Fighting the demons of anxiety, depression, and PTSD is a little like playing football . We make headway then lose ground. But the fight never really ends, not the way a game of football does. There is no score.
We win by surviving another day.
It can be enormously discouraging to wrestle with the scars of abuse, decade in and decade out. Surely, we must after all this time have made progress.
But progress is not linear. Despite the passage of time, and an extensive list of medications – not to mention therapy – familiar demons can resurface.
Factors Impacting Our Success
So, are anxiety, depression, and PTSD ever really “conquered”? Can they, at least, be fought to a standstill? The answer depends.
The factors include the length and severity of the trauma we sustained; our particular genetics; the quality and extent of our medical treatment; our psychological and spiritual resources; the emotional support we have available; and the other stressors to which we are subjected.
None of these can be quantified. Most can and do vary over the course of a lifetime.
Why not just throw in the towel (to mix sports metaphors)? After all, the struggle is exhausting. The struggle, however, is life.
How many extraordinary things are there in the world? The sound of thunder, a bird’s song, or a child’s laughter. The sight of the stars, or a son returning from war. The smell of the ocean, or freshly cut grass. The taste of homemade fried chicken. The touch of a loved one’s hand.
Only poets can describe such things adequately. Yet, the rest of us get to experience them everyday. That is worth fighting demons.
But we do not fight them alone.
All of this is a faith walk. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5: 7). Some of us wrestle with the scars of abuse. Others wrestle with an endless variety of trials and challenges from disability and chronic illness, to loss, poverty, and injustice.
God, however, walks with us. He protects and strengthens us against assault. In Him, we find respite from fighting our demons, whatever form they take.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6: 12).
 I must disclaim any actual knowledge of football, up front. Fans of the sport will, I hope, forgive me.
 Jesus cast out demons, and healed all manner of illnesses. I do not mean to suggest that anxiety, depression, or PTSD are demons, in the sense referred to in Scripture. Satan may, however, use our discouragement to keep us from living the lives God intended for us.
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