It was 1997 and I had just started University. I don’t like change, never have. So when my school boyfriend of one year broke up with me (cuz it’s all very serious when you’re young you know!) and the comfort and familiarity of my school and friends as well as the classes changed dramatically, depression hit. I was crying throughout the entire night, sleeping for an hour, not eating. I cried during the day. I was just so so sad and depressed.
Somewhere along the line, things got worse. I developed full-blown hypochondria! (Now known as somatic symptom disorder or illness anxiety disorder). I was convinced I had every sickness known to man. A cough meant cancer of the lungs, a headache meant brain tumour, a simple earache meant I was going deaf, you name it. I was a virgin and did not even know what drugs looked like, but after watching Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, yes, I now convinced myself I had AIDS. LOL! I laugh about it now, but at the time it was torture. I was driving myself mad. As soon as you have a minor little ache or pain, out comes the encyclopaedia or Google, and the more you read, the more illnesses you’re convinced you have! I was born with a cute little birth mark on the back of my neck that looks like a little paw print, and one day when someone commented on it, I decided that the birth mark I knew about for 17 years was now all of a sudden some form of spinal cancer and I would start crying. My family thought this was hilarious and looking back I can laugh, but at the time I was going through sheer mental hell. I never wanted them to know that I was convinced all this was real. Out of all the diseases I had this fear of cancer and every symptom meant I had the dreaded disease. It was so bad that my body ached with short sharp pains the whole day through. Obviously this was my mind’s way of getting off of the break up and drastic change in circumstances, but it was torment nonetheless. A lot of worry, anxiety and major depression. I was convinced that I could take a nurse’s exam and totally pass. That’s how much reading into illnesses and treatment I had done!
One day while waiting for a class to start, I stood up as all the students started going into the lecture hall and I got a bad dizzy spell. I have always had low blood pressure and that has always been common for me, but of course this meant I had a brain tumour. At this point this had been going on for nine months and I had actually had enough of this torment and decided to skip the class and go to the Library – but to read again! But this time it was different. I found a book on aches and pains and decided to go sit at one of the desks and read it as there were no students at the time and it was nice and quiet. As I was approaching one of the desks about to sit down, something told me, for no reason, to go sit at the desk opposite it. As I sat down I looked on the table and someone had engraved “God loves you” into the wood. Something so simple, yet I was flooded with peace. I still had the nerve to read the book and I think I now have a degree graduate level of pains in the body! But when I went home I was so much ‘lighter’, I felt better, more positive.
At the time I was reading a book on one of my favourite authors of all time. She was writing about one of her spiritual warfare encounters that had just gotten too overwhelming and she said that all she had managed to say to God at that exhausting time was “God, this is Your battle, not mine. Thank You for fighting it for me.” That sat so well in my Spirit and I decided then and there that I was going to proclaim that every morning when I woke up until this issue of mine had vanished. As my feet touched the ground I said aloud, “God, this is Your battle, not mine. Thank You for fighting it for me.” I could feel myself getting better each morning and four days later it was gone! Just gone! The pains in my body were gone as well as the tormenting thoughts about my health. I did have to watch them as they still tried to penetrate my mind a few days after that, but I learnt various verses of scripture by heart and would quickly recite them every time they tried coming back. But I was free.
It reminds me of one of my favourite events in the Bible – the battle of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. People had come to him and told him that a vast number of enemies were coming against him, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” Jehoshaphat freaked and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and said, “Hearken you, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat, thus says the LORD unto you, be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” 2 Chronicles 20:15
After fasting, all they had to do was just stand, and God fought, and won, the battle for them!
I’m not saying that depression and anxiety, or any mental disorder for that matter, can be cured in four days, because it is not time that cures you, but the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. I was young, and at that stage I wasn’t as clued up about spiritual warfare or strongholds and authority as I am today. Jesus took the little faith that I had and used it to accomplish a great thing! I wanted to post this because I want people to see that Jesus still heals today – as hard as it feels to overcome the mountain you’re looking at, just. press. on. Proclaim that faith out loud, the devil hates it! Glory be to God! Nothing is too much for Him! How he helped me was painless, free, peaceful, merciful and most of all, gentle. Lean on Him, and He will help you! Be free of your bondage in Jesus’ mighty name! Only He can do it.
You can also check out my other blog that focuses on hypochondria and anxiety