I do have a question, but it is a hard one for me to ask, or even acknowledge, and talk about. But here goes. Please bear with me.
My mother, before she died, claimed to be a witch. This was hard on me. I didn't realize it then, but since I have been in counseling, and doing my Bible studies, I have come to realize that, at that time, when she was here and talked about 'doing things to people' she scared me. I loved her, but now I know I also hated her and was afraid of her too.
A man I was with at the time had done serious harm to me --spousal abuse but we weren't married. He beat me up really bad, so bad I had to have surgery to fix things, bones and such that he had broken. I had left the situation, and I and the state were in the process of prosecuting him. One night my mother came to me and asked me if I wanted her to 'take care of him,' 'maybe a car accident would be good,' 'burn him up in car flames.' She said all she had to do was think it and concentrate on him and think only about him in a car that was burning in a car crash.
I was stunned to the point of not even being able to think for a minute. I just stared at her. Then she said something else that made me answer her. She indicated that when she did do this to him, it would also affect whoever was close to him, or in the car. Whoever was with him at the time would die with him. Immediately, I spoke up and said no, because this man had two daughters who were with him often. I told her I wanted to let the legal system do its job and prosecute him. I told her I didn't want him to die, but to be stopped from his evil ways. I told her I wanted him to go to prison. Where he could spend time thinking about all that he had done. I told her I wanted God to handle it.
Her reply to me was sarcastic. She told me I was nothing. I was nothing at all like her. I was weak, and she couldn't understand why I hadn't already killed him for what he had done to me.
I was very hurt by this but, yet, relieved and confused. Do we have some inborn sense of 'we must be like our parents?' I don't know how to phrase this properly.
The man did go to prison, and is still there, for murder. My mother died about five years ago. And I am left with some very unsettling thoughts and feelings. Once, my mother had me convinced that witches really could do harm to someone. She believed she could. And she had convinced many of her co-workers and friends that she was a witch. My mother had been this way for some time. She also talked about spirit travel, dreams, etc. So this was something I grew up with in later teen years. After her death, my sister found phone bills totaling several hundreds of dollars to phone pyschics. So, just before my mother died, she was still doing this.
Now, of course, through my own Bible studies, I know that this is a deceitful thing and God abhors this. Strangely, if you can understand it, my mother had actually been baptized into the church. Which is how I came to know about this way of worshiping. But, she didn't continue on.
I guess my question is this: God Himself says that these type of people are nothing more than deceivers. However, is it possible that they can do harm to others with the help of Satan? Can Satan invade someone so deeply that people will die. If they believe it strong enough, and Satan is strong in their lives, can they kill people? I have often wondered just who my mother may have done harm to in this way, or tried to do harm to. Or am I still dealing with the 'fear' that she left me with? Sometimes, that fear is so strong, I find myself just paralized for several moments until I can get my breath again. God says this is wrong, Satan is wrong, but some people do follow Satan. My mother did not belong to any 'group' of any kind, she just did this on her own. Can I know that my mother did not kill anyone? Except maybe herself? I firmly believe she committed suicide by refusing her meds. And doing nothing to improve her health.
I apologize for heaping this ugly burden on you. It has been a horrible aspect of my life, very difficult for me to deal with, and rarely do I talk about this to anyone. But it is time to put this away. I am tired of the fear, and I needed to talk about this to someone. I know I need help to put this memory away. Any advice or comments you may wish to make I will take to heart.
God is very clear that each person is their own individual. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). What your mother believed herself to be has no bearing on who you are.
You are quite correct that Satan's power is in lies. People caught up in sin are actually caught up in lies. "But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (II Timothy 3:13). The deception is not just toward other people, but the person himself is deceived as to who he is and where he stands. In other words, the fact that your mother believed that she could cause other people harm does not mean she did cause anyone harm. Yes, Satan has got some people so wrapped up in lies that they justify harming other people. But you cannot say for certainty that your mother was one of them. And truly it doesn't matter at this point. Your mother is gone. Judgment before the impartial Judge awaits her. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10). God will take care of this matter.
As to fear, there should not be any left. Whether you mother was a mass murderer or a deluded quack, it doesn't change that you are striving to live a life pleasing to God. I just wrote a lesson called "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear." Perhaps it would do you some good to study the verses it presents.