“This is what the Lord says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged
...For the battle is not yours, but God's."
2 Chronicles 20:15
Yesterday, God brought to my mind a terrible past experience that I went through. Many of you remember the ten months of hell that I went through with a stalker.
Justin was about 9 months old, and I was scared out of my mind. This guy caused an uproar in my neighborhood. So many nights, countless nights for almost one year, he was caught on my property. It was the 4th of July weekend, I wanted to go see the fireworks, but I couldn’t for fear of this man. I stayed home and was watching from my family room. I was laying on the couch with Justin on me, holding him. My phone rang, it was my neighbor. She said, “Where are you in the house? That guy is sitting on top of the tree, looking down at you from your skylight window. I called the police, don’t be afraid. My son is coming over to your house!” The police showed up within seconds but couldn’t catch him.
These stories are many, he tried to break into the master bathroom one night while I was in the shower. Breaking my bathroom window and cracking the stone wall surrounding my home. It was so scary, the entire police department knew me by my first name, and they still do. So many nights police cars surrounded the entire neighborhood, shutting down every street leading to my home, and with powerful lights trying to find this man. Not to mention every night a police car parked in my driveway at night so I could have at least a few hours of sleep. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone with me. Accompanied to work and back, church, supermarket, hairdresser. Get the point? My life was not free to do as I wished. I was about to lose my mind.
The police sat with my neighbor and my mom who saw this man many times, and they gave a description, a sketch was created, and they were looking for a man that looked like what they described. My mom was coming to my house, she arrived to see this man standing in front of my window watching me. I was in my son’s room, putting the baby clothes away. It was nighttime, with the light on, I didn’t see him staring at me from the window. My mom called the police. The police just couldn’t catch him. He was a sophisticated stalker with a scanner. So, when my neighbors or my mom called the police, he would hear it and run before they got there.
Over ten long months of this ordeal almost every night. One day in May, I had just arrived home, the baby was with my parents, the person who was designated to watch over me for that day had another appointment and left me safely in the house. I was so angry. Just angry. I felt like a prisoner, and I wanted figs. It was fig season. I decided no more, I can’t live like this. So, I left my house to go get the figs. My family called me, "Where are you? Turn the car around and come home now.” No way, I’m not going to be afraid anymore. I wanted this man to confront me so that all this could end.
Well, two minutes into my driving, I saw this man. He looked like the drawing the police had made of the description that my mom and neighbor gave. I called my mom and my neighbor and asked them again to give me the description. Yep, this was the man, I told them. I decided to follow him with my car. My neighbor and my mom were telling me to just come home and let the police handle it. But I was afraid that we would lose him again. I had him now in front of me. There was no way I was going to back off.
Next thing I knew, the police arrived, circling him and my car. I got out of my car, ran to one of the policemen, and said, "Please arrest him. This is the man! Please bring him to the station for questioning. I’ll get my neighbor and mom to come identify him.” The police arrested him, and for a few minutes, I was thanking God that we found the man who was making my life so miserable.
My mom and neighbor arrived at the station. They put this man in a line-up. My mom came first, she couldn’t be sure that it was him. There were ten men in the line-up. He was the last man on my right. Each man passed before my mom and my neighbor, then came the last man. They looked at him from every direction. My mom said that it looked like him, but she couldn’t say for 100%. I thought, "Ok, my Mom, thinks it’s him but can’t be sure, but my neighbor will identify him." They brought her in next. Guess what? She had the same issue. She thought it was him, but she wasn’t positive. I honestly began to cry at the police station. They had to let him go. The police came over to me, extremely kind towards me. They hugged me, told me that they understood my fear and frustration, and that they would put extra police in my neighborhood, and they would continue to camp in my driveway until they caught him. “We are here to protect you; it’s going to be ok. We will catch him,” they said.
Then one morning I woke up after another night of this man coming. Now he was getting brazen. At 1 AM, he rang my doorbell. He was just so in my face. I couldn’t believe it. Police were there within 2 seconds. Five police cars! Lights and sirens blaring. All of a sudden, I heard them say, "Get on the ground, don’t move." It was horrible.
They began to question him, then they called my mom and neighbor to come and identify him right there on the spot. My mom and my neighbor stood there in bathrobes and slippers, in the middle of the street at 1 AM, with special lights everywhere. I went out there, too. I was staring at this man, trying to memorize his face just in case it was him. Again, he fit the description, but my mom and neighbor couldn’t be sure. They had to let him go. I watched him leave. I was so upset. Nobody walks at 1 AM in our neighborhood. What was this man doing?
The police collected fingerprints from my doors, doorbell, and windows. They just couldn’t catch this guy.
One morning, I just fell to my knees. I had no sleep, and I was scared because I was a new mom with a little baby. I was afraid that the man would hurt my baby. That morning, I asked God, “I don’t understand this, God. What are you doing? Why can’t the police catch him? I can’t take this anymore. Please God, tell me what to do.”
In that split second, God said, “All this time you never asked me what to do. However, I have protected you all this time. It’s my hand that has protected you. Now call on your intercessor prayer partners, walk around your property, and pray.” Then God gave me specific things to pray while marching around my property, and He gave me specific scriptures to pray as part of our prayer march. Then He said, “Thank Me for protecting you. Stop being afraid, and trust in My power. I have you closely in the grip of my hand, I’m not letting you go!”
I called my intercessory prayer partners and we walked and prayed over my property immediately. The head of the intercessory group, Evelyn, a beautiful woman with great faith, prayed and declared this passage over my home and over me. “This is what the Lord says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." (2 Chron. 20:15). We prayed with faith believing what God said He was going to do.
That man never returned again. Ever! I have no idea who he was or anything, he just never bothered me again. In that prayer, I prayed, “God, change this man’s heart. Help him and let him get physically ill when he steps into this neighborhood. I wish him no harm, but I want him gone from trying to harm me.”
I was so discouraged and so afraid, and rightly so. This wasn’t funny. This man wasn’t just stalking me, but he tried to break into my home while I was in it more than once.
You see the battles we fight are against evil. Battles against evil can only be won by a God that has the power and might to stop it. Today, your battle might not be as intense as what I had to go through, or maybe it’s worse. It doesn’t matter. Do you know who God is? Do you know WHO He is in the lives of His children? Do you know He WINS every single battle?
Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged, no matter what you think and feel. God wins every battle, and most importantly, He has YOU. Ask Him for wisdom and understanding, and then have the courage to do what He tells you to do. There is a spiritual warfare going on, and we must understand it and call upon a God that has the power to end it victoriously on our behalf.
Our weapon to tear down every scheme of the enemy is called prayer. Prayer is victory guaranteed. God’s Word is powerful to break every chain. Speak it over you and the situations that you find yourself in. God’s Word never comes back void without accomplishing what He has set it to do.
We have the power in these two greatest weapons to win every single attack known to humankind. Use them and use them constantly. We are victorious through prayer and declaring His Word. He wins every battle.
Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro