When The Devil Owned Me

For the first five decades my life the devil owned me!

there was a season when the devil owned me

Because of my own ignorance of God’s Word, the devil could torment me at will!

When My World Fell Apart

When I arrived at work on the morning of Monday, November 14, 1988, I was senior design engineer for a local manufacturing company.

By mid-morning, I was not. I had been fired.

For just a moment, try to imagine what that felt like.

Or perhaps you don’t have to imagine, because you’ve been there. You’ve known the feelings of shock, humiliation, helplessness, perhaps even anger and bitterness.

Wouldn’t you agree, though, that the worst part is the fear that follows? For me it would always invade in the middle of the night.

Consider my situation.

The job I had just lost had provided the only income our family had to live on. Joanne and I had four children, a house with not one but two mortgages, and many of the usual monthly bills.

What if I couldn’t get more work? Would we lose everything? What would become of us?

Actually, my situation was worse than just losing my job.

Something I didn’t realize when I went into engineering was that engineers are supposed to eventually transition into management. Technical skills quickly become obsolete. I was 46 years old, and 17 years out of college. Companies could usually hire younger, more recent graduates at a lower salary.

I had never aspired to management. And to be honest, my heart was no longer in being an engineer. So not only was I out of a job, I was also out of a career.

I knew I would have to start over.

The problem was, I didn’t as yet have another marketable skill.

And so the torment of fear and panic would come. Night after night I would find myself half awake. For a tiny fraction of a second, everything would be all right — and then I would remember.

In my half-conscious state, I would wonder why the bed was shaking. Then I would realize it was because my whole body was trembling as wave after wave of panic swept through my body. Worst of all, I felt completely helpless to do anything about it.

Let me ask those who know: do I exaggerate? Or do I paint an accurate picture of the torment that grips a terminated employee?

Of course, loss of a job is only one of many causes of fear. Perhaps your circumstance is the loss of a spouse, or a child who is in trouble. Maybe you’ve just gotten a bad report from your doctor.

Whatever the cause, the fear is the same.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll skip over many details of the next few years.

I changed careers, going from engineer, to entry-level computer programmer, to independent software developer.

I also began what will be for the rest of my life the daily practice of learning and applying life-transforming principles from the Bible.

That is by far the wisest decision I have ever made!

By the end of 1993 I had ventured into my own software consulting business. Part of my step of faith was to realize that asking God to protect us from financial ruin meant we had to give Him control of our finances.

Of the many scriptures that instruct us about stewardship, Jesus put it the quite succinctly when He said, “Give, and it shall be given to you. (Luke 6:38)

That’s when we started following God’s principles of stewardship. And for several years, our family enjoyed a degree of prosperity.

Then came the economic downturn of 2001. When the year began, I had several active projects and a couple of likely prospects. By mid-September: GONE. All of it. As in… nothing… no work.

But instead of feeling let down, I had learned to trust God to the point where I was certain He was at work and was using my predicament to teach me something.

I was right.

In mid-December of 2001, God called me to make another change.

NEXT:  How God Transformed Me 

- Jan


Subscribe to Word Blessings

I promise to keep your email safe


Leave a Comment

 characters available

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Sherrie 03/20/2020, 9:58 AM

    I understand what you mean about fear in the night panic I’m 59 and for years now I have off and on dealt with this I have prayed and prayed I’ve have tried quoting scriptures I’m weary and tired it seems lately it’s more than ever with the coronavirus …
    I would appreciate prayers advice am so tired of the battle. My husband sleeps sound and I’m struggling to rest..
    Thank you for your time

    Reply Link
  • Amanda 01/06/2019, 8:17 PM

    Hi,thank you so much Mr Smith.I have a problem each and everytime I pray or when I’m alone fear strikes in and I just get scared,the more I prayer harder the more it fights back.I don’t want to keep living in that fear.

    Reply Link
  • Leslie Petoski 07/25/2018, 9:47 PM

    Hello and thank you so very much for your website and ministry. It is such a blessing and I am learning a lot. Mr. Smith, I am in the process of titrating off of a sleeping medication called Restoril, which is in a class of pharmaceuticals called Benzodiazepines. Xanax and Valium are also in this class of drugs which you are probably more familiar with. The torture and torment that a person endures while withdrawing from these substances is indescribable. It can go on for years. When neurochemistry is tampered with, which these substances do, the effects are absolutely brutal. Fear is felt in a way that is far more intense than what is natural. That is why people take their lives on these substances. The suffering is beyond what the brain was designed to endure. There are millions of people currently struggling to get off of these medications (poisons). I am using your website and God’s Word to prepare myself for the battle ahead. Our bodies are “programmed” to heal. I will heal in time. Please sir, include me in a prayer. I am fighting for my life. Thank you so much for all you do. God bless you!!

    Reply Link
  • AML 10/02/2015, 6:31 AM

    Thank you for your articles. They are shedding some light in the dark.

    Reply Link
  • JoJo 02/01/2015, 1:03 AM

    Thanks for this blog..I am really enjoying the articles and my faith is being strengthened..God bless.

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 02/12/2015, 9:46 AM

      Hi, Jojo. What a blessing it is to me to know that the things I wrote are helping others.

      Reply Link
  • angel 12/28/2014, 4:45 PM

    I just want a demon in my body

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 03/09/2015, 5:28 PM

      Angel, you can’t mean that, right? Nobody wants a demon

      Reply Link