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I was born and raised in Poland in a Catholic family. As children, we were sent to the church every Sunday, while our parents stayed home. At the age of ten, I received the sacrament of First Communion and obtained my first Bible (children’s version) as a gift. I read it all. Then I tried to read the real Bible, however, I found some passages difficult to understand and had no one to explain them to me. I had never seen anyone in my family reading the Scripture, I was the odd one. Soon I gave up, too. However, I prayed daily.
In my teenage years, I got interested in various aspects of New Age spirituality. I read books about black and white magic, about astrology, articles, and stories from psychics and practitioners of divination. I thought about myself as an ‘enlightened one,’ someone special, different, having a higher level of understanding. Although I was kind to others, I was looking down on them and thinking of them as of poor souls with limited knowledge. I stopped going to the church, however, I kept praying.
Soon before I moved out of my family home with my first husband, I bought a deck of divination cards. It was called Lithuanian Kabbalah (it had little to do with a Jewish Kabbalah, it was more like a lighter version of tarot cards).
I will stop here for a moment. The place we moved in was an old farmhouse near a busy junction, within walking distance from a city suburb. We rented half of the house from an elderly lady, who lived in the other half but often spent her time in her children’s homes. There was only one bathroom in the house, so we had to go through the porch to use it. Soon we found out, that something strange was happening there. We often heard the steps of someone walking through the porch or in the loft, but no one was there when we checked. We heard doors opening and closing and many more strange noises. We spoke with some neighbors (one of them heard steps on the loft and went himself to check, found no one, of course) and some suggested that these could be ghosts — lost souls from fatal accidents on the junction. It was a quite dangerous junction. So, I started to pray for these souls.
Then my son was born, and I went for a few weeks to my parent’s house while my husband redecorated the place. When I came back, all the noises stopped, so I concluded, that my prayers helped. I also found out, that my husband got rid of my divination cards. I was cross for a long time about that.
My relationship with my husband lasted for 10 years only, as he turned to be a violent man. We divorced in 2006. We had two children at that time. Soon after I moved to UK, my children joined me there a while later. I was still deep in New Age beliefs.
Year later I met my current husband. Two more children were born. Sometime at the beginning of our relationship I received a birthday gift from my friends — a deck of Angel Cards by Doreen Virtue. I was a busy working mum in those days, so the cards were laying at the top of the wardrobe. One day, I tried to reach for them, but they were gone. I asked my husband if he knew where they were. He confessed that he got rid of them. He said that it was a demonic tool. I thought: No again! And was upset for a long time…
In 2009 my dad died. There is tradition in our town that during funeral there is a short prayer at the morgue, then the coffin is taken to the church for the service and then to the cemetery for a burial. My dad didn’t go to confession that year (he was quite ill) and so, the priest refused to take his coffin to the church. I was so angry! I refused to go for the service, I stayed in the morgue and then went with everyone for the burial. I was angry with the priest, and I was angry with God. From this point I stopped praying. I shouldn’t have blamed God for the behavior of someone who claimed to represent Him.
Years later, in 2017, my second marriage was at crisis, and we separated for a while. My mum came from Poland for the summer. My husband moved out, and I went even deeper into New Age practices and ideas. I started to using tarot services. One of the psychics predicted I would suffer some women’s health problems — and it happened a week later. Mum returned home at the end of September. Shortly after I bought the same deck of Angel Cards by Doreen Virtue which I owned years earlier. This time I started to use them. In the same week, something strange happened. I don’t usually make notes of my experiences, but at that time, I did. Here is a copy:
(October 2017) “I don’t remember many of my dreams, but the one last night I remember very well. Even more, what happened after. In my dream, my manager, Emma, called me to come to work for the night shift (even knowing, that I’m still on the sick leave). I agreed to go, and my dad offered me to give me a lift using my car (my dad died eight years ago, and I don’t have a car). But he was taking so many turns, it was like he got lost, and it was getting late. I was worried that I would not make it on time. We were driving through some busy roads, and all was so slow in traffic. I was thinking to call the job and say that I’m running late. We still couldn’t get there. I was considering calling and telling them that I was not going to come. Then Dad decided to drive out of the road and through a very steep hill down. I somehow stayed on the top, and he drove down to the water, like a river. The car was completely underwater, but I knew, that Dad will drive out of the water anytime, and I was waiting… At that moment I woke up, and had my eyes opened, but I couldn’t move at all. I was like paralyzed. I was facing the window, I felt, that someone was touching my arm, trying to wake me up. But I wasn’t sleeping already! I tried to turn my head to see but couldn’t move! This person was bouncing me gently on the mattress. I’ve heard breathing, very clearly. My phone was making strange noises, like on a radio, when you’re trying to find a channel. It was a bit like a Morse code or something. And then I felt that that person getting into the bed next to me. I felt the mattress moving under the weight. Suddenly everything stopped, and I could move again. I turned, no one was behind me. My phone stopped making noises. I checked the time, it was 3:45 am.
My mum was visiting me over the summer, and she was sleeping on this bed when she was here. My first thought was that something happened to her. I messaged my sister to check on mum (they were living together) and tried to call her, but she did not answer. I stood up and went to check my children, but all were sleeping well in their beds. I returned to bed and fell asleep again. In the morning, I continued to call my family until I finally managed to speak with mum. She was fine, nothing wrong there. Was my dad trying to tell me something? Or someone/something else? One thing I know for sure, the dream ended when I was waiting for dad to get out of the water. From the moment I felt the touch on my arm, I was fully awake, paralyzed, but awake.”
A few days later, outside the supermarket, I met my doctor. She was there privately handing out Christian leaflets. We spoke briefly, and she invited me to her church. I accepted the leaflet, thanked her, and went my way. I did not go to the church that Sunday but went on the following week. To this day I remember warm smiles and a welcoming atmosphere. The sermon was about marriage (oh irony, I was separated and was preparing for a divorce). The pastor’s words really touched me. That day changed my life. I started to attend that church regularly, read the Bible, and finally I understood the message of the Gospel. Soon after that, I gave my life to Jesus.
My change wasn’t radical, it was gradual. A few months later, I reconciled with my husband, and he came back home. I started to learn and understand more. I was asking the Holy Spirit to lead me and show me what areas of my life I should work on, where I needed to change. One by one, my eyes were opening to the truth—exposing the silliness and deception of my old New Age beliefs. As I had been baptized as a baby, it took me a long while to decide to get baptized again. Shortly before baptism, I started to throw away all New Age magazines and books I had acquired. I got rid of the Doreen Virtue Angel Cards, too, which, by this time, were buried somewhere deep in my wardrobe closet, forgotten and unused.
About a month after my baptism, a video popped out on my YouTube feed: Doreen Virtue’s testimony! She gave her life to Christ, too! Doreen Virtue — I was so positively surprised. I subscribed to her channel and started to learn even more from her and all her guests. One day a sudden realization hit me — it was me using the divination cards that caused all the supernatural activity in this old house where I had lived years before. And those weren’t ghosts. It was demonic activity that I inadvertently evoked. My strange night experience from a few years before was also caused by me — again, I evoked demonic activity by using divination cards. I learned that this experience — called a sleep paralysis — is not that uncommon.
That invitation to the church wasn’t a coincidence — I know it now. It was the Lord calling me out of the dangerous path I was starting to explore deeper.
I live for Christ now and study my Bible daily. I started a blog, where I translate Christian apologetic articles from English to Polish. Many of them exposing the deception of New Age Spirituality. I hope it to be an apologetic resource for people in Poland. My aspiration is to translate Christian apologetic books, but Jesus Christ is my Lord and I follow when He leads me.
If you would like to get in touch with Kate Matos, you can email her at: email@example.com
Kate Matos provided the Polish translation of The Highest Adventure: Encountering God on this website. We are very grateful for her compassionate and generous commitment to that project.