Sandy Boyd remembers when she played in a field of flowers as a child. There she felt safe and loved and free to dance and sing. Sadly, that safe field only existed in her mind.
At 12 years old, Sandy's dad gave over his life to the Devil and began using her in sexual satanic rituals.
"Every time he came to me for these purposes," Sandy recalls, "I would escape mentally to this beautiful field of flowers. It was my place of refuge."
Sandy's family had practised witchcraft for many generations and even had a family guardian spirit "to protect them". They held séances, asked the spirit for advice and would hear her responses through noises in the house.
However, the guardian spirit didn't protect Sandy from her dad. "He used to come into my room and start chanting. Then I would feel the demonic spirits around me," she remembers.
Her father also forced Sandy to use cocaine, as a means of controlling her.
Finally, at 17, Sandy ran away from home. But, addicted to drugs and with nowhere to go, she had to turn to prostitution to survive. "It was a choice I made, but at that time," she says, "it was the only choice I had."
Sandy's 'guardian spirit' confirmed her 'choice' of profession and gave her the strength to get up each morning and prostitute herself, she says.
Over the next ten years, Sandy married and divorced twice, and had a daughter, of whom she had custody. During that time, the drugs, demon spirits and Sandy's father still ruled her life. Her father often supplying her with drugs.
Later her father wanted her to pay for his financial support with more sexual rituals, causing Sandy to cut ties with him for good.
"I was very repulsed by it. I was repulsed by men in general at this point," she admits. "I hated them. I despised them. And I refused to have anything more to do with him."
Sandy and her daughter moved in with Sandy's sister. She thought it would be a refuge, but one night a demonic figure appeared at the foot of her bed.
The demon said, "It is time now to pass on to your child what your grandmother taught you."
"I was terrified," Sandy admits. She was ready to do whatever it took to protect her daughter. She thought it would be better if she died and her daughter ended up in foster care potentially with a healthy family in a wholesome environment.
So, the next day, Sandy dropped her daughter off at day care and drove to a remote area, where she planned to slit her wrists. As she pushed her car seat back, between the console and the seat she felt a New Testament Gideon's Bible.
"I just found the Bible there. I don't know where it came from," Sandy explains. "I turned to the back and there was a sinner's prayer and I could relate to those words. I thought, 'God, I'm a sinner. I have done so many bad things. I give my life to you. Take control.' And immediately I felt such a peace come over me that I had never felt in my life before."
Sandy says that through that prayer she recognised that Jesus was real. "My eyes were opened and the blinders were taken off. I was able to see Jesus for who He was in my life."
At that moment Sandy's desire for drugs vanished and, for the first time, she had hope.
But the battle wasn't over. Later that night she heard her daughter screaming. Sandy rushed to her. "She was standing up in her crib, flailing her arms, and her toys were flying around the room and the ceiling fan was spinning madly. 'They're biting me, Mommy. They're biting me,' she kept saying. And I saw bite marks on her arms."
Sandy grabbed her daughter and huddled with her in the corner of the room praying to Jesus. "I felt Him shelter me from everything that was going on," she says.
That wasn't the only time of demonic attack, but through prayer, counselling and Bible reading, Sandy stood strong against it and eventually it stopped.
Later she married Scott, who helped her on her journey to complete freedom in Jesus Christ. He helped her to pray through all the areas of her past where the devil might have been given a foothold in her life.
"God healed my wounds of abuse and helped me to forgive my father, who has since passed away," Sandy says. "The loving compassion to be able to love the person who hurt me and caused so much abuse in my life comes from the Lord."
Today Sandy and Scott pastor a church in Texas, helping others to find freedom in Jesus, and Sandy's daughter is their worship leader, in charge of music.
"Walking in freedom is amazing," Sandy smiles. "I am free. Jesus is the saviour and He is the only one who can set us free."•