Part 1: My life in the late 60’s-70’s & the Spiritual Charismatic Movement

God help me write this true story.


Dear readers…I am now going to be very honest with you. This is the true story of how I came

to Christ and the events that lead up to it.

The sixties was a very maddening time.  Besides that horrendous war in Viet Nam, there came

with it a fear of being drafted which permeated every dating relationship. Most women were

doubtful of the truth of why they were being asked to be married. Fear of deceit and whether

or not they should wait for them to return since they thought they might just be waiting for

completely different man to come back. So many soldiers despaired over there. I was told

by one soldier that many of them used marijuana  and other drugs while over there to

soothe themselves. Many came back very broken to which a large number of Viet Nam vets 

continued to use drugs even after the war too…they feared that too.


Now at home there was no real stability in the general moral populace, that I saw. If

there was hope in the world i didn't see it from my angle. And years later my

suppositions seemed to be right in recalling the whole time of the sixties.


 And what's with this sexual revolution that was seeming to be happening

There were oftimes  some men at every job my mom and I had…the men were more like sexual

predators and there were no legal

guidelines at work to protect us from sexual harassment. This kind of attitude toward women

was prevelant..for men were being influenced by women of a looser character to spread that

thought…so that even innocent women felt victim to their voracious apetites.


There was a  beginning of a deteriorating of family life through divorce, teenage rebelliousness,

drugs, promiscuity, adultery and what the hippies called "free love." There was nothing free about

it …for out of that movement came , disenchantment with long lasting

relationships, broken heartedness, venereal diseases and what I believe was the aids virus.


I was from a family of five…mom and dad both Italian Catholic. Dad wasn't much of a lovey

dovey" present" father…he gambled a bit and was always fighting with my mom..or should i say

she was nagging at him to become a better husband and father cause he spent his money

foolishly. He was a good and hard worker but had a hard time finding painting contracting

jobs. It was "seasonal" boy did i hear that alot. Just like today with all the temporary job market..


My sister got married at 17,  and after a few years was already having her first child by the time

my brother was at UCLA.   

But then things started to change…Mom seemed to have changed toward Dad and us.

She had started slowly to first break down in early sixties with a mental collapse

for she was carrying the whole load of working for us. Her absence from

the house in the hospital made my dad repent of his bad behavior.

I had to take care of mom emotially at 16 through graduation age during that time  so I

didn't have the normal life most teenage girls have in high school. I had never had a date.

I wasn't even asked to the prom.


I was quiet at school cause of the pain in my heart at home for so many years. I never

even wanted to remind my dad to come to my graduation for I feared him

putting on a scene cause of his temper.  I  was still so innocent and naive by the time I was

graduating  in 1963. I was going to the Catholic church once in a while and got all my

sacraments. I considered myself a good girl and kept myself pure.

Dad finally got a  good creative job working at universal  and working on the Batman TV

series. sets . He came home happy and fulfilled. Life was better than it ever was.


Then my world fell apart. first my mom became a different person that I knew. She went from a

depressed wife despondent and exhausted to a fervent in prayer,worship , Pentecostal acting

and Jesus loving fanatic. I was a quiet God fearing Catholic kid. I never knew of such

behavior nor did I see it on TV.  She listened to Christian radio continually and would pull

me into her bedroom and say listen to this..or show me some scripture from the bible. I didn't

know it then but there was something happening in the religious world. Many people were

starting to feel called by God to go back to their churches that they went to as a child. Others, my

mom said were feeling a pull from God through the radio. People having dreams and miraculous

experiences in own homes…not in the church pews. People were finding spiritual fulfillment

through reading scriptures…and even in the Catholic church there was a movement going

on called the Charismatic movement of the Holy Spirit.  All this talk eluded me…cause

i wasn't listening to any of it.


Once , when i was going out with some friends to party…she said..she was praying for me

to not go and to stay home …I just got mad at her and said be quiet I don't want to hear any

more of this talk..I don't know you anymore..who are you..and slammed the door.


The next few months in college was so much fun…so many cute guys…new friends..the

interesting classes. I loved the theater arts class and hung around some hippie types.

I didn't do drugs but i thought they were fun. I was getting good grades too. One guy even

asked me to be one of the homecoming girls to sit on the float. Wow.


Then suddenly everything changed…i felt like my world was collapsing. First the counselor at

school yelled at me for wearing long pants for it didn't match the criteria for the dress code.

She called me weird names like I was a hippie…a hippie whats that…i just like to wear black

pants..I rebelled and got mad so i dropped out of all my classes…except my

dancing class. Dumb huh…but that was the spirit of those days …a sense of not wanting to

be told what to do. The "establishment" was stupid to us kids…in those days…we knew

better..we would change the world..with our own way of doing things…But thinking back..nobody

every had any plans of change in mind..yet.


The next thing was guys started asking me to marry them…I mean alot. I was so ignorant of what

was behind it. Darn where were my parents…they were in their own world.

Then Martin Luther, JFK, Bobby Kennedy was shot. We thought there would be all out world

war 3 that week. We were all crying that day..and at the end of the day…we went to bed exhausted

and fitfully worried. My brother then yells down the hallway to all of us in the throws of going to

sleep. I was drafted today. All the lights went back on and we stayed up a while talking and

crying over him. But mom had faith…she said God will take care of us… Geesh…where

does she get off talking like that..he might die now…Just when things were starting to get

better…Where is God in all of this mess?


I didn't know it but my mom was praying for me constantly while I was attending college, doing

plays and dating.During this time my mom was preaching to my dad constantly. He was

really changing…so whatever this religion my mom got was…it was helping my dad. My

brother finished his tour…but not in Nam. My mom prayed for him to be safe..and suddenly

they shipped him to the Panama Canal..and there he stayed for the remainder of his service

time…mmmm…that is the second miraculous thing that happened!


During this time I dated one guy for several years on and off amongst others..Let's call him

Alphie . I always was  keeping to my Catholic vow to stay pure till I was 21. Why not till married. I don't remember I just made

it till then.Things were good and i didn't want to disappoint my severely strict dad too.


Right before i turned 21….I was with a guy in a band named Pete…he was

different from the other guys..kind and quiet and sweet. He seemed to not be into drugs like

them. That night at a party i told him i wanted to leave cause of the wildness…he started talking

to me in a serious way. He said..why are you here? You are a good girl not like the others.

I told him i wanted some fun. I told him I wanted to meet know. I still wasn't getting

the warnings. He asked me if I believed in God. I said yes. He do you know God

exists? I stammered in my reply and just say…well…I believe because of creation. Look at the

stars and the sun and moon and doesn't just get up there by itself…all this beauty

God made…thats why…but i never talked to him about  my church or the sacraments or Christ.

Cause I didn't know at that time. Well I never saw Pete again after that. He died the next day

in a motorcycle accident. I pondered about that…thinking…I hope he went to heaven. Gosh

i was the last person to talk to him about his question…i hope he's ok…God…help Pete…help

him get to heaven. Then i thought about my own soul for a few days…but then again went

back to my old lifestyle of ignoring God.


My life completely change when it was the night of my 21st birthday…

oh if i could have gotten that night naive and foolish i was to put myself in

jeopardy that night. But with no warnings and no teachings from my mom…she tried..

remember i didn't want to hear it. It was four years that i had fell away from going to church.

I wasn't very spiritual. I had some warnings.

This boy I told you of earlier..Alfie…was secretly drafted and didn't tell me.. He was was at my

party and acting strange toward me. He was talking cheaply to me and wanting me to break my

vow that night. I told him….if you are finally interested in marrying me then why don't you call me

more. He said..he would and started getting amorous with me. I was mislead by his phony

charm and he attempted to press the issue, if you know what i mean. I resisted with all my

might succeeded in getting away from him. I drove home devastated. I had never gotten into

such a compromising position like that. I lost all respect for him, and myself…why would

he treat me this way..unless i am becoming cheap myself?


The next month brought such misery. I went to confirm a fear of mine that lead me to believe

i was pregnant…i wanted to die from shame when the doctor said..congratulations you

are pregnant. Tell your husband the good news. I had lied and told them i was married.

Thats what you did in those days…to protect you from be ostracized.


When i told Alfie..he said…."Its your problem."

I pushed him against the wall and said.."aren't

you going to marry me…He said no. Feel sorry for me I am going to Viet Nam and will

probably die!" The rejection and despair on both of our parts was palpable. I felt so

overwhelmed , lost and afraid. I rushed out sobbing and angry at him. He left and disappeared

out of our lives after that. He only came once to see the baby but that was it.


"Can this life be any worse?" I moaned. Yes , it did get worse…I started contemplating

suicide…one night in the first months of my pregnancy i went to a bar by myself and just sat

there..i didn't really party..just listened to the music ..i was bored and depressed so i started

to leave..some guy there that i saw from time to time..said hey give me a ride home ok?

I wasn't thinking or protective of myself …so i drove him home. When we got up on the hill area

of his home..he said i left my car here…just lets talk seem depressed..So stupidly i

parked with him in a dark place. i must have been under a spell..or so it seemed…to my foolish

brain that he seemed nice. Then he went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hide. It was happening all

over a again…the assault…being pawed at…I got so mad..i kicked him out of the car.

I wept so bitterly after he left and felt so dirty and worthless ..that i began to think…that's it

i quit..what am i living for this kind of this all men think about..whats more is this what

they think of me? I am just a looser…so i started to move the car at the edge of the cliff.

Just then a feeling of great evil came over my whole body like i was transported into a feeling of

a haunted house movie..such an evil…i can't even explain…Is this what suicidal people feel

well i want no part of it. But as i drove backward…away from that spot the evil followed my

spirit. I started to drive to the top of parking light where the lights were and i still felt it. I looked

around but there was no one.


Suddenly a car was behind me..a sport car…was it the guy's car that i dropped off? How could

i know …i am not getting out of my car.

This car then quickly starting seeming very evil too…like it was some sort of killing machine.

I started banging my bumper. I drove quickly away. it caught up with me. It drove on the

outer part of the street trying to force my car over the cliff. What? Is he going to kill me?

He probably thinks i am going to the police and have him arrested..that's  it. Or so I thought

it was him.

He followed me down the hills and highways as I sped off. Where were the police when

you need them. Not only were there no police cars but no cars at all..and it was only around

11 or so. This night doesn't make anysense. I thought it was very twilight zone. Or something

from a horror movie.

Finally he trapped me into small bridge area…i couldn't go forward . Something inside of me

said..stop and pray…pray i haven't' prayed in years. I prayed..God help me..then i had

the sudden realization that i had another life inside me and it gave me courage to

save us both.  I saw i was running out of gas and I touched the car's dashboard and said.

.come on baby you can do this.

He reved his engine… several times..for me to look at him..i didn't want to.

But i then did. Now what i tell you is quite fantastic..but it is utterly true…

When i looked at him …he was neither the man i dropped off…nor even any normal human

person i have seen on this earth. He looked like …pure and simply put….a demon. His hair

sticking out from his head..his eyes bulging…and his teeth sharp and long and shaped in

wicked menacing grin…


I am telling you the truth.  I got the idea to pretend to back up while he followed my lead..i drove

out of that tight squeeze and onward to home. As i reached the end of the journey i saw a police

car down at the bottom of the hill almost to my house. I honked to them to follow me..they did

into a parking lot. They searched me suddenly thinking i was on drugs..but i kept saying

i am being chased by a madman for miles and miles.

They said young lady..we have been watching you on radar all those miles and there has

only been one light on it…yours…You are just making this story up.

They never ticketed me that night and followed me home safely. They knew i was sober but

didn't understand my story.


When i got home and shut the door behind me …i never was so relieved.

I sunk down to the ground and breathed a sigh of relief. My mother mother's voice

was heard …through the bedroom…"Lauren, is that you honey, I have been so worried about

you …i was praying for you all night."

Just then i felt such a grateful love for my mom..who kept me safe through

her prayers… Prayers? Why am I so grateful…am I finally

believing in God like she does?

I told her…I " am never going back to that bar  again."

I am going to find a nice man to marry so you won't worry anymore….ok? Ok …

i am  so glad you are home safe.  For some reason i was so anxious tonight

for you.

 Now you might ask yourself  about this mountain chase story that I told you.

i  too have often  asked myself several questions. Like: He wasn't a demon

demons are visable…are they? Perhaps he just had a mask.

 Maybe he is some sick person that scares people with it. Or why didn't I

pursue prosecute that young man that attacked you?

Cause I really believed it was demonic. That these fallen angels really do exist

and they sometimes manifest themselves to humans.

As for the prosecuting part…women never did do that that much…cause

in those days cause you felt..who would believe your story…

especially if you chose to be  at a bar and then deciding to driving

somewhat of a stranger home? See what I mean.


  As for God preaching at me..I wasn't as resistant in the months that

followed…i listened to her but with more patience.

But i still didn't want nothing to do with her lifestyle and i sure didn't want

to act the way she does. I did love her dearly throughout those turbulent years of the 60's. 


After this aweful and most enlightening night things started to change even

more radically…but for the good.

Last note for now….that night proved to me beyond a doubt that there was a hell

and demons. ForI felt an evil  like I had never felt before or since.

 And to me it said loads…to the fact that if there is an evil

like that..then there must be an opposite place…

a heaven, a God and….glorious angels!


Thanks so much for listening dear ones. Please stay with me as we go to part 2 .

Until then,













What is happening to our youth? I blame no one…and yet I blame everyone.

I blame myself for not still teaching at juvenile hall…i blame myself for not teaching Sunday school as much as i should…I blame the health institutions and insurance companies..for cutting off the financial support to the mentally ill, i blame the government for cutting back on high school phychotherapists..who are the eyes and ears for the parents of emotionally troubled youth. I blame parents for not dialoging their kids enough…for not getting to know and understand their adolescents and teens. I blame them for giving up on their kids and thinking they are 13 or fourteen now and now they are done..i blame them for dumping so much on the grandparents for the raising of their kids..and turning around and not supporting them and their "old fashiioned ideas." i blame parents for enabling their kids..for buying them violent bloody video games…i blame them for not monitoring the tv and their kids friendships and they places they hang out.  I blame them for spoiling their kids based on the old addage that iam going to give them everything i never had…

Gosh who ever said that was a good idea…

Instead parents give them what you should have had…like more of a work ethic…to get used to getting their hands dirty in the garden…on repairing the car…on fixing things around the house…about taking out the trash and keeping their room clean..for darn sake! 







Dancing With the Angels (A True Story)


By Lauren Williamson
July 7th, 2012
It all seemed so unreal. How did I get here? I am now utterly exhausted and thoroughly mentally and emotionally spent…but at the same time so exhilarated beyond my wildest imagination. What just happened to our little group of women? A tremendous blessing coming out of the blue and landing on us like some great butterfly!
 I am trying to put it all together. Am i dreaming…pinch me please. We all stood back stage congratulating each other still with tears in our eyes of such profound gratefulness for each other and for the moment.
Now when the theater is quieting down and people are slowly exiting the auditorium … I am finally catching my breath. As I wipe the sweat off my brow…and try to comb my overly sprayed hair I stare back at the empty stage and finally realize the truth of it all… “You wanted to dance all your life. You did it tonight. You wanted to feel like you had flown like a bird and you did. You wanted to be fearless …and you were. Look at these costumes…over a dozen costume changes… How did you do this Lord? Was that me out there? Did it really happen?
A scripture suddenly came to mind…when I am weak…then I am strong. Now I finally know what St. Paul meant when he wrote it.  Knowing that I am poor in spirit… and knowing that I have no strength of my own except  when I lean on Him… kept me going.
Yet, what an unlikely group of women we are! We came to a divorce workshop months ago and wound up dancing in the concert…weeks and weeks of rehearsals! And what grand emotions must have raced through our minds! What an incongruous setting. Nothing made sense. And everything made sense…the audience cheering like we had just won an Olympic competition. No…more like elation you feel when one would win the lottery! Not even that…cause it was spiritual…all grace…all love…all beauty and all courage! This certainly wasn’t a moment wasn’t about fame, or even power, even though I felt empowered and an object of God’s affection.  During the play, I felt so one with my fellow dancers and audience. There was a great vicarious gift present amongst us.
The most tragic and yet  most humorous of irony was that we were the most weakest of women at that moment in our lives…coming together at this university seeking only one thing-restoration and only a miracle of God could pull it off . For we dear ladies were.women broken, extremely vulnerable and on top of it parading our emotional wounds totally exposed for everyone to see. We danced our pain that night. We danced through it and with it…were consumed by it… and we… consumed it. We finally triumphed over it for they, those nagging dark memories, then became our stepping stones to freedom. Each and every moment in our lives of rejection, shame, heartache, loneliness and abandonment suddenly was transformed into something lovely to behold. And behold they did. The onlookers were as amazed as we were. Their graciousness exceeded all we had ever would hope for. I hear the audience voices dying down now and coming closer are familiar family sounds. I am suddenly interrupted from my reverie and collided with loved one’s embraces.
 So when I say that I was relieved when the play was over…I really mean it. It seemed when the play was over- the pain in my fellow dancer’s hearts dissipated too.
 I worked with a nun who was the program facilitator and the most unlikely dance partner I ever had.  Why because she was a nun and woman like no other, who was so free that it freed me to be me. There was also another hurting single mother and her daughter who were both incredibly emoting dancers. But the biggest blessing was to be taught by not only a professional choreographer, but by a deeply spiritual and compassionate dance therapist.
You see, this was an outflow and subsequently an outreach performance of all the work I had been doing this particular semester at a Catholic University Divorce Recovery Workshop. I attended many talks but my favorite part was the therapeutic dance class.
 I regretfully looked back over the years for not following my childhood dream of being a dance choreographer. It didn’t make it any easier to come to the movement class when the teacher would make comments like…Didn’t I see you at UCLA once for a dance audition? Yes I said…but I wasn’t auditioning for the class I was just supporting a friend who was there. I sang while she danced. She remembered me! And I remembered the song too…“Sometimes I feel like a motherless Child.” How uncannily appropriate it was. At that moment, I did feel like one again…suddenly lost and not really seeing completely why.
She went on to say, “Lauren from watching you in this class I can see you are a great dancer and choreographer.”  I instantly ached…No…no …not again…don’t open up that wound again…It seemed that when she said that, it was like a huge knife floating gently out of her mouth slicing my heart in two, creating the person I am today lost and bewildered latch key child of 5 years old. Then add to that… this awful limbo feeling of separation from a husband of 15 years.
Here I was  again…standing in the rain all wet. ..wading through a flooded driveway, sick and with a fever…cause I was being dropped off to an empty house by a school nurse who happened to be crying. At the time I didn’t know why but but now in this moment -I remembered clearly why. My little girl was exposed. The instructor saw me get emotional and seemed to instinctively protect me by some the  distraction of announcing our warm up exercises. Even though the teacher’s lips kept moving, and I was stretching ,  I didn’t even seem to hear her anymore for I was in my broken past world.
The rift had been open and the memories flooded in. Back to the loneliness of my childhood, this unuique experience to so many a child, of never having anyone around to help me choose and to help me follow my dreams. When I did have a little dream of taking dance school classes they were quickly dashed away for whatever reason. It was the usual reason…no money and time for my parents to do it. But that didn’t stop me from dancing and dancing continually in that empty house… I would  turn on the ballet music and jump from couch to floor and leaping up gracefully and spinning around and around in my mother’s tulle under slip…which when quite new from the store proved to make a good makeshift tutu. Through those lovely precious moments of dancing  by myself at 8, 9 and10 years of age  to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake or Nutcracker suite.I was in a parallel universe and nothing evil could touch me. No disappointments, no broke promises, no neglect and no loneliness. Truly, at this moment, I was dancing with the angels.
But that was then. This was my “now” class  and just like then…I started dancing it was happening again. And just like then -I didn’t need a stage nor an audience..i only needed the music and the free place to do it.
This night, as I sat in the parking lot after  one last dance class, I felt both a melancholy and euphoria  that I can’t explain.  I would even go as far to say -quite a mystical experience too.  I didn’t want to leave…I kept lingering with my head laid back against the carseat. I felt both in a state of deep grief, profound gratefulness and finally a fond release of that poor little girl in her mothers slip. I let the tears fall gently from my eyes. I cuddled myself there, as if I was  embracing that little girl. Saying, Its ok honey, it will all be ok.
Passages, transitions, stepping stones…whatever you name it -was happening to me big time. Grief will either take you to the darker side of life or to the brighter side. I know it was the grace of God that carried me to the latter. God sees everything and he remembered with me. A new huge horizon was opening to me through this divorce recovery workshop an especially through the emotional release of movement.
My dance teacher was a clinically trained dancer therapist and the best. She was an artist in the most spiritual sense and she asked me to take advantage of an opportunity that was offered us. Betty our teacher, Sister Dottie our workshop coordinator at the college, Maura another single mother and her adolescent daughter Leah were invited to dance in a concert that was adapted from a book “Hinds Feet High Places.”It was much like a shorter version of “Pilgrims Progress.”  And like this book it is told metaphorically. The premise was that we are like God’s little children who He guides through life just as a Shepherd guides his flock. The main character was a little female dear named “Much Afraid” who would listen to the voice of her Shepherd who would be calling her up this mountain called life through all her ups and downs.
This book turned out perfect for the pain and release I was feeling at the time. When prayerful dress rehearsal came I was expecting a regular theatrical runthrough. It wasn’t anything like that at all. Betty our teacher said we are done. All the classes were precious therapy, joy and tears every single time we met in that lovely hall.  But now, before we actually perform we won’t rehearse but free ourselves for the next step. To live what we dance. T be ourselves. To allow ourselves, to give that little wounded girl inside of us the freedom to abandon ourselves to the moment. A moment of pure trust in God…our Abba our Daddy to dance with us…on the hills of life. To conquer our fears and to climb that mountain, with “Much Afraid” When we stepped on the stage for the final time to pray and stretch that afternoon before the performance, I knew that I wasn’t just performing. This is my life I am dancing. And they are dancing theirs. It was so surreal the preparation time, where we warming up with all kinds of music…trying to  pray through, releasing our fears as well as blessing the audience that is on their way. We gave it our purest of intentions as we “owned the stage” as some actor once put it.
The play was a huge success with us bowing over and over throwing rose petals and daisies to grateful crying and laughing audience. With all the miracles that we simultaneously going on around me and to me…God finalized and punctuated the night by giving me an oh so special memento of it.  I found out that we shouldn’t focus on only one thing in our life that we regret…or just one thing we could have done or become. We are, as humans, a many faceted creation. Like God, made In His Image…we are capable of doing many things and evolving into many different facets and directions in life.
I know God gave me dance as a child to heal and comfort me in my loneliness. But now as an adult I had re-invented myself, rewrote the script and was born again into not only a dancer at that moment…but an actress and singer but most of all a woman freed from darker self. I don’t have to regret that so-called failed dream anymore. It wasn’t a dream. I danced as a child with joyful gratefulness. And now I danced as an adult with joyful gratefulness but with a song. It was my favorite part of the play…where she, the little dear, became like a solitary rose that grows out of a dry craggy rock.. I, in that moment became that rose. I became transformed by the faith that God graced me with. For in real time was struggling with something that actually happened the night before when my husband after a year or so of separation finally erupted and packed his bags and moved out.  I was holding onto his leg when he moved out…But the show must go on…I said to myself both spiritually and for the commitment that I had with the other dancers , musicians and audience.
Can you even guess the song I sang? The original words were copied off of a WW2 concentration camp wall: “I believe in the sun, even when it isn’t shining, I believe in love even when there’s no one there, and I believe in God, I believe in God even when He is silent.”
When we all said our goodbyes and I arrived at home I collapsed on the bed. I laid there for a minute relishing memory of the night when a tiny little thought came to my mind. Gosh that woman…that gift….where is it..did I forget it…I dumped all the costume paraphanaila on the floor and found it…a tiny little cardboard giftbox that someone had hurriedly gave to me. I was so busy shaking hands and hugging family and attendees that I totally forgot. But I didn’t forget what she exclaimed while gripping my hand…
“This is for you… You have to open it now… I just came from the Crystal Cathedral and they gave me this free visitor’s gift. I was meant to come here, meant to see this play . I was so blessed..and her eyes were wet with tears. I want you to have it…What…no its yours…No she said..i already got blessed by you must have it..i know  you have to have it. But I was suddenly pulled away from her  so I couldn’t open it then.
Now the rush of her exciting words visited me again…here sitting in the quiet of my room, all quiet in the house…no music ,  no more dancing…audience gone home.
I felt a holy anticipation as I opened the cardboard box. What! Could this be really happening Lord? I was moved beyond belief and was so humbled to find, a stained glass window of a rose and words printed on it:
“I believe in the Sun even when it isn’t shining, I believe in love even when there’s no one there, and I believe in God even when he is silent! Just then this little girl in me didn’t feel lonely or regretful or lost anymore. I was a richly blessed and eternally grateful woman dancing with the angels once again!