Through most of my early life, when fear and panic attacks were rampant, I would often ask myself this question: can I really be free from this?
Back in the 80’s when I was really struggling with panic attacks, there was no diagnosis for this condition, not even a term called panic attacks. I was often diagnosed with nerves or stress. Later in college, a psychiatrist diagnosed me correctly with “chronic panic disorder.” It finally had a name. I was prescribed tranquilizers, sleeping pills and other treatments for stress. While these worked temporarily, they didn’t really solve my problem. I was still held captive by fear often resulting in panic attacks.
I started to believe that maybe I would have this condition for the rest of my life. Or, I would have to take medication everyday for the rest of my life. There was even a time I thought God was telling me I would have panic attacks till the day I died.
Today, I believe something much different. I now believe with all of my heart that freedom is possible for everyone. God does not favor one person over another (Acts 10:34), and Jesus died so that we can all be “blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven” (Ephesians 1:3).
I no longer battle with panic attacks. I also no longer take medication for anxiety and panic attacks. You can read my story about medication here.
I remember the day when hope came alive in me, that freedom was truly possible. I was sitting in a counseling office. Again. What questions would this guy ask? I no longer had to rehearse my answers. I had talked about my “condition” so many times before.
But this time was different. Instead of asking me questions, he told him his story about panic attacks. Immediately, he had my attention. He shared how it crippled him for years, how it caused his world to shrink, and how he had no hope for so long. But then, he shared how he was now completely free. No more panic attacks. I was really listening!
That day sparked a new hope in me. It started me on a journey to freedom. I believed I could be free from this crippling condition.
Today, I shout it from the rooftops: FREEDOM IS POSSIBLE!
There is Hope
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise” (Hebrews 10:23).
Hope is powerful! The biggest enemy to freedom is losing hope. It’s too easy to give up and surrender to fear when you have no hope.
I pray that this message will rekindle hope in you, that you will begin to believe that freedom is possible.
Fear and Panic Attacks are Not from God
I used to think this “thorn in the flesh” was from God, to keep my humble and to teach me how to trust in him. I no longer think like that.
In John 10:10, Jesus makes it very clear what his purpose is, and what the enemy’s purpose is:
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10).
It’s very clear. Does fear and panic attacks “steal, kill and destroy”? Or, does fear and panic attacks “give you a rich and satisfying life”? Jesus removed all doubt who is the source of fear and panic attacks.
With God, All Things are Possible
“Is anything too hard for the Lord? “(Genesis 18:14).
Jesus said, “What is impossible for people is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
I now believe that it is possible to be completely free from anxiety, fear and panic attacks. Nothing is too hard for God. He is able to set you free. I really believe that because I have seen it in my own life, and in the lives of many others.
If you want to read more, below are a series of articles I wrote that chronicle my journey to freedom:
- The Foundation
- The Right Source
- Finding the Cause
- Recognize the Lies
- Finding the Truth
- Hearing God’s Voice
- Who is that Speaking?
- Seeing with Spiritual Eyes
- A Spiritual War
- What you Already Have in Christ
- Having Hope
- Learning to Surrender
- Learning to be Still
- The Power of your Words
Prayer: Father, I may have been hopeless for a long time, but today, let your hope come alive in me. Show me that I can experience freedom from fear, anxiety and panic attacks.