Sometimes I’m driving down the road, or laughing with my daughter, or hiking in my favorite park, and this tremendous wave of gratitude (I’ve never been a fan of this word-it just doesn’t seem to express what I want to express…is there another word?) that I am ALIVE washes over me.
You see, in the thick of that ugly depression the enemy convinced me I was already dead. He convinced me that God and all those who once loved me had already given up on me. He yanked my hand and tried to convince me he was the only one I could trust. He showed me how easy it would be to be done with this broken world and join him in the place where I was destined to go anyway.
I desperately needed sleep, but I was also scared to sleep. Almost every night I would dream about falling down a deep, dark hole into an inferno. I would see images of my Dad (who is in Heaven) begging the Lord to spare me. I would see my mom crying and my brothers and sister-in-law trying to console her. I would see my daughter reach out to grab me, but as soon as I hit the inferno any memory they once had of me was gone.
I would constantly, during that time, hear the scripture about the evil spirit bringing his seven buddies with him to party at the recently cleaned house. I was sure they were partying at my place. The image I have of this is humorous – I think of Casper the Friendly Ghost’s uncles, but what was happening to me (and what has happened to millions of others) is nothing to laugh about.
This is the first time I’ve written in detail about this experience, and I have only shared it with a few people. The enemy is a LIAR. God didn’t give up on me. He loves me with an everlasting love. My family still loved (loves) me and they were praying for me everyday.
I didn’t stop praying during that horrible time. Sometimes my prayers were just “Jesus, help me!” Sometimes they were “groans only the Spirit could understand.”
I am alive. I am here. I have freedom. Jesus is with me, and will never leave me. I can allow myself to really live.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10