As suicide ideation, gender confusion and mental illness among young people continue to rise, author Laura Gallier believes the unseen realm is at work like never before.
“For years, I’ve had the unique calling of talking about biblical sexuality to parents and teenagers, and it’s based on my own brokenness and the things the Lord had done and the wisdom of following His plan,” the Texas-based author and public speaker told The Christian Post.
“I realized there is such a lack of belief and awareness in the demonic realm and unseen oppression, and that when we are in rebellion and doing things outside of God's will, we become more vulnerable to attack. … I really felt like suicide epitomizes believing lies and falling into hopelessness. … I had no idea that there was going to be such an increase in these issues and that this topic would become all the more relevant.”
It was out of this concern for the next generation that the mother-of-three penned the award-winning The Delusion series. The three books, which are being turned into a feature film, tackle themes like suicide, depression and spiritual warfare while engaging with the fascination and skepticism surrounding the paranormal and biblical claims.
"I felt inspired to use fiction to illustrate the reality of the spiritual realm," she said.
In book two of the series, for example, protagonist Owen Edmonds dabbles in the paranormal — “he really thinks what he's doing is innocent,” Gallier said. “I don't want to give too much of a spoiler alert, but just suffice it to say he learns the hard way that there's a dark side of the paranormal."
“What we’re seeing with young people today is a fascination with Ouija boards, with witchcraft spells,” she continued. “They have become very trendy among adults. There was a day when you had to convince young people that demons are real; now, they know demons are real, which is why it’s so important to draw the distinction that yes, there is spiritual power, there is power in faith, prayer and the Holy Spirit. The devil wants to skew all that.”
Through her characters and storytelling, Gallier said she seeks to validate a biblical worldview, addressing the allure of the paranormal and the importance of discerning truth from deception.
The response from young people since the first book in the series released in 2017, she said, has been incredible.
“I was at a middle school right here in my community, and a young man pulled me to the side and said that he not only had been contemplating suicide, but he had picked the day and the method and was planning,” she said. “He read the Delusion, and by his own testimony that day said that he realized that it was an attack, it was lies, and there is an enemy trying to steal his life. There have been so many testimonies like that.”
“I have students who changed the way they handled depression, opened their eyes to the fight between good and evil, starting to realize, ‘Hey, I don't have to entertain every thought as true, as matter of fact, I need to consider the validity of each thought,’ which is a biblical concept,” she said.
Gallier revealed it’s her personal journey, marked by overcoming mental health challenges and oppressive thoughts stemming from a fatherless upbringing and early sexual activity that informs her writing.
“I went through a lot of darkness,” she said. “I personally had to renew my mind to all sorts of truths about who I am and my own self-worth. I had to go on a journey of forgiving people. We need to know and believe that we have an enemy who's waiting and watching to exploit our pain, to drive home the lies that we believe and can create an atmosphere where we feel horrible, we feel that demonic presence.”
More than four in 10 young people report that they feel “persistently sad or hopeless,” and one in five claim they have contemplated suicide, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control report. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death for young adults aged 15 to 24.
Gallier, who helped create the I AM WORTHY program, a mental-emotional wellness and character-building program for students, said she’s a staunch advocate for a holistic approach to dealing with mental and emotional dysfunction.
She addressed misconceptions around depression and faith, stressing that mental and emotional healing is a process and advocating for a balanced approach that includes spiritual renewal and, when necessary, medical intervention.
“A lot of times they're well-meaning people, they just haven't walked through it themselves, who will say things like, ‘Just have more faith,’” she said. “We're told in Scripture that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind, and that can be a process. ... A lot of times, we have great faith, but the nature of trauma and attacks war against our faith. When the evil day comes, we have to stand in God's power and might.”
“It is a process of healing,” she added. “I pray that the Church continues to grow in their understanding of this. I'm not anti-medicine; I understand the concept of regulating chemicals and that that can be a help, but it's meant to be a bridge. I do not believe it's meant to be a lifelong dependency. It can be helpful, but ultimately, God is the healer of the soul through enough soul searching and leaning on Him and getting wise counsel and renewing our mind … it’s so freeing to know that God can heal.”
Gallier, who also hosts the podcast, Fearless and Free: Spirit, Soul, Body, said she sees her work as a call to awareness, offering both entertainment and insights into the spiritual battles and mental health challenges faced by today's youth.
“The hope is that more people get to read these books,” she said. “We need to warn young people, help them understand that the enemy disguises himself as an angel of light and so things that can seem and feel very empowering are actually very dangerous.”
The Delusionthree-part series bundle will be released on Feb. 20.
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: email@example.com