by: Carole L. Haines
I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder in my late 20’s/ early 30’s. I was paralyzed with fear sometimes, even as a Christian. But God began a journey with me that has led me from Fear to Freedom in Him. He saved my life by saving my mind. Here’s a small glimpse of that journey.
As I cried out to God, from the place of mothering three small children, about how afraid I felt of people and caring for our three young ones, I came across these verses:
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)
I sensed God say to me through this Scripture, “My perfect love is the only thing that can free you from fear. My love for You is so perfect that it casts fear out. You can’t get rid of fear, Carole, but I can cast it out as you fill Yourself up with the knowledge of my love.” So, I devoured all the Scriptures I could find on His love and began to grow stronger and less fearful.
Next, I began to see just how racing my thoughts were. I came across the Scriptures that said:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (1 Or. 10:3-5)
“Lord”, I said, “how can I possibly take thoughts captive when they are racing through my mind like an out of control train.” I asked the Lord to please slow down my thought processes and help me to learn to capture them and bring them under the obedience of what His Word says. A friend told me once that just because I thought something, didn’t make that thing true. So, I began to examine my thoughts and line them up with God’s Word said instead. I learned to replace my false thoughts with His truth.
I learned how to Study the Bible Inductively and devoured Bible studies on every subject that I struggled with. When I didn’t know something, I would go to the concordance and look it up in the Scriptures and just eat up what God said to me. It became my passion. The more I was in His Word, the more I changed. I began to Believe Him above what I thought or what others said about me. It’s been a journey I have been on for close to 30 years. About ten years ago, I sensed from the Lord that I should write down all that He was teaching me. So, I did, and then one thing led to another and I found myself starting a blog, to encourage other believers. That’s when hisshadowings.com was born. I have been writing what He gives me ever since and just publishing it there. Who knows who I reach, but to encourage one believer a day is still 365 a year, so it’s been a wonderful outlet for me. Hope that story blesses you.