Well, here I am alive and kicking and enjoying life…in Christ. It wasn’t always this way. When I was six my 5 siblings and I woke up to find our father dead in the living room and our mother on the phone trying to find out what was going on. My father never picked her up from work the previous evening so she went to my grandmother’s house for the night. That’s when it started – the fear. Fear of death and dying haunted me most of life.
As a young teenager, I went to church because that was what was required of me by my mother. I would sometimes be overwhelmed by the moving of the Holy Spirit in my church but it never seemed to stay with me. At the age of 19 I left my mother’s house and I left the church. I was tired of all the rules and regulations and being told what I could or couldn’t do or should do or had to do. It was a very confusing time for me.
I continued to run for almost 25 years. One day I became ill and went to the emergency room. Shortly after being examined the doctor told me he thought I was having a possible heart attack. I just fell into a black hole. This was what my father died of and I thought I was going to finally follow in his footsteps. I almost immediately began to suffer from severe anxiety, panic and depression. I was unable to live alone, had to step down from my management position at work and my teenage daughters had to take care of me.
I believe right at this point in my life, God began saving me and He hasn’t stopped since. I re-dedicated my life to God and began going to church and just tried my best to listen to what God was trying to teach me. I was so desperate and I couldn’t really tell anyone what was going on with me. I was so ashamed because I had heard all my life – “be anxious for nothing” and yet all I could was be anxious.
While it’s true that God is telling us not to be anxious He knows we’re far from perfect and have to be taught how not to be anxious. It was through His loving kindness and patience that I began to trust Him more and while I still suffered daily, my life was changing.
Over the next few years I began to study the Bible and pray constantly. Being close to God was the only thing that kept me alive. After a few years, I began to have the same dream on a very regular basis. In the dream, there was a house that was far away and it was built in the side of a mountain. When I went into the house it looked like everyone who lived there stopped what they were doing and just left. The house was a total mess. As I started walking through the house, it went on forever. The deeper I went in, the more fear I felt. I just knew at the end death was waiting for me.
I continued on in my study of the Bible and began to get involved in the music ministry of my church. It was tough. I remember singing at Easter time in a special service and I starting to have an anxiety attack. I didn’t know what to do. I kept looking from side to side trying to figure out how I was going to get off that stage. But with God’s help, I made it through the entire performance.
It wasn’t long after that that I had that same dream for one last time. Only this time I was taking someone with me into that house to show them what was going on. I took a friend into the house with me and when we went in, to our surprise, the house was all cleaned up. The walls were freshly painted and everything was in it’s place. The most amazing thing about the house was that no matter how far I walked into that house I felt nothing but peace. For a while I didn’t know what the dream meant. One day during a church service, the Lord spoke to me and told me “that’s you, all cleaned up, everything back in order and no more fear”!
Needless to say, I soon realized that I was no longer suffering from anxiety, panic or depression. As the song goes…God saved me, He raised me, He filled me with the Holy Ghost and healed me to the uttermost!
I am forever grateful to God and the power of His saving grace. No matter what happens to me, I now have a house built on the solid rock! No matter what the devil tries to do to me, I will serve the Lord.