I shared some of my story of emotional healing from anxiety, sadness and fear a few months back, but I wanted to take a little time to share again in some more detail and just take time to thank God for His love and healing power. I hope this testimony is an encouragement to any and all...
Several years ago, our little daughter was born with a complex heart defect, and my life went into a tailspin. Our little one is doing great now, praise God! Yet the trauma of having my 6-day old baby undergo major heart surgery, and then another surgery later, then another, just took its toll and I became a very fearful and anxious person. I couldn't get out of that bleak place in my life. I couldn't overcome or be a strong and victorious Christian, no matter what I tried. I felt like I was supposed to be victorious, and I wasn't, so I suffered great condemnation and sadness at being stuck like that. The truths I had learned about grace were all that helped me survive that time, and yet the pain of not being able to overcome all my problems made me have this gnawing condemnation inside.
Then through a dear friend named Martha, I was introduced more to the Holy Spirit. I guess growing up I had not been taught much about Him or His work in us. I longed to just be soaked in the One who IS Grace, the Person - the Spirit of Grace! So I prayed and asked God for this gift of being immersed or baptized in His Spirit. I remember telling God very honestly that I didn't have much faith, and how He basically gave me the faith I needed. He showed me that I was basically asking for Him, and that was definitely a prayer He would answer with a "yes." A couple of days after I prayed, I was standing in my bedroom, and I just felt God's presence and realized that all the pain, sadness, worry and fear was just GONE. It had been lifted off! It was like it was just me and God, and everything else just faded away. I realized He had never rejected me all through that time that I was condemning myself for being a failed, unvictorious Christian.
I had become a fearful and sad person and had condemned myself. I had felt very un-victorious as a Christian because I couldn't get out of that fear and worry. And the way God dealt with that wasn't to expose my faulty thinking; in fact He skipped over all my issues and went straight to my heart and filled it full of His Spirit, His Presence. I felt like it was just me and Jesus standing there, and like noone and nothing else existed. I felt His acceptance. I felt closeness with Him, He was so PRESENT. And all my issues and problems were suddenly just a tiny speck, like He could just flick them away with His fingertip. They weren't a big deal to Him at all! And lastly, I remember that He was light-hearted! It was a wonderful experience, kind of like being saved all over again. And I believe that is the birthright of every Christian, to know the love and closeness of God by His Spirit!
That whole time He had been accepting me. And now He had poured out His Spirit in me and delivered me of all that heaviness. I didn't even ask for Him to do that, I just wanted to have His Spirit in fullness saturating my being. But with the Spirit came this healing and freedom, as if He just came in and cleared out all the junk that was there inside me weighing me down. He made me see that all my troubles were just like nothing to Him, that He could handle them all. My mind - which had always been racing with thoughts - was now calm. I felt peaceful, like praising God, joyful like a child again. I felt like myself again. I was freed! "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!"
And over the next few weeks He started making me aware of how much He loved me, and I started falling in love with Him. I felt His presence inside me, closer than my own thoughts, and felt His joy and strength within. I felt Him delighting in me, constantly reminding me that everything is FINE between me and Him. So many times when the dark feelings would threaten to return, He would rise up from within me to fight them off.
I love the fact that I don't feel vulnerable anymore. I used to always be afraid of what terrible thing might happen next. I always felt like I could be crushed at any moment. But now I know I am never alone, and He is right there to handle anything life might throw at me, not just there to say He loves me, but also there to do something and get me through the situation with His power and victory. That gives me hope, not just for my daughter's life, but for my own. It makes me happy again after so many years of being sad. I really never thought I would be happy again, and now I am! It is truly a miracle, and all because of both grace and the Holy Spirit. They really are one thing, for the Holy Spirit ministers grace and love to our hearts. Grace is a Person, and His name is Holy Spirit.
He is a good God and a God who brings hope and healing through His presence, which is 100% pure and powerful LOVE!