By Nicole Hilton, August 28th, 2019
When we become so lost and alone that we seem out of reach of any comfort or assistance, God has a way of showing us that not only can He reach us, but that He knows us better than we know ourselves. He has a way of catching us in ways we never would have expected.
In fourth grade, when I was 9 years old and after we had moved to St. George, the first Harry Potter book came out. No one yet really knew about the series—it hadn’t picked up momentum yet. However, as my mom was passing through a bookstore, the cover caught her eye. She doesn’t know what made her do it, but she bought it for me. (This was the first of many times where my mom has, quite literally, saved my life.)
Now, understand dear reader…I was a voracious book worm. I was always reading at least seven books at once. In second grade, I finished the Lord of the Rings Series. I was always looking for my next “fix”.
I understand now: reading was the way I dealt with—or escaped from—trauma.
The Incident had already happened. And worse yet…other than my increasing signs of childhood bipolar disorder, and severe PTSD, I had no idea or clue that it had happened. So, how is a little girl of 7 supposed to deal with all that—especially if the adults in my life just wrote it off as me going through “a phase,” or being a little more emotional than other children?
I have since learned that even if no one on earth knows the deep pain you are going through and the endless dark hole into which you seem to be falling, there is one who knows. There is no place so dark that He cannot find you. He will seek you out and throw all the lifelines He can to you–in any way He can. Because He loves you.
In fourth grade, two years after the Incident, I had fallen so far down that dark hole that I had become extremely suicidal at 9 years of age. Because of the Satanic programming which had been done to me in a spiritual dimension, and which had been consummated by physical rape, I was programmed to literally “self destruct” every time I even thought of asking for help or telling the truth about what I was going through. I was living in a personal hell, but any time I reached out for a solution, I would become extremely suicidal and feel intense loathing and shame. So, I shoved it all down and turned to books as my sanctuary and hung on for dear life.
Jesus Christ not only knows each of us personally but also what we are going through–I can attest to that. As the best Seeker in the Universe, He knows exactly how to reach us, and He may do so through the avenue of our personal interests. He certainly did so with me.
“Nicolee…I bought a book for you,” my mom said one day. She handed me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I said thanks and retreated upstairs to my room, took one look at the cover and thought, “What is that boy doing? How weird is that?!” and then I literally threw the book under my bed.
…I never, ever, treat books like that. Even if I don’t want to read them, I place them carefully on a shelf. But this one? Something about it both compelled me and repelled me at the same time, and it scared me. So there, under the bed, the book stayed for months.
Sometimes, I can feel evil—like drums deep down—boiling up inside of me, ready to spew out into chaos. In moments like these I can be overcome with suicidal thoughts. I had been suicidal already—many times. That kind of suicidal ideation—or whatever you want to call it—feels like someone takes over your body and walks to the kitchen to grab the knife, or walks to the edge of the cliff to throw yourself off. In those moments—when that personality takes over—there is almost no stopping it once it has begun.
So, I found it was best to just push it down and avoid it altogether. And so one day, to counteract the evil, I knelt down by my bed, searching for a lifeline, and there was the book—collecting dust. I hesitated, then gave in to a bright impulse and reached carefully far underneath the bed, to grab my salvation.
“Mr and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Private Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.”
I hate these people already. I thought. Sounds like the author does, too. I think I’ll read on… And from then on—even through to the end of 12th grade—I was known by most as “Harry Potter Girl.”
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
You’ve read How to Commit Suicide in Fourth Grade. Well, even with Harry Potter and the promise of six more beacon-like books coming out, I found myself at a suicidal impasse.
I whispered, I’m sorry Heavenly Father. Punish me if you must, but I can’t stay here anymore. Please…please let me read Harry Potter after I die. Even if you do cast me into hell.
I swallowed the handful of pills, I locked my door, and sank onto my bed. There would be no more confused sobbing at night anymore—I was leaving and that was that.
Everything went black…
Four hours later, the sun had traveled across the sky—seemingly oblivious to the little dead girl spread out on her bed.
Then there was a voice.
Talitha cumi….Damsel, arise.
I drew air into my lungs.
I lay there, eyes closed…just for a moment. I noticed the sensation of air coming in and out of my nose. I felt my heart beat in my chest–painfully at first, but then it became rhythmic and steady. My once-cold limbs received warmth as blood began to circulate and pump through my fingers and toes. This was my body! I opened my eyes. There were rays of light coming in through the half-open blinds over the window, and I saw motes of dust swirling lazily through the air.
I gingerly leaned forward, flexing my core and getting up onto my left elbow, and blinked as I looked around my room. I saw I was alone. Then, I immediately rolled out of bed and hit my knees hard on the carpeted floor as fast as I could.
I began a desperate prayer—
“Oh God! Forgive me! Forgive me! I can’t remember….I can’t remember what just happened, but I’m back—I’m here now and I’m here to go through this! I…”
But being back in my body was overwhelming. I paused, gasping for air and trying to think straight.
Where had I been?
And my body…ugh! My body seemed disgusting to me. I could feel things in my body that didn’t belong there. Like there were programs and splits and suicidality and darkness and everything nasty you could ever, ever think of.
And it was all IN me!
I felt like screaming.
I felt like screaming—but it wasn’t God’s fault now. It was mine. I was the reason I was back there in that disgusting body. ME! I knew it through and through—God had given me the choice to come back, and I had!
My memories were hazy—I couldn’t hold on to them as they slipped away. But I knew the truth. God had shown me what would happen if I stayed dead. And it was so awful, I had willingly come back to my filthy body.
I stared out the window.
Any brave resolution I might have felt right before re-entering my body had disappeared. I couldn’t feel or remember why I had to come back. And now, from this side of the veil, I was absolutely furious.
I clasped my hands and knelt there by my bed, a mix of confusion and suicidal feelings roiling through me.
Then I came to a decision. I could make a compromise with God.
“Okay God. You have cheated me out of paradise this once…but I am coming back to You. You know and I know that my life is a living hell, and no one–NO ONE–should have to go through this! And so I’m coming back as soon as….as soon as…”
An idea occurred to me.
“As soon as I read the LAST word of the LAST book of HARRY POTTER! AND THAT’S FINAL!”
Harry Potter 7 came out eight years later, two weeks after I graduated from highschool.
I had many, many near misses—some I shouldn’t have come back from. I had been secretly suicidal for most of my grade school years.
But I always held onto one thread of hope. And it wasn’t God, or love, or my family. Those reasons, sadly, weren’t enough to keep me here at the worst of times. At the worst of times, I held onto that single thread–to find out how it ended—to find out what happened to Harry Potter. The boy who struggled with a past full of questions. The boy who had a horcrux of darkness implanted within him he had to fight against everyday. The boy who had gifts and powers to use for good if he should so choose.
And how would my story end? By the time I read the last word of the last book of Harry Potter, I had hung on enough times to know: I hadn’t been just putting off the inevitable until the end of 12th grade. My story would continue.
I’m sitting here today typing this to you, yes, because of my mom’s inspired purchase of JK Rowling’s wonderful creation: Harry Potter, the skinny scar-headed seeker from Gryffindor House. That’s why I’m living and breathing, about 2,500 times over. But I know that was a life preserver thrown down to me by the true Seeker–Jesus Christ. He found a way to speak to me during the nine darkest years of my life. And He will speak to you, too. He knows everything about whatever is good in your life that you feel a pull towards. He is in everything. Learn to see the messages He is giving to you daily–for He is God, and that’s how much He loves you. He will catch you.