I Cannot Handle Them All

I Cannot Handle Them All.

Janet was having sleepless nights for months, which had severely handicapped her in her occupation during the daylight hours. She had got to the point where she had been job-hopping every few weeks, unable to hold on to a stable office position. Her anxieties and fears over her situation snowballed into perceived attacks of demonic origins. These often took the form of being chased by them in her dreams or being threatened by spirits from idol altars in shops or on passageways that she would pass by on her way to and from her office. She had enrolled herself in successive inner healing cycles and took advantage of the deliverance services of a local church. She would feel better after each session, but within a couple of weeks would relapse into her anxiety phases. After several months, with no further discernible progress, she was sent to me for counselling.

After some probing at our initial interview, she confessed that no one knew she had been on anxiety medication for the preceding five years. Her anxiety attacks first began as a teenager, soon after her aunt molested her one night while she was asleep, as they shared a room in her home. It woke her up, but she never told anyone, not even her parents, fearing they probably would not believe her. Her sleeping difficulties also started then, but they were intermittent and not sufficiently serious for her to worry about. However, her anxiety became intolerable a few months ago, when her employer began making sexual advances toward her. She resigned immediately, and saw her family doctor, who referred her to a psychiatrist.

Janet was a committed intercessor in her church’s prayer ministry. At the height of her anxiety, she found herself rebuking Satan continuously as she walked past altars in her neighbourhood homes, in shops, and along the streets. Soon, she started binding the spirit powers seven times for each altar, and if she lost count, she would start over again. She interpreted these incidents as malignant spiritual forces personally attacking her. These daily routines occupied her every morning on her way to the office, every midday as she took her lunch break, and on her way home. Increasingly, she grappled with doubts, whether she had religiously bound the demons seven times for each altar she walked past. Her fears of idols became unreal, and she skirted around them whenever she knew where they were along her journeys.

Coming to terms with her obsessions was initially difficult, as she felt she had been on the frontline of spiritual warfare. However, the incessant counting, and checking and rechecking, and her irrational fears of altars and religious idols of all sorts, inevitably exhausted her. At the end of her tether, she wept, “I cannot handle them all! There are too many altars and it is impossible for one person to handle them all.” This realisation was the beginning of healing for her, as we reworked her belief system and her abuse history, and simultaneously, began her on a programme to neutralise her obsessions. Janet agreed to my condition for treatment – she withdrew from her intercessory role, until such a time when I was confident she was no longer plagued by her obsessions.