When the storms of life are raging and the winds of circumstances are tossing your boat from side to side, leaving you disheartened and in despair, it is difficult if not impossible to realise that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. It took me years of pain, despair, hurt and rejection to get a glimpse into this truth of being His workmanship. |
This is my account or should I say, my journey to understanding this phenomena.
My name is Vincent Leonards, residing in Cape Town, South Africa, who at the tender age of 19 was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I thank God of heaven and the Holy One of Israel for His mercy, grace, love, patience and power. He alone is worthy of honour, He alone deserve the praise and He alone deserve my adoration for defeating the powers of darkness and destruction that schizophrenia manifested in my life. If to pronounce the word schizophrenia is verbally challenging to some, how much more living with this dreadful disease that opens up a whole new world of destruction and darkness. A world where sorrow and despair is your mayor, with fear as your president and your king. The bread of sorrows is on the menu in the finest restaurant in this world of doom and gloom.
My entire life changed the day when it was announced that I got a ticket to enter this dark and gloomy world of schizophrenia. Immediately it felt like I never existed, but some entity stole my identity, sabotaged my life and forcefully wanted to live out their purpose through my body. It was like Vincent Leonards had left the building and some other imposter(s) took my identity, keeping me hostage and bound up in my own house. It was terrible knowing that I am somewhere in my own house, but had no say or control over what is happening in my house (mind) as my capturers and those keeping me hostage are stronger and fierce – feeding on my fears and providing me with more fear in the process. It was just a strange, vicious, never ending and evil cycle.
I grew up in a Christian home with going to church almost on a daily basis and being exposed to the Christian faith since I can remember. There was a time when I was a child when singing hymns and spiritual songs brought so much joy and happiness that was weird to the other children. It started becoming strange to me too after a while, but it was beautiful as I could entertain myself singing to the Lord and expressing my heart to Him. Even though I didn’t understand what I was doing, all I can remember is that it was fun. Family had so much fun having me around. I could always make them laugh with jokes and stories. Many a times I was termed as a pleasant and joyous child to be around.
Childhood was also plagued with feelings of loneliness and sadness. In the face of much happiness and joy there were intense sensations of sadness and feeling rejected. There were times when I could feel rejection in a tangible form. Up until this very minute this is difficult to explain, but I could tangibly feel rejection. This tangible feeling of rejection would follow me right through my teenage years and adult life. Without any sign of someone remotely rejecting me, I would go into some self-exalting mode immediately with a false belief that I am someone of importance. To protect myself from the thought that someone of a low stature just rejected me, I elevated myself above my rejecters.
At the age of 12 I gave my heart to Jesus Christ which up until this day I can confidently say was the first most sincere moment of my life (in my mind) that I genuinely decided to say “yes” to the Lord Jesus Christ. I can remember that it was during this period that I had a dream of being used by the Lord; but the dream was not appointed for that time as I was an adult in my dream. Strangely, I could not see my face in the dream, otherwise I would have probably been confused knowing what I would look like in adult life and it would have taken away the fun of growing into the facial features of adult life.
It was also during this time that I was exposed to premarital sex at the age of 12 years and I didn’t know what damage I would incur later in life. As a teenager I had this intense desire to watch horror movies and movies about demon possession. It somehow gave me a kick knowing that I could watch movies about devils and demons and how they control people. This changed when I watched the movie “The Exorcist”. Somehow this movie opened the floodgate for the schizophrenia spirit to start operating and manifesting in my life. This schizophrenic spirit was there all along, but at this stage it started revealing itself by changing my behaviour of being a pleasant talkative person, to being an introvert and wanting to be alone in my room type of person.
Age 15 I joined a gospel accapella group who sang intricate close harmony. This was so much fun as I grew up in a household where my dad was singing in quartets all the time. Only in my case I was singing in a sextet doing six part harmony. It was super cool.
Whilst ministering and living for the Lord that was when the schizophrenia started manifesting and it was awful. I remember waking up in the middle of the night praying and having beautiful times with the Lord for a season; and then I started waking up thinking that there are crocodiles in my room, which was strange because we were living in the city and there are no signs of any crocodiles.
I started becoming paranoid about people following me around and talking bad things about me. It even got to the point where I did not want to eat my mother’s food, because she was busy poisoning me. I firmly believed this. This false belief totally broke my mom’s heart at the time.
One night whilst waiting on the guys to pick me up to go to a performance, I started hearing these multiple voices who started insulting me and telling me that they are going to kill me if I am going to sing and praise the Lord. It was horrible. I’ve never felt so afraid in my life. It was like I could taste the fear in the atmosphere. It was a dark, wet sensation and was extremely unpleasant. Not only did I start to hear voices but I stated seeing devils and demons around me which scared the living daylights out of me.
These conversations and demonic sightings became so intense and continuous that my daily functioning was affected and I ended up in a mental institution.
After being diagnosed and medicated I was okay for a long time, but I knew something was still lurking somewhere. I just knew that the demon was somewhere taking a nap or something, or that the medication somewhat drugged them too.
It was during these years of recovering on medication that I travelled to the United States twice with the singing group and later met the love of my life who became my wife. I did not meet her during my years in the group but it was during this time of recovery.
It happens that she too is schizophrenic and we could relate to each other and really support one another during these hard and difficult times. Fast track forward, two years later we had a beautiful baby girl who changed my life. God used this opportunity to let the spirits surface again so that I could learn how to fight and deal with this issue in order to be a good father.
It was game on as it felt like all hell broke loose. I stared hearing these evil voices again and sleeplessness creeped in, leaving me tired and more of a target due to tiredness and unable to fight back when they attacked. I was desperate for a breakthrough and victory.
God directed my path to schizophreniadefeated.com which stirred up so much hope in my life as what the author James Stacey experienced struck a chord in my spirit and the fighter in me started rising to the occasion. His account was so inspiring and faith building that I was praying to God to enable me to become a vehicle of deliverance.
Through schizophreniadefeated.com I met an interesting person named Peter Laue, who took me under his wing and literally gave me orders as he received the orders. It felt like I was in an army camp. Orders that included: get up and do not be lazy, get involved and do something if you want to see the deliverance of the Lord. Time and space is too limited to share the valuable information Peter and James shared with me to secure victory in Jesus.
Sadly at that stage I had no one here in South Africa to run the mile with me; and I was disappointed that I had to resort back to being heavily medicated to subdue this demonic activity. I went for deliverance prayers during this time, but the deliverance was premature and put me in more danger than anything else. As these spirits came back with a vengeance and I was too weak to keep them at bay.
Falling back into sin and alcohol made the demons probably happy because they stopped tormenting me for a season. But praise the Lord for the year 2017 as I started being introduced to the courts of heaven and how you get justice and vindication from the Lord. Praise the Lord.
Then it was truly game on.....The Lord laid it on my heart to start going on dry fasts (no water) to detoxify and getting the medication out of my system. I could taste the chemicals as they were oozing out of my pores and collecting on my tongue.
I started vigorously to pray and sing in tongues. It felt like the devil and his minions were personally tormenting me. However, this time around I was more focused and I could feel the Spirit of the Lord powerfully involved in the process.
I started learning about and practicing opening up the gates of praise, operating in the courts of heaven, going beyond the veil to engage with the Lord, taking communion a few times a day and making some declarations of the record in my DNA being destroyed in the courts of heaven.
Sin and iniquities are the major factors that keep the schizophrenic bound in his prison. Only once you learn how to deal with these sins and iniquities of your ancestors, how to trust Jesus Christ, accept his grace and accept the full work of the cross, deliverance and healing will start to manifest. In some cases healing takes place in secular setups in fasting clinics etc, but true deliverance in my opinion takes place when you learn to trust our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It has been a few months of vigorous and intense battle, but I know that in all these things I am more than a conqueror and that I am God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
Praise the Lord