We have had the best summer going to Carowinds.  We have went with friends, with family, and with it being just us.  We made great memories every time!! Until today.  The more I process it, the more lessons I have learned.  We haven’t went all month and we never do the Scarowinds events.  I should have known better.  Nonetheless, we went during the day today.  From 10 am – 5 pm, it’s suppose to be The Great Pumpkin Fest.  A kid-friendly event without the horror and gore they do at night for Scarowinds.  There were decorations like Zombies, Realistic skeletons, and ghost pirates.  I assumed that the evil would come out at night for Scarowinds, but they failed to mention that you will pass it on the way to the kids section during the day and that you will be surrounded by it in the county fair section.  Not to mention, there are tons of jackolanterns in the kids area, not pumpkins.  Jackolanterns were historically used to ward off evil spirits but obviously a carved melon does not have the power to do that.  The whole area felt off.  A cloud of doom hovering overhead looking for opportunity.  Good grief, Charlie Brown, you missed it this time!  We walked around the entire park becoming more and more unsettled as the hour passed.  My eleven year old daughter was able to discern enough evil that she said it made her anxious.  She was so uncomfortable that she was only able to ride one ride and wanted to go home.  She didn’t understand why she felt the way she did, or why she did not want to ride the rides, she just knew she didn’t feel like herself and felt the need to leave.  I know that is probably because I have been more honest with her than most about the spirit realm, and her authority in Christ as well as possible consequences of her choices at her age.  A side effect of being sold-out to Christ is not allowing the things of this world to invade our home, therefore, some would say she is too sheltered and hence, too sensitive.  She is not.  She is a sponge and when she is old, she will not depart from the things she is learning now.  The spiritual realm is not a game we play with or something that only affects people who choose to engage it.  I heard her say several times, “it’s so dark here” and it was cloudy but the darkness was more of a heaviness.  When we were close to home she pointed out that it was not dark anymore, but bright and yet it was still cloudy and actually sprinkling rain.  She “sees” more than she realizes.  We couldn’t stay, it was not an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit was welcomed and that caused a feeling of fight or flight.  I had to get out of there soon or something bad was going to happen.  Maybe not literally fight or flight, but I don’t know how else to explain it.  The atmosphere shifted as we walked through the park and there was an urgency to not stay, but to flee the traps of the enemy.  Many people don’t realize the depth of what happens on Halloween or the season of witchcraft that happens in October.  We left, and as I was getting in the car, I too felt a heavy anxiety, almost a panic as if I was choking and I could not get my jacket off fast enough.  Get behind me Satan!  You are not going home with us.  Needless to say, we spiritually cleaned the car and ourselves, telling everything that is not of God to leave us and not return.  I can’t imagine how much worse that experience would have been if we had not prayed on the way down there.  Sometimes I miss it, and this was one of those times.  Driving an hour to get there did not justify staying in an environment like that.  We had to go!  I’m glad that my child is aware and has discernment.  While it can be a challenge at times, it is certainly a blessing that will guard her well as she grows in Christ.