirit. He’s our counselor. He’s the Spirit of Truth. We’re going to ask the Holy Spirit to show us when and where this occurred.”
And I think this is when I was really nervous, because I think in my head I was like, “Oh, this is that crazy psychobabble stuff, you know where it’s all your mother’s fault.” Or, you know you have these like preconceived ideas of counseling and I’m thinking Oh, great. And I’m a little nervous because I’m sure I’m going to go somewhere that’s uncomfortable, that I don’t want to go to, but I’m open. When you’ve been where I’ve been, and you’ve had a breakdown and you’re where I was, you’re desperate. You’re like, whatever, whatever it takes. I’ll go wherever. So he says, “Kelsey, I want you to picture a whiteboard. And Holy Spirit, would you just reveal to Kelsey, the age that she was when all of this was welcomed in?”
And so I’m like, okay, all right whiteboard is in my head. The age pops up. I think it was 17 on the board. “That is when something happened in your world that allowed this stuff to come in.” Well, I’m thinking in my head, I had a great experience in high school and college. I don’t know where this is going. So he says, “Okay, Holy Spirit, will you show her the person or the people that betrayed her that created this issue?”
And he did.
These two faces, people that I loved and trusted, came to the whiteboard. And at that moment, it made sense. All the dots were connecting, all that stuff was resurfacing. And I was like, “Oh, Lord, that makes so much sense. Yes.” And I just start weeping at just kind of going back to that place. And it was just two people that I had trusted and basically, at the end of the day betrayed me. And so I’m very emotional and he said, “Kelsey, do you do you just do you have anything to say to them?” So for about five minutes, I just let them have it. It was just this safe space. I needed to just get a lot out that had built up and had never been dealt with. So I just let them have it for about five minutes. And he said, “What do you have to say to them now? What do you need to do? What’s next? What’s your next step with these people?”
I said, “Oh, I’ve got to forgive these people. I’ve got to forgive them.” So out loud, one by one, I just said, “I forgive you in the name of Jesus, and this experience with you has no power over me anymore.” And the root of all that I was experiencing was unforgiveness. I had no idea. No idea unforgiveness could do that to a person. I had no idea. So we kind of wrap up that part of the prayer and it was so emotional, but it was so good. And there was just this release, like that tension was releasing, and I was like, “Okay, what do we do now? I was really tired because it’s such a, it’s such an experience to go through that exercise. And he says, “Well, let’s get rid of the spirits. You ready to get rid of these spirits?” I’m like, “Yes; so done.” So he calls them up, one by one, to get in a line. Again, he’s using his authority and I’m like, “This is crazy.” So he said, “Okay, spirits go get back in line. Kelsey, I want you to put these spirits in a box. We’re going to get rid of them. So in the name of Jesus, I want you to call them out, one by one, and put them in a box.”
Okay, alright. So, “spirit of legalism, in the name of Jesus get in the box.” And so it was almost like a genie in the bottle moment–you know, you have whoosh in a box. And so, “spirit of religion get in a box. Spirit of betrayal, get in that box in the name of Jesus.” And so I have this visual of these three boxes that are, have these horrible spirits in them but they’re out of me, and they’re in the box. And he says, “Okay, Kelsey, what are you gonna do with these boxes?” “I’m putting them at the feet of the cross, and I’m giving them to Jesus. I don’t have to deal with this anymore.” So I literally kick them to a cross that was in my mind. It was the same cross that Jesus had approached me from in the beginning of our time. And I kick them to this cross, in my mind. And literally out from behind that cross, that same Jesus from earlier, with the white robe and the beard, that had showed me open doors, He came out and with His right foot, He stomped on each box.
And I was like, “Wow, that is what the cross is all about! At the cross, You conquered death. You conquered pain. You conquered my enemies. But You didn’t just conquer THE enemy just that’s out there roaming, You conquered my enemies for me. And they have names. Wow!” The Gospel made sense in an entirely new way that day, because the gospel… although I knew He loved me and I had received Him, I understood my need for Him and my brokenness with the Father through the sin of the garden. I theologically understood and received Him. But now it was an even more personal gospel. And I was free. He came to set the captives free. And I didn’t even realize that as a believer, I could still be captive to the enemy’s lies and snares and wounds that had occurred so long ago. This is prayer? This, this is this is what you do in a two-hour prayer session? Wow, like in my mind two hour prayer sessions, were everybody get in a circle and everybody write their prayer requests and my aunt who’s having surgery in three weeks also has a cat that’s also really not—you know what I’m saying? Like that was, that was two hour praying in my mind was a circle. I’m sorry, I I didn’t know what you did in two hours, that would be worth two hours.
Wow. Until I met Jesus. Until my enemies were revealed. Until I was delivered from spirits that had me captive. And until I just fully received the gospel in its fullness in that moment. And I remember after that, of course, I’m getting like more weak and weak because it’s almost like spiritual surgery. I mean, really, and truly. I felt like I was on a stretcher in an operating room and I felt like the Holy Spirit came and guided the doctor’s hand, so to speak, and Keith was like the doctor, the surgeon. The Lord was just doing spiritual surgery on me and He sewed me up and I was healed and free and that toxic junk was gone. Afterwards, Keith kind of, we kind of took a breath. and Keith said, “Well, would you mind if I anointed you with oil and filled you with the Spirit?”
Okay, stop here–filled with the Spirit is such a touchy phrase in our culture. And I mean, I remember having major conversations in high school with people that we…I mean, just flat out like war discussions on–Is this real? Is this good? Is this scriptural? And at that moment, I didn’t care. Like, “whatever You say is good and true, Lord, bring it on.” When you’ve had spiritual surgery and you’ve dealt with demons, what and what can be wrong with the filling of the Spirit, right? So I sit there and I’m like, “Yes, I will receive whatever the Lord has.” So he comes over and he anoints my head with oil. He prays this most beautiful prayer of activating gifting–old gifts, new gifts, and he blesses it and he says, “In the name of Jesus would you just fill her with the fullness of the power of the Spirit. Yes, the Spirit has been in her since she came to know Jesus. But we want a full measure, an extra measure. We want the fullness of the Spirit. We want a baptism of the Spirit.” And all these words that I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I literally have had fall-out fights with these same phrases.” And yet I’m receiving it, receiving it in the fullness.
I mean, by the end of those two hours, I had met with Jesus. He had reminded me of who I was in Him. He had allowed the Spirit to show me the enemies that had attacked me and that were attached to me and needed delivering. He had allowed me to be delivered. He allowed me to forgive the very people that had started and–it really wasn’t them; it was my unforgiveness. I want to make that clear. It was my unforgiveness that allowed that, and I was able to forgive and then I was able to be physically healed. I was able to have giftings activated. I was able to have a new armor. Who wouldn’t want that? I was able to be filled with the fullness of the Spirit. I mean, everything that happened was totally scriptural. It was completely biblical. My elder husband with his watchman eyes, was kind of like, “Kelsey, everything that happened in this room, Jesus did.” And I could truly and honestly say that I was free. The claws were not there. The suffocation was gone, that tense heart thing was gone. My stomach issues had left. And I feel like I got saved again. I think because I experienced the gospel in such a personal way and it was all about Jesus. Yes, the Holy Spirit was a major part of that prayer time. Yes, there was demonic activity. The enemy had, we had to deal with that. But it wasn’t about those two things; it was about Jesus and what He did on the cross.
I feel like my explanation of the gospel now is so much more clear, because I just have so much more tangible experience now. Receiving Jesus is so beautiful. For me, it was a huge moment in high school, but then experiencing Him through the Spirit, with the understanding of the spiritual world, that there is an enemy out there waiting to kill, steal and destroy. It really does help me shape my conversations with the gospel now, because I have a better understanding of the spirit realm. I think until we really understand the spirit realm and the supernatural and the unseen, because everything that happened in that room was happening in the unseen world. And until we acknowledge, until I acknowledged, and I think, until we as Christians really acknowledge the unseen, we can’t fight it. So I just think that’s been a huge part of my turn as a Christian is this, I turned this corner in my journey with the Lord. And I just see people through an entirely different lens. And I immediately now launch into those ways of praying. I pray with authority now, after watching Keith do it. I pray for physical healing for people now, having experienced physical healing. I pray for deliverance now, now that I’ve experienced it, seen it and know how that operates and works better. So it’s changed the way I live. It’s changed the way I pray. It’s changed the way I communicate with people. It’s changed the way I love people.
I’m not scared of the gospel anymore. And I know that’s going to be a strange thing to say, but there’s this evangelistic peace that I think, growing up I was so scared to open my mouth and share the gospel. Like “Do you know Jesus?” You know, there’s this fear peace that I don’t know. I just, it was such a–there was supposed to be this way that you do it and that, that has been eliminated. I just share what He’s done in my life and I share the story of who He is and who I am in Him. And the gospel takes care of itself from there. But when you experience Him, you are not afraid to share what He’s done in your life. When all you have is head knowledge, yeah, it is a little scary to talk about it because it’s all up here. And you gotta remember the right scriptures. All the Romans road — Romans 3:23, 6:23 Romans, do I have this right in the head? Like, evangelizing is a very intellectual exercise. But when you experience Him, evangelizing becomes an entirely different story. Because you have so much more to bring to the table when you share the gospel. And that’s my Gospel story.