Jeannie Ortega Law can vividly remember the first time she was forced to participate in satanic ritual cleansing.
“I was about 7 years old, and my family members forced me to undergo a ritual cleansing. I had to undress; it was twisted. It wasn’t pure,” she recalled. “Then, we would go to a feast and they would proceed to do all this ritualistic stuff. It was really demonic.”
“Before I knew anything about God, I knew there was something wrong with what was happening,” she continued. “Their eyes would roll back, their tongues would start talking. I’d ask, ‘What’s happening?’ My family members were making contact with the dead, and the dead were speaking through them. I started to feel something wasn't right.”
Fast forward several decades, and the 34-year-old is a Christian artist, sought-after speaker, and author with several albums under her belt. Married to her husband and ministry partner, the Rev. Renn Law, her passion today is to bring people to the hope and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
But her road to Jesus was anything but smooth.
Growing up in what she describes as the “hood of New York City,” Ortega Law was routinely exposed to Santeria, an occult religion that co-opts Christian traditions like speaking in tongues and baptism. For her Puerto Rican family, the practice was cultural.
As a young girl, the "Praise and Arrows" singer recalled seeing spirits and struggled with suicidal ideation as a result. As a distraction, she’d turn to music, something she now believes God intentionally placed in her life.
At the age of 16, Ortega Law signed her first major record deal with Hollywood Records and spent several years on the pop radio circuit, topping Billboard charts and even touring with R&B artist Rhianna.
Her time in the secular music industry, she said, was nothing short of “wild.”
“I became a pop star, and the enemy used idolatry like money and music and fame and all these things to continue to lure me in unto himself,” she reflected. “I had all this success, all my dreams were coming true. This girl from the ghetto had made it big. I was doing all these crazy things in Hollywood, but I was completely broken and completely angry.”
Around this time, a friend invited Ortega Law to a church, where she encountered the love of God for the first time.
“I felt His presence, and it was tangible and began to burn my heart in a way that I just became so overcome with emotion,” she recalled. “I fell to my knees and began to weep and weep and weep. I literally wept for hours.”
“Love,” the artist added, "invaded the darkness that had surrounded me my whole life.”
Still, Ortega Law’s battle with darkness wasn’t over. As she left her former lifestyle behind and became passionate about her faith, the enemy’s attacks came from within the four walls of the church.
“I used to be so loud for the enemy, so after I became a Christian, I decided to become loud for Jesus,” she said. “And so the enemy was relentless. He hates people that are willing to speak the truth and are willing to share the love of Jesus.”
“In my ignorance, I thought I would always be safe within the church,” she continued. “But Satan used church people — even the pastor — to attack me. But what Satan forgot was that God and I now had history, and my tangible relationship with Him is what helped me through.”
In her newly-released book, What is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy, Ortega Law, who's also a reporter for The Christian Post, recounts her upbringing, her dramatic conversion to Christianity and the various ways she, through God’s grace, has defeated the darkness in her life. She challenges readers to discern spiritual activity affecting their own lives and identifies the biblical tools that allow individuals to walk in the freedom found only in Christ.
“The Bible tells us that the enemy will use whatever he can to steal, kill and destroy,” she said, referencing John 10:10. “He doesn’t always come as a dark and scary being. He disguises himself as an angel of light. As Christians, we need to understand that and know that Jesus is the one who gives true freedom and true hope.”
Ortega Law stressed that she in no way wants to contribute to the “Satanic Panic” sometimes seen in the evangelical community. Rather, she wants to point to the hope found in Christ and urge readers to find their identity in Him alone.
“Every time we get attacked by Satan or every time something devastating happens in our lives, the enemy is there, but so is God. So how can we find God in those areas instead of giving glory to the devil?” she asked. “Where Satan is, God is too, and He’s given us the tools to resist the devil.”
“God is also in the midst of us,” she emphasized. “We can look at the devil or we can look to God. And I would rather turn my back on the devil to look at God.”
Even in the Christian community, to turn God-given blessings into idols is rampant, Ortega Law stressed. “It’s easy for us to take our focus off God and put it onto something else,” she explained.
“These modern idols are what we really need to be careful with: Our careers, our families, even the churches that we become so engulfed in, they can become idols. “That’s very dangerous, because the moment we do that, the enemy has a door because he knows we’re not looking to the Father. We have to work to continue to receive the guidance that we need from God on how to overcome our unseen enemy.”
It’s important for believers to be connected to a church and honor their leaders, Ortega Law clarified, but highlighted the importance of “not esteeming them too close to God.”
“Jesus said, ‘You've got to find your identity, your comfort, everything in me,’” she said. “We’re seeing ministry leaders fall, and then our Christian walk is hurt because we put all of our faith in these Christian leaders.”
Aware of the life God rescued her from and armed with a strong understanding of His faithfulness and love, Ortega Law now uses her platform to point others to Christ.
“I've always been so ambitious, and in the past couple of years, I’ve realized the ambition has changed in the sense of, all I want to do is point people to Jesus, to offer them hope, to show them how to walk in truth,” she contended.
“I think a lot of us are walking around defeated because we're just allowing the devil to wreak havoc and we're not walking in the authority Jesus gives us as believers,” Ortega Law added. “I want to help Christians learn how to be believers that experience God and His fullness on Earth as it is in Heaven. I want to help non-believers understand that there's so much to life, and that life doesn't end here. There is no death in Christ, and they can truly walk in freedom, peace and hope.”