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Healing of Memories: A Personal Story

by Jill Knuttila

I recently have returned from a Christian retreat camp in Denver, Colorado, designed to facilitate spiritual and emotional healing. The camp was held in Allenspark, within the mountains (9,000 feet in altitude to be more exact). Anyway, the kind editors of Ancient and Postmodern Catholics have asked me to write an article about my experience.

1. Background

First, I will give a brief account of why I was going to this camp and my journey leading up to my arrival at the camp.

I had learned about this camp through an online friend, who is a retired Anglican priest and a guest speaker at this camp. We had been keeping in touch with each other before this time, and he suggested that the Healing of Memories ministry would be beneficial. You can learn more about this ministry at www.durrance.com. Thus, I was invited to this camp not only to get more of a focus on God, but also to begin my healing.

I was able to attend camp because I was given a scholarship, so I didn't have to pay the camp fees. As well, my friend and his wife paid for my airline tickets. Apparently, God wanted me to attend this camp, because I didn't have the funds to pay for the camp, or the airfare.

However, my troubles didn't end there. Being Canadian, I thought that I only needed my driver's license to get across the border. I got a surprise when I tried to board the plane. The customs security guard and I spent around 45 minutes discussing why I should have a passport, etc. I was nervous to begin with because I never had flown before, so I probably didn't answer his questions as clearly as I should have. By the way the conversation was headed, I didn't think he would let me through. Once again, this trip must have been God's will, since He pulled me through. After the customs guard made a rude comment (at least in my opinion), he let me through.

2. The Experience

When I arrived at camp, all I could think was: Wow, the mountains are beautiful. Being from the flatlands, also known as the prairies, I never see the mountains, so I was awestruck by the beautiful scenery. Though the scenery was awesome, my poor body wasn't used to the high altitude.

At the beginning of the week, I missed a lot of the morning activities because I felt so run down, and my asthma was giving me grief. Not only was the altitude a factor in how I felt physically, but I had also been under a lot of stress before I went to camp, so I was finally poised to relax when I arrived. My body was catching up on much needed rest. Halfway through the week, I was able to take a more active role in the morning activities.

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Every day in the afternoon, I would sit with my friend, the priest, and pray for the healing of my memories. We prayed that I would be able to see Jesus, and sometimes His mother Mary, to come to those times in my memories where tragedy had struck. This way, my perception of my past would change, and I would not see myself alone, but with someone who loved me. We prayed that Jesus would heal me from the hurt and other results of these memories, so I would be able to forgive those who had hurt me, and of course, forgive myself.

As we prayed, we discovered that I had a couple of "alters." I had somewhat of a dissociative disorder, but it wasn't severe. The priest and I discovered that I was under demonic oppression, thus through prayer, I was exorcised and my "alters" were integrated within me. I do not remember the process of the exorcism and integration, but what I do remember is feeling completely worn out and quite hot, thought the temperature hadn't changed.

Spiritually, I knew that I had undergone a major change. At the end of the camp, I didn't feel as depressed, and I felt very new. It was similar to how I had felt when I first became a Christian: relief, joy, and security. The major spiritual warfare that I had been fighting for the past year had come to an end. Thanks be to God!

3. After Camp

Unfortunately, reality set in, and it was time for me to return home. At our last session, we prayed for the continuation of my healing and protection at home. The priest suggested I go to confession so that I would receive an absolution from my sins.

On the way home, I wondered what was waiting for me. I knew the stress and other crap would still be there, so I didn't want to go home. However, I missed my boyfriend, so I came home. When I arrived, nothing had changed of course, but my perception of things certainly changed. I saw the world in a new light. For once, I didn't think the world was so bad as I once did.

4. What the Camp Taught Me

I learned many things from camp. However, I am still in the process of analyzing them all, thus I will only name a few.

God's Love: I learned about this through His creation. As I had mentioned earlier, the mountains are so beautiful that it's indescribable. Though the mountains are large and vast, they are intricate in detail. I can just imagine the love and care that God put into creating these giant, yet gentle, structures. Not only did he take great care in molding the mountains, but also took great care molding the beautiful trees and wild animals that roam within the valleys. It is said that you can see God's love through His creation, and I found this to be wholeheartedly true.

There are such things as miracles: It seems as if everything worked out, despite that it really shouldn't have. Initially, I didn't have the funds to go to camp, yet God provided the funds to pay for the camp fees, plus even the funds for the airfare. The evil one had thrown in my path an obstacle (the US Customs Guard) that could have prevent me from going. Through God's intervention, the US Customs Guard let me through. I see all of three instances as miracles.

God's Mercy and Power: I was under demonic oppression for a long time, but in His mercy, I was able to defeat the evil one's powerful suggestions of killing myself, and others. In His mercy, I was still able to reach that little bit of sanity I had left. Through His mighty power, He cast out the demons within me and replaced them with His Son and Holy Spirit.

I am never alone: I learned that God was there with me during the tragic moments of my life: either carrying me, or weeping with me. The Healing of Memories ministry had changed my perception dramatically. I can now go back in time and see that Jesus was with me, no matter the circumstances.

5. Conclusion

I am very thankful that I was able to attend this camp. There are probably many more things that I can tell you, but I am still analyzing the whole experience. One thing I can say for sure is that it was a life-change experience.

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