by: Susan Miller
Most of my life I was extremely self-conscious, painfully shy, and fearful. As a young child I said, “I can’t do that.” so much that my parents would read me the story of The Little Engine That Could and have me repeat over and over, “I think I can, I think I can…”
My Dad thought I was just shy and I’d outgrow it. But I was afraid—afraid of people, of trying new things, of conflict, of rejection, of failure, of success, of public speaking, even afraid of intimacy yet greatly desiring it. In short, I was paralyzed by fear.
It was my heart’s desire to be break free of this fear. Each new school year I would vow that I was going to change, but no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t. In the end, I decided to accept that God made me this way, and I would do the best I could with what I got.
I put up walls to keep people out and wore a mask that said “I’m okay,” but inside screamed “Help!” In spite of my fear, God blessed me with a good family, a husband, four sons, grandkids, and a few dear friends.
Fast forward to age 49. A friend started a Bible study and I began to read to the Bible. I discovered that God still heals the sick and still speaks to people today. I wanted to know God more; He led me to Living Word Family Church. Ten months later (at the end of an evening service) my pastor was impressed to pray for a spirit of timidity. After others went up front, I yielded to the Holy Spirit and also went up. Imagine my surprise when Pastor Ashe said over me, “I command you foul spirit of fear to come out of her in the name of Jesus,” and then feeling this “thing” with weight lift off my spirit inside me. I felt a huge sigh of relief. The demon of fear left my body.
However, a year later it woke me from a deep sleep trying to get back in. But Holy Spirit gave me an “it is written” scripture and it got off me and left. I believe this demon of fear came in at birth when my identical twin suffered from a birth injury that caused her death.
Several years passed and again I cried out to God to change me because even though the demon of fear was cast out, the changes in my life seemed small. Then God granted me a vision of a childhood incident. “Nobody cares what you think or how you feel, so you need to just be quiet,” a voice whispered in my ear. For years, I bought that lie and lived it, believing that no one really cared. Then God led me to a deliverance ministry where a leader prayed against an oppressive mute spirit. I recalled my Mom saying she wondered as a baby when I was ever going to start talking.
I discovered a God who wants to set the captives free.
I still struggle with telling my story and sharing my faith, so I recently began journaling as a safe place to express myself and face my fears. I write because of a desire to understand my past and move beyond it. It helps me to work through the pain. Sometimes I cry, wondering how God can make anything out of my life. But then I remember His Word that says He works all things together for our good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose; and I remind myself that He who began a good work will surely complete it. Writing makes me feel I am moving closer to wholeness so that I may glorify God and fulfill His purpose for my life.
We have a real enemy, but God delights in turning around for good what the enemy brings to harm us. If the enemy came to paralyze me and keep me quiet, God must have an awesome plan for my life. I hope to find my voice and the courage to use it, and to help others find the liberty to live life to the fullest. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He heals the broken-hearted and sets the prisoners free. I believe by sharing our pain, together we will say, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we’re free at last.”
Susan Miller is a wife, mother and grandmother. She operates Shining Light Stained Glass, where she teaches classes and features stained glass SonCatchers ™, window hangings that come with scriptures to encourage and inspire. She envisions having a wholesale stained glass outlet and manufacturing facility which will provide jobs and mentoring for people who want to break the cycle of poverty. Some of Susan’s creations can be seen here.
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