January 2, 2013

Welcome to my daily blog, let me start by sharing a testimony of one of my students.

            For a long time, I believed my story was unique. I wondered if anyone else in the world endured the types of spiritual conflict I was experiencing. Although I felt very alone, I was sure that I couldn’t be the only one. I was experiencing demonic nightmares and had nights in which I felt the presence of something in my room. One night I awoke feeling like someone was choking me, and I could not speak, or say the name of Jesus. I was terrified!

            I sought help from church leaders and pastors. They had no idea how to encourage me. I was experiencing panic attacks and my thoughts were so loud, destructive and frightening that I visited my Christian primary care provider. When I expressed the idea that the enemy was attacking me, she responded by diagnosing me with a bipolar disorder, and told me I’d have to be on medication for the rest of my life. She also gave me a prescription for anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. I was devastated.

            I told my husband the diagnoses and he assured me that it wasn’t true. I decided not to take the medication. I just didn’t have peace about it. My pastors prayed over me, but nothing changed. I began Christian counseling, which helped a bit, but it was nowhere near worth the $400 per month I paid. When I told my Christian counselor about what was happening in my mind, and about my fears, she too said, “I think it’s time for medication.” It seemed like everyone thought I was crazy. No one believed that my problem was truly spiritual.

            Thankfully, I came across the book Who I am in Christ. Finally, I read stories of people I could relate to. I knew there was an answer. It was in that book that I first heard of “The Steps to Freedom.” Honestly, I was scared of the Steps at first. I didn’t know what to expect from them. But one of my pastors had recently met Dr. Neil T. Anderson and was learning how to take people through the Steps. He offered to help me and I accepted.

            Going through the steps was one of the most difficult, yet incredible things I’ve done. I experienced a lot of interference, such as headache and confusion, but having the Holy Spirit reveal to me all that I needed to renounce was incredible. After going through the Steps my mind was completely silent. It was amazing. I remember the pastor asking me to close my eyes and tell him what I was hearing. I paused. I heard only the air conditioning in the room. There were no nagging voices. I was totally at peace. I wanted to cry with joy. After that I wasn’t afraid of being alone. The nightmares were gone. I didn’t have to turn on the radio or television to drown out terrible thoughts. I could sit in silence, and be still. It was beautiful.

            I have worked to maintain my freedom, regularly reminding myself of the truth, praying God’s Word, and having to forgive new offenses that arise along the way. I am thankful to God for Freedom in Christ Ministries. God used it to help me when no one else knew how to handle my conflicts. Now I know that nothing is too difficult for God. 

I believe every church should be able to help someone like this precious lady who is a pastor’s wife. The person who helped her was Daryl Fitzgerald, an African American pastor, and a Community Freedom Ministry Associate (Associate staff with Freedom in Christ Ministries). What is needed is a biblical psychology, and spiritually sensitive Christian leaders. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Neil

For Spanish, see http://ficmm.org/blog/