What Depression Means to Me: Halloween

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Gentle Reader,

I’ve barely begun and already I know that this will be a difficult post.

Growing up, my family never really celebrated Halloween. I think I went trick-or-treating once. It was cold, dark and rainy. Naturally reserved me didn’t find it fun to knock on stranger’s doors, no matter how much candy I had the potential of getting. I recall going to two, maybe three, church Harvest Festivals. My parents explained to me, in age appropriate ways, the origins of Halloween and what witchcraft was really about. I didn’t want anything to do with a night set aside for darkness, no matter how innocent it might’ve seemed.

When I went back to school for a theology degree a couple of years ago, one of the first classes I took involved the study of major world religions and philosophies. Looking over the syllabus, I dreaded the week we would spend on paganism, witchcraft and Satanism. This was all from a Christian perspective, mind you, and I am very much in favor of knowing the opposing team’s playbook, so to speak. I just wanted to get through that week as fast as I possibly could.

I learned that covens and Satanic churches view Halloween as one of their high holy days. I read about more than a few instances of child kidnapping. About ritualistic human sacrifice. The conjuring of demons. Astral projection. Spell casting.

Call me crazy, but that made me want to have even less to do with Halloween.

Unfortunately, I have worked to conceal my inner revulsion, peer pressure being what it is and all that. The last couple of years, I’ve participated in my own church’s “Trunk-or-Treat” event. I understand the idea behind it. Kids can come to a safe place, get a little candy, play some games and maybe get loved on. None of that is bad. I don’t think that dressing in costume is a sin. I don’t think that participating in Harvest Festivals has anything to do with being saved.

What I do think is that I can’t participate anymore. Not after the breakdown I went through a few weeks ago.

You see, I know, beyond doubt, that Satan is real and that his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. When I sat on my couch and made ready to carry out my suicide plan, I felt my heart within his icy grasp. I’m not saying that people who kill themselves automatically wind up in Hell. I believe that I would have gone to be with God, but the way in which I got there would have very much been against His will. So, Satan couldn’t take my eternal destiny away from me, but he could certainly take joy in jumping on my self-torture and adding his own hissing voice to it.

I am alive today only because of the perfect timing of the Lord, who brought my husband walking through the front door before I could leave. If I did not believe that He orchestrates things perfectly before, I do now. I’m telling you that I’d be dead if not for Him. Satan would have loved that.

I’ve read several articles by those who have come out of the occult who won’t have anything to do with Halloween (or horror movies, for that matter). They know the reality of evil. I don’t pretend to compare my experience to theirs, but I know that Satan delights in convincing us that things are “harmless fun.” How many kids will play with Ouija boards tonight? How many will dress up as vampires, ghosts, zombies, serial killers? How many little girls will be Lady Gaga’s or some other hyper-sexualized “role model?”

My husband and I are supposed to go to “Trunk-or-Treat” tonight. We said that we’d be part of a group costume effort. I wish I’d been honest about my discomfort with Halloween before now. There’s a significant chance that we won’t make it anyway, due to his work schedule. I won’t be sad if we miss out on the event. I have no judgments against those who will be there. They’re my friends; my brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t for a second think that any of them is endorsing evil.

It’s just…well, this night isn’t innocent or fun.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all the posts in the What Depression Means to Me series, go here.