Jenny Weaver believed that dabbling in the occult as a teenage witch would be “fun” like she saw in the movies. However, the torment that followed all through her life became so unbearable that Jenny wished for death.
For Jenny, it all began as a supernatural game.
“Things were happening. I was moving things,” says Jenny. “I would go up to a drawer to open a drawer and before my hand would even touch it, the drawer would go ‘shhew’ and open.”
“Lights would bust and break when we would start talking about the demonic realm, glass fall all over us,” says Jenny.
However, things eventually turned more sinister.
Jenny grew up on Florida’s Gulf Coast with seven siblings. Her home was dominated by abusive parents, who handed out punishment for the slightest offense. It wasn’t much better at their church that didn’t teach about a loving father, but a vengeful, angry God ready to condemn sinners to hell.
“I was always thinking God’s disappointed in me. God’s upset,” says Jenny. “So, I was really filled with shame and condemnation.”
Then her father walked out, leaving 13-year-old Jenny, her siblings, and their mom desolate.
Feeling powerless and unloved, Jenny began cutting and smoking pot. Then she saw a movie about teen witches that showed her a way to take charge of her life. Soon, she was poring over books about witchcraft, Wicca, and the occult, and trying spells with her friends.
“Wiccan religion is, ‘Do what you want, but do no one any harm.’” says Jenny. “It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, it’s the good witch.’ I felt like I had power,” says Jenny. “And, so, I’m looking at this like, ‘Oh, this is the most amazing thing ever.’”
However, that power and control were only an illusion because the turmoil in Jenny’s home, and within herself, remained. At 17, after a fight with her mom, Jenny ran away and dropped out of school. Bouncing between friends’ homes and drug houses over the coming years, she got into harder drugs, sometimes blacking out for several days.
Then she moved in with a girl who came from a family of witches. Her new friend showed her the things she thought were harmless and fun opened the door to a dark, sinister, and very frightening world Jenny only thought existed in books and movies.
Terrified, she stopped practicing witchcraft, but the demon of addiction would continue to haunt and torment her for years to come.
“I would just say, ‘If I just die now, I just die now.’” says Jenny. “And-and I would just lay there and go, ‘I just hope I will die. I hope these drugs—they—these are the ones that just take me out this time.’”
At 26, she was living with her boyfriend, Stephen, and hopelessly addicted to meth. Then she got pregnant. One day, seeing no hope for her or her baby’s future.
“I just fell on my knees and I screamed out as loud as I possibly could, ‘God, help me!!!’” says Jenny. “And it was like the loudest, longest scream. I remember just like groaning, ‘Ohhhh, please.’ And I didn’t see lightning, I didn’t see any of that, but I felt a peace,” says Jenny. “And that was the first time I felt the Lord saying to me in my heart, my heart, ‘I’m gonna help you. I’m gonna help you.’”
Jenny says that help came in an unexpected way: two days later she was arrested, sent to jail, and ordered to complete a drug treatment program. There, she began to hear about a different God, a heavenly father who was loving, merciful, and ready to forgive through His son, Jesus Christ. One night, Jenny whispered a prayer.
“I just cried, and I said, ‘God, I just want You to help me.’” cried Jenny. “I really want to love people, but there was such a hardness. And I just asked the Lord to take it. And I said, ‘God, I’m just gonna give You my life today,’” says Jenny. “And I surrendered to the Lord.”
“And I knew that everything that I had gone through, everything that I had done, had been forgiven,” says Jenny. “And when Jesus did that for me, it changed everything. Everybody that threw me away, He came, and He healed that.”
On the day of her release, Jenny gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Cameron. Later, Stephen also got clean and accepted Christ, and the couple married in 2013. But, a part of Jenny’s past wasn’t letting go, and for a few years, she still sensed a dark presence in her life. Then at a deliverance service at church, a woman led her in prayer to renounce witchcraft.
“I would say, ‘I renounce,’ and if I would try to say it at first, it was like ‘Wwww,’ and they wouldn’t let me,” says Jenny. “It was like my mouth was—I couldn’t even get the words, and they would say, ‘Rrrr, we’re not—we’re not leaving, no.’ And they would curse and spit,” says Jenny. “It was very, very, very crazy.”
“I knew there was a release,” says Jenny. “I could tell, I could feel it. I knew. I was like, ‘Okay, I’m free. They’re gone. They’re gone.’ And I was just, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus,’” says Jenny.
With the past far behind her, Jenny went on to develop a close relationship with her mom. She was also able to reconcile with her dad a few months before he passed away. Today, Jenny is a homeschool mom, entrepreneur, and worship leader, sharing her music and her passion for the Lord.
“Jesus came running after me,” says Jenny. “When I cursed at Him, when I literally said the worst kind of words you can imagine at God, and the whole time Him calling my name saying, ‘No, she’s my daughter. I’m coming after her.’”
Jenny Weaver is currently a minister and worship leader.