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Attacked by a Monster

Depression hit me by surprise, and help came despite my foolish reactions.

As my blue Mazda 626 rolled to a stop at the light, I had no idea my life would take an immediate turn. I was thinking only of getting home to watch the Cubs on cable while I ate my lunch.

The corner of Highway 99 and McDonald Street has one of those lights that always seems to be red—especially when I'm on my way home. On the left was Elmer's Restaurant, the "after worship" eatery for many families in our church, and on the right was Union Gas Station. Everything looked familiar.

I felt normal, meaning stressed. I assumed the tightness in my chest and pressure in my head (but without the sharp pain of a headache) was the expected byproduct of being a church planter. I was a little dizzy—all things I had grown accustomed to.

Suddenly something bizarre happened. Nothing looked familiar. It was like that feeling you get when, in the middle of the night, exhausted during a road trip, you awaken in a half-conscious, panicked fog. Your surroundings are strange and you can't remember ...

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