When Cathy was a very young girl, just two or three years old, she began having weird pains. Soon these pains caused her to become very fearful, and she started having panic attacks. Often, the fear was so great she thought she was going to have a heart attack in the middle of the night. Cathy’s mother had experienced similar fear, and this fear passed to Cathy at a young age. Her earliest memories were plagued with fear of fatal diseases.
These attacks of panic and fear continued progressing right through her college years. By simply looking at Cathy, no one would know the battle that was going on inside. She was a cheerleader in high school, a DJ at the radio station, popular on the college campus and married to one of the most sought after men on campus. But the fear was so great that by the time she married it was wrecking her life. She constantly had what she now calls vain imaginations (mental pictures of horrible diseases) which stole significant events of her life. At that time, however, fear kept her from seeing the value of what she was losing. In the first years of her marriage her fear of a brain tumor finally caused her to go for an MRI. After a friend died of a blood clot, her first pregnancy became marred with fear over clots. She suffered from the fear of having the same thing that those close to her had. Faithfully, Cathy’s husband prayed over her and stood on Psalm 91 through each attack declaring that nothing could harm her.
Then one day while listening to an audio teaching given to her by a friend, she heard God talking to her. He said, “I’m going to teach you faith.” At the end of the audio when the minister prayed, Cathy felt like much of what she had struggled with as a child lifted off of her.
Cathy submitted her fear to God and proclaimed: “I’m not afraid of sickness.” She learned to push back the panic and fear when the enemy attacked her, and was able to start placing her trust in God. She describes her steps to freedom like peeling layers off of an onion—it has been a progressive work. She starts by pinpointing the fear. Then speaking her trust by verbalizing a promise from the Word. Cathy muses, “With every battle I can tell I’m getting stronger in God’s Word because fear no longer paralyzes me. I can feel it lift off when I take authority over the fear."