She had been involved in witchcraft, and Alice and I felt she had put a curse on us. I heard a screeching in the middle of the night that sounded like a demon leaving my roommate. A man my friend Alice was dating had sudden back pain that left him in bed some days and at the emergency room on others. The doctors could not explain it, or heal it! Random strangers sometimes stopped me on the street to yell at me with a fire in their eyes and a creepy knowledge of my insecurities. These were just a few of the many unexplainable, out of this world events that led us to believe we were dealing with spiritual warfare.
I thank God that I had Alice to walk through these events with me. It seemed the enemy attacked us in the same way and at the same time. When we would have crazy days we couldn’t explain in the natural world, we’d meet up and find out the enemy had been on the move. Then we would pray. Alice and I eventually spoke with some of our Moody professors. They were aware of our former friend and current student who had recently dabbled in witchcraft. That might have explained her sudden silence toward us. We realized we weren’t crazy. Not only that, they gave us a greater understanding about it all…
I had spent the first year out of undergrad mostly living at home, taking some graduate classes nearby, and working at a restaurant. Having left the strong Christian community I had through Cru in college, I remember crying out to the Lord for joy in my loneliness. I remained on depression medication, again with no desire to try life without it. After that year, I headed to Chicago to attend Moody for 2.5 years. (Moody Theological Seminary)
Moody changed everything for me. More than anything else, Moody taught me the Word of God with power. Jesus fought the enemy with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). I learned through Moody how to lean on, depend on, and believe the Word of God for myself-especially when facing spiritual warfare. We can’t ignore that there’s a spiritual world going on and that the devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy us as Christians (John 10:10). But we should be equipped for the battle ahead with the Word of God in our minds (Ephesians 6:10-18). Yet it’s not our battle to even fight! As my friend Dr. Richmond Wandera told me at Moody, “You will never beat the devil. He’s greater than you. But the devil will never beat God. God is greater than the devil.” All we have to do is cry out to the Lord to fight our battles for us. Amen! He’s already won that battle with the devil. But we haven’t. For us to win, we surrender ourselves to the winning team, Christ’s team! Amen! Someone once said, “when Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future” (Matthew 25:41).
This brought a new light to my depression as well. I recognized then how the devil had been working and attacking me with thoughts. One night while in Chicago, I once again had suicidal thoughts that I couldn’t seem to shake. I remembered a verse my friend Becky had told me that we are to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” from 2 Corinthians 10:5. I also reached out and phoned another friend about it and they prayed with me. Their calmness and lack of freaction helped me not feel crazy or weird. (freaking out action=freaction.)
Another verse I learned through school was 1 Corinthians 10:13 about no temptation coming to you except “that which is common to man.” In other words, the devil ain’t got no new tricks. He’s old news. I found such hope in knowing I could confess any temptation to a friend knowing I was never the only person to deal with that! I didn’t have to hide! The devil tempts many people the same way!
I also learned the difference between hearing God’s voice versus the devil’s. Dr. Thrasher says in his book Living the Life God has Planned that the devil often accuses you of many things at once and is very vague. However, the Lord usually points out just one thing at a time and is very specific.
Another few things that helped post-college were being involved in a Christian community, running, having mentors and even mentees. I needed not only to be filled up by the Lord, but also see myself being used by Him. By Christian community, I mean I spoke to and/or prayed with someone nearly every day about what the Lord was doing in my life and theirs. Then we shared prayer requests and prayed together. It took time to develop these relationships.
In other words, medication wasn’t enough. I continued my medication. Yet I still had to work regularly to fight the darkness.
A couple books I read that helped with my depression during my post college time are listed below:
Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
How People Grow by Cloud and Townsend
Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan (this is the best book on spiritual warfare)
Living the Life God has Planned by Bill Thrasher
A Journey to Victorious Praying by Bill Thrasher
How to Worship Jesus Christ by Joseph Carroll
The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo
Again, depression has a cause. If you don’t deal with the root, you’ll never be well. Because the causes vary among people, I’m just addressing what helped. Books and counseling helped me specifically deal with those deeper issues.
Focus on the Family offers one time call back basis counseling: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/