The first time it happened I was a happy child under the age of ten playing outside with my cousins. We were having a very good time and I was playing in the dirt when all of a sudden my heart started pulsating like a jungle drum. Pretty soon I started gasping for air, sweating profusely and shouting to my grandma that I am dying. My grandma reassured me that everything would be okay but for several days I just knew that something was off in my body. After a while things went back to normal and I was well again.
The second time I got hit by this monstrous beast called panic attack I was fourteen years old, extremely confident, and charismatic. I was a Christian; I was on fire for the Lord. I loved my Jesus and He was all I talk about. I wasn’t living in sin or practicing sin, I was just a teenager who had a lot of nice things going for her with some amount of stress at home. I must confess though that school was my happy place and I indulge myself in a lot of extra curriculum activities.
Now after this solemn and dismal night never returned to backed to normal, at least not in the way I feel in my body. I still functioned very well in my mental capacity and if I should truly speak I can praise the fact that my creativity has increased over the years, all glory to God of course. After a while I stopped having panic attacks but my body still felt like there was a great amount of trauma within. I suffered from daily anxiety for simple things with no apparent reason.
In 2014 one doctor told me that it was very obvious that I have panic anxiety disorder. Then another doctor told me. Even my supervisors at work told me and of course after doing several researches I told myself the same thing. In 2014 I started experiencing really severe panic attacks once more. They got so bad that most time I felt like I was going to just faint, loose control or die. I started purchasing mints a lot and I would seldom leave my house without them, each time I felt like I couldn’t breathe I would just pop one and put it in my mouth. It got so bad that I wouldn’t attend social gatherings anymore and when I do I was praying for it to finish.
Where does my faith come in in all this? I am a woman after God’s heart and I am not saying this to paint a good picture of Ann-Marie I am saying this because I Love my Father and I know My Father loves me. Had I not have the Holy Spirit has my helper I would have probably gone insane or fall into depression. I pray often, I read my bible, I fast and I don’t just do these things for rituals sake I do because I have a relationship with Abba .
In the latter part of 2014 I was at a conference and the Lord told me that the devil wants to sieve me like wheat. God then promised me that I will pass through the waters but I will not drown. He promised me that I will pass through the Fire but I will not get burnt. Time and time again I have prayed to God for him to completely heal me and set me free. One night I had a panic attack in the city and as soon as I went into a taxi I started telling God how good I would be to him and in the kingdom if I didn’t have panic attack. If I remember clearly I even told him that I would feel so invincible if I didn’t have this thorn in my flesh that reminds me of my weakness. I went on and on and told God how good I could be without this affliction in my body but God didn’t say a word to me until I got to a place called Salem. When I reached Salem My Father said to me, “I am not judging you (for having anxiety disorder) My Grace is sufficient in your weakness. For when you are weak then I am strong.” That wasn’t what I wanted to hear and so many times I pray asking God for a quick deliverance. At one point I went from church to church wanting the next healing or delivering evangelist to lay hands on me. Not to mention the fact that I have laid hands on my self several time releasing healing and speaking now healing over me.
One night I told myself that I must have a demon of fear and I need to have him cast out. That night The Lord spoke again and told me that just because I am struggling with fear don’t mean I have a demon of fear living in me. He told me I am wrestling with the demon and that I shouldn’t accept it but rather keep on rejecting it.
Today I am more mature I don’t run from church to church seeking deliverance and I won’t. Christ in me is the Hope of Glory. If I attend a service and I am led to be prayed for I will allow someone to pray for me as I walk by Faith and not by sight.
One thing I can say I am very sure about is that not everyone that suffers from anxiety disorder suffers from it because of some demonic oppression. It can be caused by chemical imbalance, side effects of various medications, stress, and various diseases of the digestive system. Several researches have shown that there is a link between gut health and mental health. Now I will agree that sometimes mental illnesses are a result of demonic oppression or demonic possession but I am bold enough to say not in all cases. This is my conviction and I stand firm on it.
I choose to write this piece tonight because for the second time this year I am reading of a pastor that commits suicide because of depression. The church has kept silent for too long where this is concern. Charles Spurgen was a very anointed man of God and he suffered from depression for most of his adult lives. Not to mention the many people in churches today who are keeping silent because they are afraid of being ridiculed or judged for not having enough faith.
I know how it feels to feel like you have to be quiet because you are afraid of being open with your challenges. Now personally I have never taken medication for anxiety and my doctor actually encouraged me to start a campaign to help those suffering from anxiety and depression etc etc. I believe I will, in fact this may very well be the start of it all. Now let me clear something suffering from anxiety disorder is certainly different from worrying about the future. I am filled with Faith and I honestly take some big step of Faith sometimes so much so that I am blown away in the end and this is one of the reasons I know it has nothing to do with my Faith. If there is ever a person God walks with, I am most certain He walks with me.
Mankind is body, soul and Spirit and if we neglect any one of these we are going to suffer the consequences. That is the reason why we should eat, pray and love. Amen? I very seldom get a panic attack anymore but when I do it can happen anywhere, while sitting down, cooking, cleaning the house or even when I am with a close friend I love. Now as I said I don’t get them often and that is due to prayer, breathing exercise etc etc. It is also due to more sleep, less stressful work on my body, more water and good vitamins and minerals.
Now even though I seldom get these full blown panic attacks I still can sense the anxiety in my body 90.99 % of the time. I know it’s there and it does affect my overall productivity and what I wish to do in life in so many ways. Now as best as I can and with total dependence on God I try to do what I have to do and I push pass the pain. I know that me staying strong will help another person to stay strong and not give in or commit suicide or something of that like. I don’t suffer from depression, I have being tempted to fall into that state several times but I have never given in and I will not. I will not because I have work to do and people to inspire. God has work for me to do. God has called me to preach the gospel and I will continue to preach it with Love and Compassion because that is the only way God will allow me to use His Power.
I believe in divine healing and I know God heals but if you are reading this right now and you are suffering from major depression and you want to take medication for it by all means go ahead and do that. Listen no one would tell a person having an asthmas attack to throw away their inhaler and therefore I won’t tell you to throw away your medication. You taking medication don’t mean that you lack faith. Me not taking any form of medication doesn’t necessarily mean that I have more faith than you it’s just that this is my personal choice. Know that Jesus loves you, He is not judging you. He wants to help you. Take very good care of yourself and allow yourself to shine for the world to see so that they can draw close to The I am that I am.
(DAUGHTER OF DESTINY)
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