I’m 36 years old and living a life that is a true testimony to the healing powers of God.
I experienced my first anxiety attack when I was in early elementary school, but it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Until then I was labeled as extremely shy and introverted.
Lana Berry, her husband Mark and their children Kristen and Joshua are a vibrant part of the church family at North Pointe. Her story of God’s work in her life is shared to offer hope to fellow sufferers.
Losing Friends, Jobs And Hope
I was bullied throughout elementary and junior high school.
Growing up, my anxiety worsened. I lost job after job due to panic attacks. My world grew smaller and smaller as my fears welled up and took over. I was unable to leave my house for weeks at a time.
Had it not been for the love of my family, especially the strength of my mom, and the support of a few good friends, that would likely have been the end of my story.
But God had other plans.
God’s Good Plans
My feelings about God were guilt because I was wasting my life and anger that He made me suffer so much.
One night, laying in bed, I begged God to either take me out of this world or help me because I was done.
In that moment a peace came over me. It was different from the numbness I had experienced in the past. God was right there with me. The creator of the universe had crawled in beside me, wrapped His arms around me and let me know that by giving it all to Him I was going to be OK.
My life changed dramatically in the next few years. I was baptized as a believer in Jesus. And I started a new way of thinking.
Thinking, Thanking And Counseling
Instead of focusing on my fears and worries, I started focusing on God!
Every time anxious or sad thoughts came in, I worked diligently to replace them with God’s Word. This practice is the number one thing that has changed me.
Rather than allow my thoughts to run rampant through my head, I opened my mind to the peace that Jesus offers. A peace that I don’t have to earn, but which He freely gives to me.
I made a conscious decision every morning before I even opened my eyes to thank God for every blessing He gave me.
I started seeing a Christian counselor. Her deep and profound love for Jesus and knowledge of God inspires me.
Marriage And Church
During these happy years, God blessed me with an incredible new man in my life, a man who I’m proud to now call my husband.
When I first met Mark I was excited to learn he was a believer. I had no idea how much God would use Mark to open up my life and encourage me to step out of my comfort zone.
Mark helped me to try out a new church – North Pointe – which has become our home away from home. It was there that Mark proposed and just six, short months later where we were married.
I heard once that our spouse is supposed to be a reflection of Jesus’ love and my amazing husband is definitely that.
Trusting God’s Faithfulness
In the last few years I’ve done more things medication-free than I ever believed possible. It started off slowly, one small breakthrough at a time, each one with me asking God for strength and guidance and TRUSTING He would help me. And He always does!
There are times when I do something new and I’m literally putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God to lead me the rest of the way. Suddenly, things that I could barely deal with I was fully enjoying.
My life gets better and better! We welcomed our first baby—a little girl we named Kristen – and then a son, Joshua. They are the greatest blessing Mark and I could have ever hoped for.
I lean on my faith and have been amazed by the peace that I feel in this new, exciting and sometimes overwhelming role of being a mom.
If you are struggling with anxiety or depression please know there is help beyond the medication and the conventional. There is hope in Jesus. God wants to bless you. He has given you all what you need in His Word.
Open your heart to Him, ask Him for help and receive His blessings!
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for Lana. Thank you.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
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