I was first exposed to the realities of demon possession and spiritual warfare as a young teenager. My dad was a well-respected Southern Baptist minister who was gifted at expounding God’s Word and who had a huge heart to help hurting people. However, he had no idea the focal point of his career would end up being deliverance ministry . . . something he would eventually define as his life calling. It all started when a woman (who was part of a satanic coven) called my dad at midnight, saying someone had given her his phone number. She asked, "Is it true that since Satan is real, that God is real too?" This encounter began a long season of late night phone calls, emergent rushes out the door, threats on our family’s safety, and all night prayer vigils. And yet, my parents still welcomed this woman into our lives. She spent many nights sleeping in our guest room, even over Christmas. I watched my parents evolve as they tried to help this woman out of profound demonic bondage, all the while struggling to keep up with an unfamiliar learning curve. But their faith drove them forward, fueled by love for God and love for people . . .

God created us with a body, soul, and spirit, and each of these parts play a role in our mental health. In my last article, I discussed the biological and psychological components of mental health, addressing when medication or counseling may be beneficial to help an individual recover (Read HERE). In this article, I will attempt to address some of the spiritual components of mental health, and explain when medication may not be beneficial for symptoms of depression. I will try and differentiate between suffering which carries a divine purpose, from that which requires medical intervention.  This is a complicated topic, one that a short blog can never comprehensively address, but my goal is to at least touch on some of these spiritual issues, possibly uncovering . . .

Last year, Bob and I noticed a pattern of troubling behavior from our son Connor. He is normally a sweet and joyful child, so his outbursts of anger and defiance were out of character. We tried disciplining him in different ways, but no matter what we did, nothing seemed to work. I wanted to write his behavior off as a normal stage of development, just a facet of his emerging independence . . . but it almost appeared as if something else was taking over and driving him. Something didn’t feel right, and I was concerned about what was going on in my sweet boy’s heart. I truly did not know what to do . . . so I got on my knees in prayer. I asked God to form a kind and obedient heart in Connor, to deliver him from any evil, and to give me wisdom to know how to best address the problem.

A month or two later, I woke up in the middle of the night from a disturbing dream. In this vivid dream, evil had . . .