For those of us who have experienced profound depression, we have fought the battle of Gettysburg in our souls. Gettysburg was three days in July 1863 of chaos, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, loss of orientation, little sleep, and an overwhelming dread. Sound familiar to those of you who have been afflicted with depression?
For me, the three days of Gettysburg lasted four years, a disaster on all sides. And then my depression retreated, like the Army of Northern Virginia slipping away on the evening of July 4, 1863.
For two more years, the war continued, with skirmishes here and there, and some major battles yet to be fought. It is perhaps that way with some of you – the depression retreats only to come back now and again for a period of time, for some over a lifetime.
Finally the war ends in 1865 at Appomattox and stability returns. I pray that is the way with you, my friends. It has been the way for me. Not that there aren’t skirmishes for me to fight now and again, but the battle of Gettysburg is in the past, an ugly reminder of how bad things got in my life. These days I am better equipped to fight depression when the forces of darkness come marching up from the valleys, for I am on the high ground and God is by my side.