I am long winded. I will admit it. However, sometimes in order to fully appreciate the fullness of something, history and details need to be included.
This would be one of those posts! It's okay if you choose to skim this one. But I want to document online (b/c I already documented this one offline too!) a major victory in my walk with my Lord. So skim if you need to or pause for a moment and grab a cup of coffee, tea, lemonade, find a comfy chair and settle in to read how God won this weekend.
How it began...
I fully remember an awful dream I had when I was about six years old. It was terrible. It involved the Hamburgler (remember him, from McDonalds?) and a hand buzzer. He climbed up my wall in my room and was waiting to get me. To this day, I remember the sheer fear that accompanied me with that dream. It was intense. I really believed that there was something in my room.
As the years progressed I fought fear over many, many things. I particularly would have awful dreams, that were vivid and played completely on my fears. I am not exaggerating when I say that I had my first panic attack when I was still under ten years old. I would lay in bed shaking and crying begging "God" not to take my family away from me.
In the years to follow my family did split. My parents divorced and each of them turned their focus on pursuing what they needed or wanted.
I was lost. Roots dug in to some of the deepest parts of me as fear had turned into reality. I was alone. So, fear multiplied itself into anxiety, then depression, then physical ailments such as IBS, chronic fatigue, fibromylgia, etc.
When Jesus entered my life, I was literally saved. I began to find who I was. The journey of wanting more and more of Him became addictive.
But more Him, meant less of me. And less of me, meant surgery. You know what I am talking about. I was leprous. All over the inside and even the outside was huge sores and hurts. They were deep too. Not just surface ones. But the kind that had to be dug out with a scalpel.
As time goes on, He is systematically healing me from each one. A couple of years ago, we claimed victory over depression. It was a victory too. Each time something difficult would come my way, I would smile inside and out, knowing that I was free from that dirty rotten plague of depression.
This weekend, He got that scalpel out again. I'll be honest, it wasn't a surprise. He had been warning me for several months now, through words of knowledge, dreams, and encouragement that it was coming. But God is God and His timing is perfect and unknowing. So, of course, I didn't get the invitation ahead of time.
This past Sunday, April 30, 2007, God gave a word to the congregation that it was a day of consecration. At first, I dismissed it. Friends, I am secure in knowing that my life is totally, 100% consecrated to following Him. I just know it.
But then He began to move and explain what He was looking for. This wasn't about dedicating your life to Him. It was about looking within and allowing Him to find what was separating you from a deeper walk with Him, getting rid of it, and stepping even closer to Him.
The search began and stopped quickly. It was time for the deep seated fear to go.
This may sound odd. But I was definitely in conflict here. Actually, I have been in conflict about releasing the reigns of fear for quite sometime now. Why? I think I had things backwards. I was afraid to truly trust God in all His ways, known and UNKNOWN. By holding onto fear and anxiety I was able to (in my mind) control some of my life.
The problem was I have been plagued by this for years. I have been carrying this heavy load for so long and I am tired. Really tired.
The Altar Call
Of course, when God gives a word, people respond. And boy did people respond. I watched and prayed and didn't move one muscle forward. I kept fighting. Since this all happened at the very beginning of the service, a message was meant to be preached and the moment lifted. I sat down in my chair beating myself up for not letting go.
However the day was not over and God was not done. The message was preached and as the service was beginning to end, God gripped peoples hearts. All of a sudden many, many people began having things removed.
The Lord shook me, literally, and I went flying up to the altar. I stood with this powerful couple and I began to cry, saying over and over again... "I want to be free from fear. It's plaguing me. I want to be free."
Taking the beautiful authority given by God, I renounced all fear. I took back the ground that was stolen from me. (I have chills right now!) I fought back with all my might.
Now you may laugh at this part, because I even would laugh at myself. But my hands went straight up into the air, like a cheerleader making a V, and I screamed (yea, I screamed) "I trust YOU. I trust YOU. I trust YOU." I even listed off what I trusted Him with, my life, my husband, and even harder, my kids.
And like only God can do, I cried and rejoiced at the same time. I was so excited because I literally felt it lifted off of me. I was finally free. I was finally free. I AM finally FREE!!!
Jump Off the Cliff
I returned to my smiling husband. I practically tackled him. Smiling, laughing, crying, rejoicing because I was finally free. (Now I am tearing up.)
And immediately I felt like I had just bungee jumped. It was thrilling. It was wild. And all those fears of actually jumping, were gone as I enjoyed the ride.
Since then I have been smiling periodically for no reason at all. I have worship music playing almost all day long in the house. I'll find myself tearing up with gratitude, or prostrate on the floor thanking Him, or just smiling because I am not racked with fear or anxiety anymore.
Last night I had a dream. In the dream there were snakes (a typical nightmare from the past) and things that were exploding around me. Each would scare me for a moment. But afterwards I would be totally fine. I was not scarred. I was not fearful. I was just fine.
I woke with a smile on my face, as my dream confirmed the work that He has done in me.
I am finally free.