Two years ago anxiety tried to take my life. I had such a severe panic attack, the thoughts that raced through my mind to find relief could only be described as demonic. Since then, every major life change, unfavorable circumstance or health scare has done its best to bring back those terrifying feelings of drowning in air.
In February of this year, I went through an intense and purposeful weekend of healing to attend to everything that has contributed to this life that was previously lived in fear. Since that memorable weekend, it has been a journey of walking out my freedom daily. Recently, I got an email that sent me down what could have been the deep and dark spiral of panic. The familiar feelings of unease came over me. I instantly lost both my appetite and my peace. My mind took off racing as if someone yelled “GO!”
Then all of a sudden, a thought that interrupted all the other fearful ones.
You’re not who you were. You have more control over your emotions. You know how to persevere. You do not have to allow your feelings to take you into darkness.”
And just like that, there was a great calm. And a new thought followed.
What if my healing and deliverance from anxiety and fear does not look like never ever being fearful again?
What if my healing from anxiety means that when the ground is shaken beneath my feet, the fear may come, but I allow the work that the Lord has already done in my heart and mind to fight against the wiles of the enemy?
So, it is likely that being healed from crippling anxiety and panic attacks does not mean I will never be triggered by anything ever again. It may actually mean that when old and new triggers rear their heads, I decide on a different reaction. Even if my heart races and my knees buckle at the thought of unseen threats that appear fifty feet tall, maybe my healing looks like taking a deep breath, looking them square in the face and asking – “so what happens if my worst fears are materialized?”
What happens if this is just as terrible as I thought it would be?
The same God who protected me from armed robbery, car accidents, unfavorable health during my pregnancies, witchcraft and occultist powers – and ensured that they could not accomplish the evil that the enemy desired – will protect me against these new weapons that are being formed.
God is able to keep every evil from manifesting in and over my life. The God of Heaven who created me for good works, who promised that my life is in His hands, who said He knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb is powerful enough to keep me from all evil.
But when the enemy retorts “well, He did not prevent those bad things from happening in the past, so why would He prevent this one?” – I have an answer for that as well.
He doesn’t have to prevent it if He has the power to redeem it.
I would prefer that the Lord keeps the enemy hundreds of miles away from me, never even allowing him to breathe in my direction. But when the devil brings the fight to my doorstep, I have to rest assured that I serve a God who remains God, no matter how hellish my circumstances.
God does not lose His sovereignty because my situation looks dire or beyond repair.
God is no less the Almighty because it seems that the will of the enemy is overtaking me.
God is no less a healer when sickness tries to ravage my body.
God is no less my Father when I feel desperately isolated and unloved in the valley of my brokenness.
God is no less my keeper because it seems that the arrows of the enemy keep finding their way to my house.
God is no less my deliverer because it seems that the chains of bondage have found their way around my hands and feet.
He is God all by Himself.
The same God who told Israel to make a life, build houses, give their children in marriage and thrive while they were in Babylon because He would rescue them in the appointed time still reigns today.
It does not matter what my circumstances look like.
It does not matter what anxiety and fear try to tell me.
It does not matter how the enemy tries to terrify me. Even in the darkest of moments, my God does not change. What He does not prevent, He will redeem. He will bring me out. I will not be consumed.
So I say to fear and anxiety again, if the God I serve exists, then He can rescue me from the furnace of crippling anxiety and panic attacks, and He can rescue me from the power of you, you strongman of fear. But even if He does not rescue me, I want you powers and principalities to know that I will never serve your gods or worship the idol of worry you have set up in this earth (paraphrased from Daniel 3:16-18, HCSB).
God can and God will rescue me from every anxiety and panic. God can and God will rescue me from the paralyzing symptoms of anxiety attacks. God can and God will rescue me from every unfavorable situation that the enemy designed to destroy me.
… but even if He doesn’t, I will not bow.