by Emily Trester
Her mind turned to the first draft of her novel. Janet Miller had always wanted to become a Christian novelist and had been receiving encouragement from her best friend, Joshua Raynor, whom she had known all her life. However, when she had asked her family to look over the draft, they discouraged her from writing such literature because they disbelieved in God. They suggested writing in another genre instead, which infuriated her. She wondered if she should continue conveying the truth of Christ in her writing or if she should put the draft away and choose another genre to strive for instead. She began to struggle with her faith in the Savior as a result. Janet once again pulled out her draft just as the phone rang. She set it down on the coffee table before answering.
“Hello,” she said, trying to sound enthusiastic despite the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty clouding her mind.
“Hi Janet, it’s Joshua. I picked up pizza for us. Want to come over?”
“That sounds wonderful. Thank you!” Her spirits began to lift. Joshua always made her feel better when she was down.
Janet arrived at Joshua’s place just as a large gust of wind made her curly hair stick in the air. Joshua opened the door a few minutes later and pulled her into a hug. Afterward, Janet set her manuscript on the table and headed toward the mirror by the doorway.
“So… what have you been up to?” Joshua asked as Janet fixed her hair.
“I pulled out the draft of my novel and began looking it over again, but things haven’t been easy this past month,” Janet replied. “My family has discouraged me from writing about God and His love for us all. I don’t know if I have the strength to continue.”
“I’m not so sure how I feel about it either,” Joshua said. “Maybe they’re right. Maybe going to another genre is the way to go.”
“Ugh, Joshua!” Janet exclaimed, “You too? Why does everyone keep saying that? I thought you would at least understand where I was coming from!”
Janet picked up her manuscript and stormed out the door without warning. “I’m going to make them understand!” she shouted angrily. Papers flew in the air as Janet slipped on ice, hitting her head on the sidewalk. Joshua came running out to see if she was okay.
Janet slowly opened her eyes as Joshua was fussing over her.
“Janet, Janet,” Joshua waved his arms frantically, “look where we are!”
Her eyes popped open as soon as she realized they were now in another world. It was the one she had created in her novel. Multitudes of angels in whirlwinds of shimmering light flew above and around them while singing the most beautiful songs.
Janet jolted upright in disbelief upon realizing she was in the midst of a raging battle between God’s angels and Satan’s demons, just like the one she had written. Joshua was shocked as well. Thousands of demons flew closer while being matched by the angels standing guard in preparation to counter them. Janet remembered the story in the Book of Revelation concerning the war in Heaven, although she couldn’t remember the details of the war or why it started. It had been a long time since she’d read it. As more demons joined the battle, a more significant number of angels flew in. Janet and Joshua quickly joined the angels as a blinding light descended in Janet’s direction, causing her to shield her eyes. It was the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael.
“Why is this battle taking place?” Janet asked as several demons flew closer and closer toward her, causing her to feel frightened. She began to fight them off with her arms.
“These demons want to get followers of Christ to turn away from Him. They want to do so by taking control over the Earth. To accomplish that, they want to kill all of us angels.” Archangel Raphael quickly turned again to fight off a few more demons who came to attack.
“Why do these demons not want people to follow God?” Janet asked incredulously.
“They are helpers of Satan and will do whatever he commands them. Satan used to be one of us, an angel named Lucifer. However, he eventually began to change. He turned selfish, hateful, aggressive, and covetous toward God because of His mighty power. So much so that he grew a deep desire to steal God’s place on the throne instead of worshiping and serving Him like he should’ve been doing. He still has that desire to do so and will go to any length to try and overpower our mighty Lord,” Archangel Gabriel said while continuously fighting demons, never taking his eyes away from the battle.
After they defeated more demons, Archangel Raphael quickly turned to them again and said: “Satan tried his hardest to replace God by starting a war against Him. I stood in honor of our Lord and defeated him with the help of Gabriel and all the other archangels. The angels who stood by Satan and had the same desire to steal God’s power also got thrown out of Heaven. That’s when sin began. So many angels have continued to serve our Lord and Savior despite those who chose otherwise. There are so many more of us than there are of them. However, that doesn’t mean Satan’s no longer determined.”
Janet spotted a whirlwind of cool breeze zooming toward her right then, causing intense fear and a wave of panic to rise within. Relief washed over her as she realized it was Archangel Michael, who spoke to her as if he’d known her all her life.
“When Lucifer first spoke about his plan to try and replace God, we all told him his plan was futile. But, of course, he wouldn’t listen. He simply told us we were fools for serving our Lord and Savior instead of coveting Him and having that same desire to snatch His power away.”
“He never gives up, does he?” Janet asked.
Uriel, another Archangel, quickly sped toward them.
“No. Satan thinks he has the power to defeat us, and therefore orders his demons to carry out the task for him.”
“However, God is so much more powerful than Satan will ever be,” Archangel Michael chimed in again, “We’ll defeat them.”
Janet stood alongside the Archangels as they continued to battle every demon that came their way. However, one of the demons approached and forcefully pulled her aside.
“Hey, let me go! Get away from me!” Janet demanded.
“No, listen, I have to….”
“I will not listen. Get away from me now!”
“Hey, leave her alone!” the Archangels called out in unison as they all struck.
The demon panicked and frantically attempted to dodge the attacks. “Just listen, Janet, because I have something important to tell you. All those angels fighting us, including the two archangels you were just talking to, aren’t angels. They are demons, disguised as angels, trying to get rid of us. We are God’s angels, but they all put a spell on us to make us appear like the ones who are the demons. You need to join us and help us overtake them. Listen to what I’m telling you, Janet, as this is the absolute truth. Satan stole God’s power away and cast a spell on Him to make Him look like the one who’s Satan instead. With your help, we can defeat them and break the spell from us all.”
“I don’t believe you one bit. You’re trying to get me off the angels’ side to join your side, aren’t you? Well, there’s no way I’d fall for that.”
“Nonsense, you disrespectful imbecile!” the demon boomed. “You won’t get into Heaven if you don’t listen to me! You better listen!” He lunged toward Janet, fueled with extreme rage.
She blocked the attack with all her might as the Archangels, followed by many other angels, flew in to keep the demon from attacking Janet.
“You liar! None of you can ever defeat our Lord and Savior!” Archangel Gabriel hollered.
The demon also lunged toward him, but Archangel Michael raced to strike him with all his might as he desperately tried to fight back, to no avail.
“Satan and all of you are the evil ones!” The Archangels Uriel and Raphael called out as they struck at every demon around them. Other angels joined in to stand by the two Archangels.
Another demon sped in Janet’s direction. “Janet, don’t listen to them! Those angels are liars!”
Janet turned to look the demon directly in the eyes. She held his gaze and refused to back down.
“You’re just making that up,” she replied firmly as a group of angels flew in front of the demon to counter it.
“Satan and all of you are the liars!” the angels sang out in unison, filling Janet’s ears with peaceful-sounding voices.
A hundred more demons crowded around Janet to tempt her into helping them wipe out the angels, making up all sorts of lies about how the angels were the evil ones. Janet continued to battle them off with the help of Joshua and the angels while ignoring what the demons were saying. However, demons continued to block her path despite that.
For the first time in a while, Janet bowed her head to pray:
“Lord, I place my trust and faith in You again, the Creator of the Universe and all living things. I’m sorry for all those times I’ve doubted Your existence and questioned if You’re with me. Please forgive me and be with me right now as I’m overwhelmed by this battle. Please help me continue ignoring the demon’s lies and not cave in to what they’re saying. Help us all to defeat them, Heavenly Father, for I know You’re here in the battle and will never forsake anyone in their time of need. Amen.”
Suddenly, a scripture verse popped into Janet’s mind. She turned to face the demons; compelled to repeat it out loud:
“No temptation has overtaken you except that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
Then another verse came to her: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12
Janet recalled another scripture verse from the Book of Isaiah she’d often repeated out loud whenever she felt hopeless, stressed, or overwhelmed by circumstances in life. It was Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.”
As Janet finished reciting this last verse, a flash of light spilled out from the sky. She stood there, surrounded by it, feeling its warmth on her face. The demons had vanished at last. She closed her eyes and smiled as tears trickled down her cheeks.
“Thank you, Jesus, for everything you’ve done,” she gratefully said, stretching her arms out in praise toward the sky.
She blinked and turned her head slowly, wondering where she was. Upon hearing Joshua’s voice, she realized she was in a hospital room.
“Janet, you’re finally awake! I was so worried about you!” Joshua leaned over to hug her.
Janet returned the hug, confused. She then sat up.
“What happened?” she asked, looking around at her surroundings.
“You slipped on ice, hit your head, and fell unconscious,” Joshua replied, staring into her eyes, “I managed to collect all your manuscript papers even though it was a challenge to do so with all that wind blowing by.”
He reached over to the manuscript neatly tied by twine.
“Thank you so much,” Janet said quietly. “How long was I unconscious?”
“Several hours, though I’ve been so worried I didn’t keep track,” Joshua said, taking a deep breath before continuing. “Janet, I’m very sorry for what I said. It was dumb of me. You ought to pursue the genre you’re most passionate about.”
“Thank you so much, Joshua, and for collecting my manuscript. I, too, am very sorry.”
“Also, Joshua, the Lord gave me the strangest vision, where you and I helped angels fend off demons in a battle,” Janet continued, “just like from the Bible.”
She told Joshua about the intensity of the battle, the demons who tried to trick her into joining their side, and the scripture verses she repeated out loud that finally defeated the demons.
“Wow, that’s crazy,” Joshua said in shock. “But I’m glad they got defeated.”
“Yeah, me too. Thank you so much for being there for me, Joshua. It means a lot,” Janet replied.
“Of course. You’re super important to me. I don’t ever want to lose you, ever.”
Joshua leaned over to kiss her lightly on the lips. Streaks of sunlight shone through the open window, surrounding them with warmth.
“I’m going to go get coffee for us,” Joshua said once he pulled away. “You probably need some after that intense vision.”
Janet laughed, saying, “Thanks, Joshua, that’d be great.”
Janet kept her faith in God renewed. The incredible vision she had helped her see the light. She bowed her head to say a prayer of gratitude:
“Heavenly Father, thank you for opening my eyes through that vision You gave me. Thank You for renewing my faith in You once again. Please give me the strength to not let discouragement from others get in the way of what I’m striving for and to continue working on the novel I’ve started. Help me write this novel to Your honor, glory, and praise, so it may help others draw closer to you. Thank You, Jesus, for giving me the strength I desperately needed to ignore the lies and temptations of those demons in that vision. Thank You for all my blessings, and please heal my head wound. Also, please help me to know Your plan for my life. In the name of my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Once Janet opened her eyes again, she reached over toward her manuscript to untie the twine as Joshua walked back into the room with their coffee.
“Thank you,” Janet said with a smile as she reached for her cup. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” Joshua said, sitting next to her, “I hope and pray your head heals quickly.”
With a deep breath, Janet read her novel with newfound determination. She knew God was and always would be by her side, no matter what obstacles would come in her path. Janet smiled at Joshua, and he smiled back. She was very blessed.
“Thank You, Heavenly Father, for all You’ve done for me. Thank You for helping me through once again and for giving me the strength and hope I desperately needed. You are a Way Maker, Miracle Worker, and Promise Keeper. Thank you for giving me Your never-ending grace, love, and mercy from the cross. For Thine is the Kingdom, Power, and Glory, Forever and Ever, Amen.”
Emily Trester is a writer based out of Idaho. She enjoys expressing her fondness for God’s creation through photography and poetry. She developed a passion for literature at a very young age and has gotten published through The Idaho Coalition, Just Poetry/Live Poets Society of NJ, and Blue Mountain Arts.