Vivien had lost all hope in her ex-husband, a hardcore alcoholic who had wronged her. But to her amazement, she would see how this “couldn’t-care-less man reached his full potential” in the final chapter of his life. Stock photo by Midjourney.

Vivien* was pregnant with her second child when her husband cheated on her. A month after she gave birth, he walked out on the family, leaving her to raise two young children alone.

In Part 1 of her story, she recounted the series of events that led her to forgive him and how they ended up becoming best friends decades later.

But that was not the end of the story.

After they reconciled, Vivien also got to witness how a supernatural encounter changed the life of the man she once thought was “a lost cause”.

 This is Part 2 of their story.

Seven years after their divorce, Vivien met up with her ex-husband, Aaron*. She was on a work trip to New Zealand, where he lived with his second wife.

When they met, Aaron had surprising news for her.

He told her that he had stopped drinking.

“I had heard this so many times before. I thought, ‘It’s not my problem anymore’,” said Vivien. “But I told him, ‘Well done!’”

They parted on that note.

Two weeks later, they were having one of their regular chats over the phone.

He told her he still hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol. But she found it harder to believe what he said next.

“He said, ‘Don’t laugh, okay, I’ve also started reading the Bible’,” recalled Vivien.

Incredulous, she responded: “Oh, really? You? Really?”

“Yeah, I said don’t laugh!”

The confession

A few weeks later, Aaron updated Vivien that he still hadn’t had a drink … and was still reading the Bible.

“’He told me, ‘I was at the lowest point of my life. I was contemplating ending my life.’”

When they met up in Singapore a few months later, he said: “I have something very important to tell you.”

He confessed that he had been an alcoholic even before they had met and married. She had known that he drank heavily, but never guessed that he’d had a drinking problem.

He also told her that he had done a lot of things he wasn’t proud of when he was under the influence of alcohol, adding that his alcoholism had prevented him from being the person he really wanted to be.

Spiralling into despair, he had found himself at the lowest point of his life and even contemplated ending it. Out of desperation, he had cried out: “If there is a God, show Yourself to me!”

Nothing seemed to have happened, so he went to sleep.

“Sometimes, he would throw the Bible across the room and say, ‘This is nonsense.’”

The next day, however, he woke up with a desire to read the Bible.

The only Bible he could find was a partial copy of the Old Testament that door-to-door evangelists had left for him.

So he started reading from the beginning, starting with Genesis.

He kept reading and reading, even though he would sometimes throw the Bible across the room crying out that it was “nonsense”.

Said Vivien: “He was angry because he saw himself in all those people in the Old Testament whom God loved but who disobeyed Him.”

Three lizards

Aaron almost gave up reading the Bible. But then he had a dream.

In it, he heard a voice tell him: “Don’t give up. You’re nearly at the end.”

Indeed, Aaron was near the end of the Old Testament.

“Evil spirits that took the form of three slithering lizards came out of him and started taunting him.”

Relating Aaron’s story, Vivien said: “That night, he felt something wasn’t normal. So he rang his wife and told her to take their son and go to a friend’s house for the night. He told them not to come home.”

Aaron continued reading the Bible on his own.

“When he finished reading, he suddenly started retching and vomiting – a sign that demonic forces were leaving his body. Evil spirits that took the form of three slithering lizards came out of him and started taunting him.

“He told them to leave. But they didn’t want to leave. So he swore at them.”

Recalled Vivien: “These creatures said to him, ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk. Cannot use such bad language. Your Jesus wouldn’t like it.’”

The creatures finally went away after Aaron insisted they leave.

House cleansing

Immediately after the harrowing encounter, Aaron began to spiritually cleanse his home.

“After throwing out everything occultic, the house was bright. He couldn’t explain it.”

Said Vivien: “He found every amulet he had bought from places of worship – even those he had hidden away – and incense sticks that he’d used for worship. He threw everything in the garbage bin outside.”

(When he was younger, Aaron had visited various places of worship out of curiosity. There, he picked up several charms and even got himself tattooed with symbols that he later believed issued invitations to dark forces to enter his body.)

“After throwing out everything occultic, Aaron said the house was bright. He couldn’t explain it.

“That night, he slept like he hadn’t slept for a long time. He had such a good rest.

“In the morning, he jumped into the car and drove around looking for a church to ask someone what was going on.”

Through pastoral guidance, he slowly began to understand God more.

A father’s written prayer

Aaron had been brought up in a Christian household but had gone along his own path when he was a teen.

After that spiritual encounter, he was able to see his journey and his missteps – and also how God had used them all to bring him back to Himself.

Aaron told God he was sorry, and dedicated his life to Jesus.

“His father died without knowing that his prayer was answered.”

After his transformation, Aaron did a short course in theological college. He subsequently became a counsellor as he wanted to help people who were on the same troubled path that he once walked.

Whenever Aaron visited Singapore to see his children, he would sometimes stay in Vivien’s spare room.

She noticed that “he now would spend one hour praying in the morning – and couldn’t do anything else until he had done that”.

“That was the most amazing transformation of the drunk, couldn’t-care-less man into a man of God,” she said.

Vivien shared that Aaron had found a Bible that had belonged to his dad.

“Inside the Bible was a prayer his father had written for Aaron to return to God. It was a prayer that his father had prayed for him every day. His father died without knowing that his prayer was answered,” said Vivien.

Come for three days

Because of his former lifestyle, Aaron had many serious medical issues including diabetes and liver problems. He underwent heart surgery and nearly died.

One day in early 2010, he phoned Vivien and said: “I need to talk to you face to face. Just come for three days.”

He couldn’t travel because of his health, so Vivien flew to New Zealand to see him.

“If I didn’t forgive you, do you think I could have ever spoken to you again?”

There, Aaron asked for her forgiveness.

“I was puzzled and told him, ‘I thought we had dealt with that a long time ago. If I hadn’t forgiven you, do you think I could have ever spoken to you again?’”

She said: “He expressed regret a long time, and for me that was enough. I had already forgiven him and knew his heart.”

Aaron also told her about a vision he had had while telling God what he would like to do when he turned 60.

A voice told him that he wouldn’t die from any of the health conditions that he was suffering from. But he wouldn’t live past 60.

“We never spoke about it again after my three days there,” said Vivien.

Two years later, Aaron turned 60. But shortly after, he was diagnosed with cancer.

“That prophecy was so true,” said Vivien.

Aaron was not afraid. Verses like Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” – gave him peace. 

Three months later, he passed away.

Parting the curtain

At Aaron’s memorial service, the pastor’s wife shared a vision she’d had on the night Aaron died.

Aaron walked onto a stage and the curtain was still closed. He was confused, and tried to get past the curtain to the audience. Finally he was able to part the curtain, and light came through.

“Finally he parted the curtain, and light came through. Aaron, who had loved to sing on stage, was saved. He had gone to be with Jesus.” Photo by Steve Sharp on Unsplash.

The pastor’s wife said she believed this was the significance of her vision: Aaron, who had loved to sing on stage, was saved. He had gone to be with the Light who is Jesus.

“It gave us all a lot of comfort,” said Vivien.

“It was touching to hear people say how he had changed their lives. It was good for his kids to hear that.”

Many people attended his memorial service held at the organisation where he worked.

“In the last chapter of his life, Aaron was very successful as a counsellor. Because he didn’t judge, a lot of people could open up to him,” said Vivien.

“It was touching to hear people say how he had changed their lives.

“It was good for his kids to hear that too.

“This was the man I had first fallen in love with, the man I’d believed in, the man I’d seen something so special in.

“Towards the end of his life, he made something with it. And he put his God-given charisma and winning personality to good use instead of just using it to charm women.

“With God’s help, Aaron had reached his full potential,” said Vivien, quoting Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

* Names and identifying details have been for reasons of privacy.

This story first appeared in Stories of Hope and is adapted with permission. Read Part 1 of the story below:

Pregnant and abandoned by her husband, she never dreamt they would become best friends decades later



Trapped in nightmares of a “cave of bloody flesh”, she was freed by the blood of the Lamb

Terrorised by spirits at night, she was at the end of her tether – until God met her in a club

“I’m here, you’re safe”: How God healed this woman with autoimmune disease from the inside out

About the author

Gemma Koh

Gemma has written about everything from spas to scuba diving holidays. But has a soft spot for telling the stories of lives changed, and of people making a difference. She loves the colour green, especially on overgrown trees. Gemma is Senior Writer & Copy Editor at Salt&Light and its companion site, Stories of Hope.