MIDDLEPORT — It was in the moment that Michele Zirkle Marcum dared God to prove He existed that He presented Himself to her in the form of a drop of water.
Marcum, of Galena, and formerly of Middleport, said the proof began when random water began to spray in her house from an unknown source around 2006. At first, Marcum thought it might be just her mind playing tricks on her, but friends and family also began to notice the random splashes of water with no discernible leak in any pipes.
Marcum, who was previously a teacher, said she couldn’t pinpoint the source of the water that had been going on for two weeks at that point, and was privately asking God during her planning period what could be done about the strange occurrences at her home.
“He spoke to me and He said, ‘There is nothing you can do. You are not in control,’” she said. “And with that imprint of knowledge, I knew there was a demon in the house, and there was the point in changing my mind.”
This answer to Marcum was her realization that there is life beyond this one, and that her question to God was not in vain.
“It proved to me that the prayer … I prayed a prayer, I was basically doubting God’s existence, and when I did that prayer three days later there was a drop on my older son’s head,” she said. “That’s what changed me. He did hear me; there is a divine presence that does hear and does understand what we’re going through. It changed everything … that I wasn’t just talking to the air like I thought.”
It finally took a visit from a priest to Marcum’s home to drive away the watery demon.
“The house exorcisms changed my life,” she said.
Initially, the priest’s commands to send the demon away did nothing. However, when the priest returned with the Body of Christ and commanded the demon to leave, everything changed.
“When he did that, there was one last splat in the hallway and it was gone,” she said.
The priest’s visit to Marcum’s home also compelled Marcum to join Catholicism, although she now says she’s non-denominational.
“I’m not scared to die anymore,” she said. “I’m not afraid to die because I realize now that life goes on, as long as you’re at peace with yourself. If you’re at peace with yourself, you’re going to be at peace in the afterlife. I don’t think there’s anything scary on the other side anymore. Not for me.”
It was also around the time of her water demon visits that Marcum immediately began to keep a journal about what had happened to her. And soon, she decided to take her experiences and private writings and make them into short stories for the world to read.
In 2013, her short story “Trial By Water,” won a contest in West Virginia. She’s also written other columns that she considers anecdotes of her experiences, and is hoping to publish them in a book.
“This gave me my purpose in life because I think we all wonder sometimes,” she said. “And it all comes back to the fact that I was here for one thing: to write about this story. I believe I’m supposed to write. I’m devoting my time to the writing, and just this past month I did find my purpose in life, which is definitely to write, and I think this is a good thing to start with.
“I feel like God gave me that experience so that I could share it.”
Marcum’s pieces will be appearing in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and The Daily Sentinel in Meigs County every Tuesday starting Oct. 20.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.