On My Soapbox

So last Monday we are at Celebrate Recovery and Ginger has a man come up to her as she is passing out announcements.  Someone who's been coming for awhile with another ministry.  I find out later she shared with him she was dealing with some anxiety and he proceeds to tell her that it is a demon inside her causing that.  Probably good I didn't know right then....

Okay so here is my disclaimer before I go on. If you believe that bipolar/anxiety disorder is a demon then the following you are not going to agree with.  Feel free to read it, but I want no emails telling me how it is.  I won't believe you and I will respond.  I respect if you believe in such a way, but I'm going to tell you how such a belief hurts people more than helps.

There are few things that ruffle my feathers.  Most know me as pretty quiet and reserved, Ginger calls me meek with a quiet strength.  I can lead, do lead in my marriage, but I don't have to do such with an iron fist.  I learned from my father early on to respect my wife, and Ginger is the crown jewel of my life.  So when someone makes a comment then I get home and find someone thinks my wife has demons, well, that stokes my fire.  This infernal belief that a brain disease is the work of a demon incenses me, much as believing that addiction is a demon running around in someone's body.   For people that don't understand bipolar, simply and in layman's terms, the chemicals in the brain act differently than an average brain.  Therefore moods tend to go in extremes, high (mania) and low (depression).  With the right medication, someone bipolar becomes stable.  It doesn't go away completely (unless God takes it away), but the extremes are lessened tremendously.  This is a very simple definition, it is much more complicated, but you get the idea.  Disease takes its root from living in a fallen world and sin entering the world from Adam and Eve.  Before they sinned there was no disease.  But some people take this to believe that some personal sin causes all disease. If you have unprotected sex with many partners and get an STD, well, guess who caused your disease, not some demon entering you, you did.  After all, if you can blame it on a demon then you don't have to take responsibility for your actions.  What about a parapeligic?  Are they demon possessed?  If your brains chemicals are acting erratic then that is a physical issue, not a spiritual issue. 

The fact is Ginger is one of the most Godly people I know.  There is hardly a purer heart for God that I know than her's, and that includes ministers I know, people who've been serving God for years I haven't seen a heart like Ginger's.  She has the childlike faith where she just believes and it astounds me how much she trusts in God.  In worship, she tunes everyone out (I've watched), and it is quite literally as if she is standing before Jesus worshiping him.  She'll cry, raise her hands, smile, even jump up and down on occasion, but not for show.  If everyone is sitting down and she feels moved to stand, she does, regardless if she is the only one (her husband stands with her...), because she is worshiping her Savior.  Her thorn, however, is bipolar.  And even though she has struggled with it, prayed God to heal her from it, she has always been told God's grace is sufficient for her.  Hard pill to swallow sometimes.  But I've seen God use her bipolar to help sooo many people at Celebrate Recovery and beyond.  She's quite open about it, she doesn't hide the fact.  Her closest group of friends, well most are bipolar as well.  And it is the definition of a support group.  They will call each other, cry with each other, laugh, and help each other when they are feeling "bipolary".  Remember, her brain is sick and medication helps that.

Now can you be oppressed by demons through disease?  Well, in my case with alcoholism, absolutely.  Though I have the disease, I can invite all sorts of sin into my life, if I take a drink.  I have a disease and the remedy for that disease is....you guessed it....not drinking.  It is MY responsibility not to take a drink.  Now, I know, I hear it all the time, I've tried to stop and can't stop.  Well, you have to realize you can't do it alone that you need help.  (meetings, support groups, sponsors, accountibility partners, having God in your life...you get the point).  In Ginger's case, it is taking her medication when she is suppose to, support groups, having God in her life, notice a similarity by any chance?  It is taking responsibility that you have a disease, you need help with it, and doing the necessary things to ensure that you lead a healthy life.  Ginger's bipolar manifests itself in what is called hyper spirituality, so there is a confusion about whether what she is going through is bipolar or spiritual.  In comes in her friends and her husband who help her discern what it is.  If you walk in our hallway I have a board up that we can write on.  On it I have "It is bipolar, not spiritual, it will pass."  The medication kicks in, or she gets out what she is going through and guess what, it passes. 

Don't get me wrong, I believe in the devil, and demons, and all of that is very real.  But too often we want to blame the enemy on everything and take no responsibility for ourselves.  I'll leave you with this thought.  I have alchoholism, my wife has bipolar.  If God allowed that to bring Him glory, then is it worth it?  I went through a storm to get where I'm at today, and Ginger did too.  If you ask both are parents now who they give thanks for for our recovery, who do you think they give praise to?  You guessed it, the God of the Universe....


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