The Standard "No" Answer

My journey with mental illness began when I was 16, and my parents pursued Christian counseling for me. I had developed anorexia as part of an identity crisis. 

In the summer between 10th grade and 11th grade, I switched schools. I went from a private, Christian school, where I was known as "The Brain," to a public school where what stood out to everyone was that I was slightly overweight. 

Initially, it started as a fast, eating only when I heard the Holy Spirit say to eat, but I lost control to the high of losing weight really fast. At one point I was meticulously counting and logging only 600 calories a day.

I was not well, but the Lord has always been my friend through these dark times. One day, I was about to get in the shower, and I heard the Lord say, "You need to eat, and you need to eat now." I obeyed, and to some extent the obedience broke the anorexia, but I would carry the backage of food issues for many years to come. 

My real issue is within the mental health community, and it's this issue that I seek to address today. Caveat: I have always heard voices. I just didn't know you could hear God and the demonic and often both contradicting each other. Talk about confusing. My response here is how within the mental health community do you respond to the question: "Are you hearing voices?" My posit is that the mental health community may not be the best ones to help you if you are hearing voices. I know it certainly wasn't for me. What has helped me more than anything else has been the help of the church in these areas. 

I'm here to write that the medical community needs to be educated on the demonic forces in our world that can manifest like mental illnesses. I have not done college study on this, but I have 20 years in the mental health system, and I have completed church programs addressing these issues, such as "College of Prayer," "Soul Care," and the Christian and Missionary Alliance's "Empower" Program. I'm qualified to speak to this issue. The demonic has infiltrated the mental health system and have wreaked havoc because no one will stand up and say, "Um, hey, this actually could be a spiritual issue, and not a mental health issue." Hi. That's me. I truly believe so much of mental illness can be attributed to the demonic, we'd be left with much simpler cases of chemical imbalance to face and have to worry less about the many facets of mental illness, because I have realized this about the demonic. They are smart enough to respond to medication and did in my case for many years. I myself acknowledge the need for medication, but I also believe it is far less than what medical doctors would have you think. 

I currently take medication, because I acknowledge my need for it. I'm not advocating patients take themselves off of medication. I am advocating we deal with the demonic/spiritual aspect of mental illness. To familiarize yourself with the demonic and getting free from it, I highly recommend Soul Care by Dr. Rob Reimer, or attend one of his Soul Care classes. It will change your life. 

What I've learned from the mental health community, I've learned in my 20 years in the system. I have an incredible (almost photographic) memory, so I remember many, many details. It's my story I want to tell today. 

When I was 18, I was hospitalized for my first psychiatric break. My boyfriend and I were navigating going to different colleges, and I was depressed. However, what I've recently come to realize is that I was spiritual oppressed as well. I was dealing with generational family spirits as well as the spirits of suicide and despair -- these are actual real demonic spirits. 

I ended up being removed from my home by ambulance, taking nothing but my Bible, and this was the beginning of a new chapter of life. 

It was during this longer convalescence that the Lord spoke to me clearly for the first time prophetically. He gave me a number of prophetic words and notes, which are personal, and which are still coming true. They are not for publication, because they are private. 

What the Lord did reveal to me was that he wanted to use me to break the generational curse in my family. In my case there have been several he's helped me identify and break. He warned me that it would cost me everything but be so worth it. I said "yes."

Then the wild and crazy started. In College, I began to be influenced by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and I learned what true love felt like. I wanted to be baptized again, as I had been baptized as an infant, something my denomination would have frowned upon. My friend base grew, as I made friends at Intervarsity. 

Then the unthinkable happened. I found myself at the center of a split at Intervarsity - I disagreed with a friend and a leadership member over something - and my friend group and my roommates shrank overnight. 

Here, again, I ended up in the hospital, but again it was more because of the emotional than anything else. However, when your mind, body, and spirit are out of alignment, one fluctuation in one can bring influence in the others.

It seemed I was constantly in and out of the hospital - always the niggling - question, "Are you hearing voices?" "Well, yes, but what are you going to do about it? Because the medical community doesn't have the authority to cast out the demonic. Only the Christian community bears that mark. The presumed correct answer to the question is, "No." but what if there's an alternative?

What if, as in other countries, Americans actually hear voices because of a demonic presence in our nation? Because I can tell you it's there. What if we as Christians can actually be free of these voices and experience more healing than ever before?

First, what if we as Americans actually have a blood debt that binds us to these demonic forces? We can't pay this blood debt. Only bringing the blood of Jesus between ourselves and the blood debt does that. We as Americans have a blood debt we can't repay. We owe so much blood that ground has been given over to the demonic over our sin.

I can think of multiple areas this is true: Native American Relations, The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Abortion, Mass Shootings, not to mention conflicts we've been involved in through the years. We have a blood debt.

Our land is seeped in blood, and until we cry out for Jesus to meet this blood debt, it cries out to him, and the demonic actually has "ground" in our nation to afflict those where there's ground or ground in a family line. We've all got it, because we're all sinners. 

"Ground" could be a sin issue, a wounding, a family curse -- we in America have lost sight that these are real issues. 

Real curses exist. Real blessing exists. 

What if I told you my case of bipolar is the result of a curse? It is. When I was 9, my sister took a spanking for me. I looked at that and saw the sacrifice of Christ for me. When my dad got home, I got spanked anyway. He had had no idea what my 9 year old brain had done in showing me the grace of Christ. However, in my 9 year old mind, I could not reconcile a God who loved me and took the penalty for my sin, and one who didn't. This created something called a "double bind" in my mind. I developed bipolar over time because I both could and couldn't believe that God loved me. It took 20 years to be free from this lie, from this voice that said, "Jesus loves everyone but you. You alone are out." 

In the moment, I agreed with the devil that if the Lord didn't want me (as it felt like he didn't), then the devil did. Hint: the devil wants all of us. This goes back to the original lie in the Garden of Eden. Does God really love you if he's withholding this tree of "seemingly" good fruit? When the devil causes you to doubt the Father's love for you, there's a stronghold there. 

I have started writing my story many times, but it is time to be honest, and this is NOT primarily from my experience, because I had a good home of origin. I think it's safe to say we've all suffered some effect of abuse or neglect in our lifetimes. As I'm seeing now from other's experiences: bipolar and many other ailments in our society are the result of abuse and neglect in our families in childhood. A properly loved, nourished mind can experience problems, but parents, we must get on board and LOVE our children RADICALLY. 

This means, when they break something, you keep your cool - you are the adult.

This means discipline is gentle and never done in anger. 

Speak to them as you would want to be spoken to. Ask for their forgiveness when you're wrong -- it can go a long way. 

Comfort them. They need to know from you, it's going to be ok. 

Be real about mental illness. Seek help from a Christian counselor immediately when they need help, but also be praying for them, as that's where the real battle is. 

I've come to believe the battle for mental illness is ON in our country, and the Lord is about to insert himself in to. The battle is the Lord's but he needs workers in the vineyards who know about the demonic. 

They think they've won, but oh man have they lost!

The battle belongs to the Lord. 

So what do we do? How do we combat the spiritual side of mental illness? We have to be willing to start with the truth. 

"Are you hearing voices?" - "Yes" There might be something demonic there. 

The good news is that when you're a Christian, you have recourse. In my church, we have a program that seeks to deliver from demonic strongholds, as well as other mental and emotional issues by inviting Christ into them. 

It's called Restoration Prayer, and one thing we do is deal with any demonic stronghold present. The person has to be a believer, but the only qualification to being a believer is that you're human and you have a desire to know Christ. This is not an exclusive club. 

Do I currently hear voices? My current answer: "Nope! And I haven't for a long time." I do take meds for a chemical imbalance, but I have so much freedom because I've fought back against the demonic in my life. All it takes is a simple, "No, you're not welcome here." with some trained prayer ministers. When you're in Christ, they have to leave. At the end, you welcome the Holy Spirit into a clean space to fill it in protection and sealing. 

It can take multiple attempts, because you're dealing with different spirits at different times, and it's more of an art than a science. 

There is a beauty to it. The Lord delivers. As someone who still struggles with mental illness, I still testify most of my healing to the Lord and not to meds because of the ways the Lord has healed me through the ministries of The College of Prayer, Soul Care, Empower, and Restoration Prayer.

He's real and he has more for you!