I’ve asked this question hundreds of times, maybe thousands of times. I’ve even waffled in my answer over the years. Am I destined to live with panic attacks the rest of my life, or can I be free?
When I was younger and the panic attacks were frequent, I was desperateÂ for hope. I was searching for something to alleviate that onslaught of fear and confusion. Alcohol provided temporary relief, but it always left me more anxious and panicky the next day when it wore off. Medication was helpful, but like alcohol, the panic and fear would return after the medication was out of my system.
I spent lots of time sitting in front of counselors, psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists–anyone who could help me get out of this terrifying condition. But for years, there was noÂ relief. It was then that I landed at the conclusion that maybe, like diabetes or high cholesterol, I would have this “disease” the rest of my life. I had lost hope.
Then, something happened that changed everything. I met a gentleman who had lived a life of fear and panic attacks, but now he was free.Â Could it be? Can you get free from fear and panic attacks?
This new information set me on a course to learn as much as I could about freedom from fear, anxiety and panic attacks. And, here’s what I learned:
Freedom is possible
Too often, we convince ourselves that freedom is impossible or elusive. Or maybe we believe it’s possible for others, but not for me. We often let our experience and feelings determine what’s true for us. We may even start to think freedom is possible, and then hope builds, but WHAM! an attack hits and we lose hope again.
The key for freedom is what you choose to believe. You have to believe that freedom is possible. Freedom will never come if you cannot change the way you think. If you don’t know where to start, then start with a prayer asking God to transform your thinking.
Donâ€™t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you thinkÂ (Romans 12:2).
I believe that everyone can experience freedom from anxiety, fear and panic attacks. It is not something you have to live with the rest of your life. You can be free!
Freedom is a process
Most people want instant freedom, but this often leads to discouragement.Â We want to pray a power prayer to receive a heavenly zap that’ll take it away. But, I don’t know that prayer. It has been my experience that freedom is a process. For some, it’s a quick process and for others, it’s a bit longer.
The key is to get started. Once you can believe that freedom is possible, then you can start taking steps to get free.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10).
A couple ofÂ years ago, I blogged a series of articles on Freedom and summarized them all in this blog post. It’s a great starting point for those of you seeking freedom.
Freedom is for everyone
Sometimes, we convince ourselves that freedom is for others, but not me. Again, we often let experience and feelings dictate this “lie” in our lives. We want freedom, but we don’t experience it, so we wrongly conclude that we’ll always have this “condition.” That’s just not true.
It is absolutely essential for you to understand that freedom is available to you. Jesus paid an incredible price so that you can boldly approach God in your time of need.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of needÂ (Hebrews 4:16).
In Christ, you have everything you need to receive freedom (Ephesians 1). Let this message plant a seed of hope in your heart. Today, I am walking in incredible freedom from fear and panic attacks. And so can you!
Prayer: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy SpiritÂ (Romans 15:13).