Today I’m going to share my testimony with you guys.
I have gone to church my whole life. My dad is a pastor, and my mom is a volunteer at my church, so going to church for two services every Sunday is my normal. I have always loved God and my church. But as a little kid, I didn’t realize that there were issues and problems that people struggled with. I just lived my life as a kid carefree and with an always-active imagination. I had fear like most little kids do. I was afraid of my basement. I used to have to stand at the top of my stairs and shout ‘fear go in Jesus name, peace come over me.’ But when I was 8 years old, cold hard reality shook my world.
For 2 years I struggled with severe anxiety and fear of death and the unknown. And it wasn’t like basement fear; it was life-controlling fear. Because as a kid I didn’t know that people struggled with things, I never told anybody what was going on. I thought that my life should be perfect because I loved God and because I was a pastor’s kid. I thought that I was the only one struggling with this fear. Nothing tragic happened to spark this fear; I just had it. In my family I am the oldest child, so I have always been more cautious than the other kids, but I had never struggled with something like this. It started out as a panic attack, and then my fear grew worse. I started having panic attacks frequently. Panic attacks are really scary because your heart races and it gets hard to breathe. All the while, I was hiding that this was happening to me. Then, it got worse. My fear started controlling me. I wouldn’t hang out with friends for fear that I would die without my parents by my side. I stopped eating a lot of things because I thought that I was going to choke or have an allergic reaction. I would even have a panic attack over the stupidest things like a hurt pinkie, because I thought that the blood flow had stopped and that it would cause me to die. My fear controlled what I did.
During this time, I started to wonder why everyone else had life so easy. The devil would come and plant thoughts in my head like, ‘You are the only one experiencing this.’ ‘God must not care about you because he is letting this happen.’ ‘You will never TRULY be set free from this.’ And I made the horrible decision to believe what he was saying. I told myself, ‘why should I follow God if he would let this happen to me.?’ So I decided that maybe I shouldn’t follow him. My fear continually got worse and worse to the point where I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought that even if I look like a fool; I need to tell somebody because it was my only hope of possibly fixing things. So I told my mom everything that had happened these last two years. I thought that she would be judgmental, or even dislike me, but instead she did the craziest thing. She hugged me and talked me through it. She let me know that it was ok, and that everybody has problems that they struggle with. I felt a huge relief when I told her about this. I thought fear was surely gone for good, but it wasn’t.
I still struggled with my fear. I thought that telling her had solved everything, but it didn’t. It helped having my parents know, but that didn’t solve my issue. I struggled with my fear until later that summer when I went on a trip that changed my life.
I went on a trip with my church a few weeks later to Washington DC to learn the true Christian history of America. And while I was on this trip, my faith got sparked. I thought ‘if God can do that for our forefathers, He can certainly help me.’ I didn’t have a specific one-time encounter with God on the trip, but it was throughout the entire time that He set me free. I repented, asked God back into my life, and I got set free from fear!
Even though I have been set free from fear, the devil will still try to plant seeds in me again. But I know who my Father is! He protects me and gives me hope and peace. In the Bible it says “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27, NIV).
When the enemy tries to get me, I take authority in Jesus name. I still to this day will say ‘fear GO in Jesus name, PEACE come over me.’ God is an awesome God. He WILL provide for us, we just need to trust Him. And if He can set me free from that, He can and will truly set YOU free as well!!
Rhema is an freshman in Spokane. She is on ASB at school and knows her mission at school is to be a light in the darkness and to influence students and staff for Jesus at her school. Outside of school, she dances tap, hip hop, lyrical and jazz. She loves little people and helps in children’s ministry at her church and helps teach dance to 4 year olds at her dance school. She is actively involved at her youth group and loves helping new people feel at home at church. She has a heart to make sure others feel included and never excluded.