I struggle with writing a series about fear, anxiety and depression because I don’t really suffer from these disorders. It’s not that I’m uncommonly brave or anything like that. It’s just that from my childhood until now, I’ve always had an attitude of “something good is about to happen to me.”
This becomes somewhat funny if you take the time to read my testimony because the Lord saved me on the day I was going to commit suicide. It’s not that I was depressed or anxious on May 20, 1985, it’s just that I had run out of options to save my home, car and family. My life insurance policy of $125,000 seemed to be my only hope. So I thought of it at the time as a business decision – nothing more.
Now, the only time I have ever truly suffered from depression was when a Christian friend with good intentions leant me his copy of Deliverance and Inner Healing by John and Mark Sandford. The book blends scripture with the teachings of Jung and Freud to supposedly rid believers of buried memories. The authors’ premise seems to be that Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible are not quite enough to set captives free.
I began reading the book on a Saturday afternoon. And after about a hundred and fifty pages, I became severely depressed and confused. The book had convinced me that my Bible studies and prayers were wasted efforts and that I needed the insights of inner healing, as outlined in this book.
I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.
As I walked down the sidewalk in a foggy daze, a Christian neighbor looked out his window and saw me. He felt I was in danger. He rushed outside and asked, “Larry, what’s your problem?”
“I’ve been reading a book entitled Deliverance and Inner Healing and it has really confused my faith,” I answered.
“Oh, that book is filled with psycho-babble and sorcery,” he replied. Then, he proceeded to outline the history of Agnes Sanford, John and Paula Sandford, Karl Jung, Sigmund Freud, inner healing and more.
“Jesus is the way, truth and light. Period,” he said.
His words instantly set me free.
Thus, if my depression on that Saturday is a small example of what many suffer on a daily basis, wow! It makes me realize just how debilitating and tormenting fear, anxiety and depression must be for millions of people.
Two female riders on my ride-share travels this week inspired me to write this article. We will talk about them in the future.
(Continued in Part 2)