hope & encouragement

Delivered From Fear, Anxiety, and Shame

I want to share with you my experience of how I was delivered from fear, anxiety and shame.

To give you a little background first, I had dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Getting around groups of people always made it worse, and I would feel so uncomfortable that I couldn’t wait to get home to be by myself. My heart would pound, and I couldn’t concentrate on anything much of the time. If anyone I didn’t know very well would ask me a question about a subject I wasn’t confident talking about (which was mostly everything), my mind would go blank and my words would come out jumbled.

Surprisingly, I  remember people often commenting that I had a “quiet confidence” about me, and that always made me laugh to myself. They had no idea of the panic erupting inside of me…

Several years back, our previous church had something called, “Prayer in the Park” where we would go to a local park one night a week in the summer to pray over our city, church and whatever else was on our hearts. My husband and I would always go, and I would just pray silently.

One night the only people who went were my two pastors, my husband and myself.  I suddenly felt panicked. Then, after they pulled out a list of things to pray for, I really felt panicked! When they announced that we would go around in a circle and take turns praying for everything, I just wanted to run away. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

When it was my turn, I would just pass it along to my husband each time, because I couldn’t make myself do it. Now if there’s ever a time that you’re going to pray when asked to, it’s when your pastors are right there waiting for you to do it!  My mind kept going blank, and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. I know it must have really looked like I just didn’t feel like praying, but on the inside I was paralyzed with fear.

I didn’t even know how to make up a prayer. Not that anyone wanted me to make one up, but I couldn’t even fake a real prayer by reciting something I knew would be the “right thing” to say, just so I wouldn’t cause attention to myself by not praying.

Nothing would come out. I felt paralyzed with fear. So many times, situations like this would happen, and I’m sure it looked like I just didn’t care. No one but my husband (who is as outgoing as it gets) knew the trepidation I was experiencing.

This is just one example of something that has happened to me many, many times. It goes so far back, that I can remember examples of it happening to me in elementary school. Especially when put on the spot, my mind would just go blank. This stopped me from participating in activities that I would have otherwise been a part of, and it also affected some of my relationships.

Those of you who know my husband know that he is very outgoing. He always wanted to pray with me, but he could never understand why I wouldn’t pray out loud with him. I didn’t grow up praying out loud in front of people, so learning how to do this was especially excruciating for me. He thought I was just resisting him, when I was really unable to. He thought I just didn’t care enough, when I wanted to more than anything…I just didn’t know how to force it out of my mouth. The anxiety it caused me was enough to risk us getting into an argument about it (again!) rather than just force myself to pray with him.  I just felt completely gripped with fear.

It’s amazing to think about now, because I started attending our previous church’s altar worker team trainings in 2010 in hopes to become an altar worker. I had the sense that I needed to become an altar worker in order to do what God wanted me to do in the future.  Becoming an altar worker was the first step, and I knew this deep down in my heart. The only problem at the time was…I was petrified!

I didn’t know how I was going to pray for people, even though I had spent years sowing God’s Word into my heart. It was all in there, but I just didn’t know how to relax enough so my mind wouldn’t freeze up when I tried to pray.

My husband led this ministry, so I decided I would go to all of the trainings and just hope that I could force myself to get over the fear.  I’m so glad I did this, because little did I realize that I would be delivered from much of this fear and extreme anxiety a few months after I started going to the trainings.

So, with that little bit of background…

My husband and I went to a healing and freedom conference at Gateway Church in Texas in January 2011.  We were incredibly excited to go, and I had my list of things that I was hoping to be delivered from.  Fear, anxiety and shame were not on that list, but I would have to say that the work God did in my heart that weekend focused mainly around these three things.

It’s amazing how God works. I had fasted for 3 weeks beforehand (during a church-wide fast) right before I went, and I had specifically asked God to deliver me of a few things. God had His own agenda, though, which was better than my own. 🙂

To be honest, I didn’t realize that I still had shame that I needed to be set free from. Fear and anxiety were two things that I had always felt for as long as I could remember, so I didn’t even think to be delivered from them. I knew they weren’t part of who God created me to be, but I just figured that I was just going to have to one day learn to be strong enough to break through it.  I just thought it was something I was going to have to always deal with and just learn how to conquer somehow.

During KAIROS, they had a short teaching and time of ministering for several topics, including shame. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God cleaned so much shame out of me that day. I didn’t realize how much of it was in me until it was gone.  I realized at that point that I had felt unworthy to minister to others due to the sin (pornography) I willfully participated in a few years back.

It’s one thing to participate in something like that before you are saved, but it takes on a whole new level of shame when you get caught up in a trap like this after you have given your life to Christ – and it makes it a whole lot tougher to get out if you think you can’t tell anyone.

I also felt such fear of my prayers not being good enough and sounding dumb. When I pray, it’s not in long drawn-out paragraphs. It’s in shorter spurts. Everyone else I ever heard pray, prayed like they were reciting a book. Writing had always come easier for me when it came to expressing myself (it still does), and praying in front of others just felt way too personal. I felt exposed.

One way they ministered to me that day in KAIROS was especially powerful. They had a clear jar of water up front, and everyone was invited to come up and take some of the water, using it as a symbol of the cleansing (purity) God offers us.

I went up there not really feeling anything in particular, but as soon as it was my turn I just knew in my heart what I wanted to do.  I put some water on my eyes, ears and hands. The Holy Spirit was speaking so clearly to me that He had cleansed me from all of my shame from my past.  He cleansed me from all of the things I had touched, looked at and heard that I never should have.

It was like I could feel Him showing me that I was clean. God cleared out so much residual shame out of me that day, and I suddenly felt worthy of God’s love and worthy for Him to use me to minister to others.

The incredible thing is, I don’t even know when I was delivered of fear that weekend, but I was!  I think some of it went with the shame I had been feeling.  A couple months after the conference, I was an altar worker at our church for the first time. I was really nervous, but I did it!  I never would have been able to do that before. I am so glad that I stepped out in faith before I was delivered, because God backed me up and blessed me for it.

I still feel fear sometimes when praying for people, but it’s not usually the crippling kind I used to feel.  I’m able to push through it, regardless of how nervous I may feel.  My mind doesn’t freeze up like it used to, and that is a true testimony to God’s delivering power! Now, all of the scriptures and things I planted in my heart can come out. Before, they were locked inside without any way for me to even access them – unless I was by myself (with no fear).

I am trusting that as I continue to obey God in this area that the fear I still sometimes feel will begin to get smaller and smaller until it doesn’t phase me anymore. Sure, I know I will get nervous sometimes, but that is so different from the paralyzing fear I had before.  Remember I said that I felt like I needed to become an altar worker in my church first, in order to follow what God would have for me someday later?

Little did I realize was that my husband and I would be starting a Freedom Ministry in our previous church (in response to going to KAIROS) just months after we went to Texas. I started praying for the women in my church all the time, which is something I never would be capable of doing if I wasn’t delivered of all that fear! God’s timing often isn’t our own, but His timing is always perfect.

Do you ever feel paralyzed by fear?

If you deal with paralyzing fear, surrender the situation to the Lord, and be willing to say yes to whatever He says to your heart. This is not something that God wants you to just “deal with” the rest of your life. Overwhelming fear is not from God. It is His will for you to be set free! Deliverance and healing is not always something instantaneous, and it’s certainly all in God’s timing. We serve an awesome God!

Sometimes God delivers us quickly; other times (most often) it’s gradual. Layer by layer, He restores us to be the people He created us to be.  In this instance, God delivered me very quickly of so much fear, anxiety and shame. The remainder of the residue left over is something that I’m walking out slowly. I’m am learning to trust God in this process, and I praise Him for His faithfulness!

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29 thoughts on “Delivered From Fear, Anxiety, and Shame

  1. I am in tears as I read your post.
    I can testify of the deliverance that only our precious Lord Jesus can give.
    I can totally relate when asked to pray out loud in church. I would hear my others sisters in Christ pray and it sounded so melodic and almost poetic to me. I would pray and after the prayer I would just want to cry because I would compare myself to them and always felt I could never measure up.

    I rejoice with you Amy, in all that the Lord is doing in you and through you.

    The enemy uses fear to cripple the child of God in such subtle ways. I pray that the perfect love of Jesus Christ casts away ALL fear!!!

  2. Hi, wonderful testimony. I am currently dealing with the same issues. It feels like I pray and pray, year after year, and cannot completely be free from anxiety, depression and fear. Your story is inspiring and gives me hope that some day, in God’s timing, I too will be free. 🙂 Thanks!

  3. It is great to hear this because I was really into going to church praying at home hearing word all day at home.just so hungry and then since they were telling me to pray out loud in our groups I felt I was not made for this.and instead of persisting I gave up and back slided.worst mistake of my life I regret now and feel as if I’m starting all over again.and also feel like if God feels I let him down which I did.now I have to start again and tried to get delivered anyways bc I know that without him we are worst off in a worst place than just being petrified.i am now try to find my way back and still fear praying out loud anyway.Im gonna keep trying to get up for my love for God and I know once I face this terriable fear would be free once and for all.thank you and may God Bless you and your husband.And may you both move forward in your walk with Christ.

  4. Thank You for posting this……I am a minister in training and I have the worst anxiety about praying out loud. This has really helped me.

  5. Love this post I’m currently getting over all my the things I encountered in life. I made a blog and telling my story this was just another reassurance that everything is gonna be OK . Thanks for sharing this and your story check out my arm. Lovelyme89.Bravewoman.weebly.com

  6. Thank you for posting this. I am fighting fear, anxiety, and shame so strong in my life right now. I could definitely use some prayer!!! I know God will deliver me!!

  7. Thank you for your post-I have suffered with anxiety and shame everyday for as long as I can remember–feeling unworthy of Gods love-defective,insecure-struggling with workaholism and past porn addiction–(delivered but still tempted). Your story gives me more hope. God bless you and your family!
    Please pray for me too

  8. Hello there Amy, I’m so happy you got delivered. I myself can Identify with your story as I have suffered from fear, anxiety (social anxiety disorder), rejection and shame for the longest I could remember. Not being able to speak or pray out loud in the company of others as I wanted, with what seemed like a black cloud hovering over my mind. All this has caused me to stop going to church. I also can relate to the addiction to porn, as I’ve been struggling with this for a good couple of months now (close to a year actually).

    Please pray for my deliverance sister. May God continue to richly bless you, your family and your ministry in Jesus name Amen.

    Jermaine.

  9. Thanks for posting your story. What a wonderful victory and testimony of God. Anyone who struggles with fear and anxiety can appreciate what freedom from it means. Your story gives me hope that it will be a thing of the past for me too.

  10. Hi! My name’s Krystal and I’m eighteen years old. I’ve been struggling with fear (strong fear) for a couple of years now. I had went through a spiritual battle a couple of years ago and it left me crippled, afraid. I ran to God and asked Him for help. Honestly, there are times when I felt like He wasn’t there. Other times I feel confinednt in Him. My struggled is hurting me. I know that I have a calling in my life, and I don’t want to be afraid to answer. There’s so much that I want to give to the world. I want to please my Father in heaven so much that it’s killing me on the inside to be this way. Right at this moment I’m suffering. PLease, pray that I find strength the resist the devil and stand firm with the word of God. I want to be armed with the armour of God. Please pray for a break through for me. I only have four months in school before I go out into the world. I want to go out with confidence and boldness!

      1. Dear Amy,
        I am so glad I came across you today. I have stepped out in faith and moved to another country after a short term missionary trip a few years back here.
        I have struggled with anxiety, fear and depression for a very long time. I dont come from a believing background. You could say my family is quite disfunctional. I have struggled with fear, anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. Medication did not help! I have dabbled in pornogrophy and had an affair with a guy I had a relationship with before he married. He wanted us to be together but he wasnt a believer so I said no. However, we slept together once after he married. I still think about him but have resisted twice, he even came here to see me. I resisted, thankfully but still think about him. I am desperate to be free of this and other things that go way back concerning my family, I feel condemned. I know where I have gone wrong but cannot seem to fix it.

      2. hi i have been toremented by fear since i was 5 years old iam 42. i was in the mentail health system since i was 22 years old i found out 3 years ago i had 5 generations of freemasions speaking demons over and into my life.talk about layers

  11. Hi Amy,
    My name is Bethany, I am 21.
    I can relate with you about the fear and shame. I am in the process of God healing me, cleansing me, and freeing me from 10+ years of sexual bondage/addiction. For me though, I know I am saved by Jesus, and I know that I can now walk in freedom, and “praise God” I am; but then there are other times when the thought of falling back into my past sin and the shame I would feel and horrific grip it could have on me again, it literally scares me to tears. For so long I kept silent, then shared with and sought help from a few trusted people, which was the BEST thing (actually God was telling me to do it for ages before I actually did) and knowing that there are others praying and willing to be there for me is a huge help. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for your post. And thank you for sharing your testimony. I find it encouraging to know that there are women with proof that God has stayed with them the entire time, pulled them out of depravity, and helped them to walk in freedom whether a day, months, or years. I want to be able to get to the end of my life and give God glory for the change he has done in me. If you want to pray for me, I would really appreciate it.
    God bless you richly, Amy.
    Bethany

    1. I will definitely pray for you, Bethany. I am also so glad to hear you have others in your life who you can be transparent with and who are praying for you. That is invaluable.

      The longer I have had this blog, the more women I come across who have been set free and continue to walk in freedom with the Lord. The enemy would love to keep you (or me) in fear of becoming trapped again. Keep your eyes on Christ and continue to be transparent with Him and other trusted people around you, and you will be able to continue to walk this out with the grace He provides.

      Keep persevering! There are many others walking along this path with you. I will be praying for you as well.

  12. Hello, Amy,

    Thank you so much for this post. 🙂 I too am still struggling with some anxiety and fear in my mind (strongholds which haven’t been pulled down yet). I’m not afraid of being with people or speaking in front of people or anything like that but I do have some fear in my mind, anxiety and paranoia over some things (overthinking), which I don’t want because the Lord wants us believers to have the peace of God in our lives – He is our Jehovah Shalom (our perfect peace).

    I already have peace of God in my mind in many aspects of my life, but some strongholds remain and it’s a struggle for me as it gives me a headache. I pray to the Lord for healing in my mind, seek Him everyday and delight on His Word and I don’t want to think or entertain anymore those anxious/paranoid thoughts but since it’s like a bullet stuck in my mind, it’s still there even if I repent and ask forgiveness for those thoughts entering my mind.

    My pastor said she’ll teach me to pull down these strongholds. She will mentor me by letting me stay in-house but schedule hasn’t permitted it yet for now because many people are scheduled for deliverance so I’m still struggling with some anxiety.

    I need help and advice, please. God bless you, Amy! Your blog entries have been encouraging to me as well as many people as well. 🙂

  13. My heart goes out to you, Amy and to the many others here who are struggling with anxiety, fear and shame as I too am still struggling with some form of these three. It’s mostly due to strongholds, old, wrong thinking patterns which haven’t been pulled down yet.

    Fear and shame is such a powerful and crippling thing. Like Amy and the others, it is delibitating to our lives and our walk with the Lord. But what is impossible with man is possible with God. The Lord is aware of our struggles and there is an appointed time for us to overcome them. I have been set free from demonic oppression a few months ago and I know that the Lord will work on my remaining mind strongholds next. God bless you, all!

  14. Please pray for me a single mother of a 11 yr old daughter. We both suffer fear and nervousness problems. This is believe uo be generational curse and sexually active me the mom used to be, but is being tormented by the enemy like sexually torment. I don’t have the strength to fight or rebuke or resist them. I asking God to deliver me and to forgive me for my sins.

  15. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I been overly shy from since elementary school and I believe God has been revealing to me that it’s due to fear, pride, and anxiety. I hope I will be set free. I would appreciate if you can pray for me. Thanks in advance.

    1. It sounds like God has really been speaking to your heart, giving you the revelation you need. He loves you so very much! I will most definitely pray for you, Melinda. ~ Amy

  16. I am being opressed at night time. Fear and shame I feel most days. I feel fear mostly at night time. What do I do

    1. I am sorry for what you are going through. Oppression at night can be so difficult. Are you having nightmares? Just to start with, I would recommend pleading the blood of Jesus over your room and over your dreams each night before you go to bed.

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