Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Couple Testimonies of God's Help

Two dear friends responded to my last post about God's healing me of panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have printed their emails below. Each has a really good testimony of how the Lord responded to their cry for help.   - Billy Long

A Testimonial from Beth Tuggy
Hi Billy,
I really enjoyed reading this. I remember you sharing bits and pieces of this story when you would preach in NC. Hearing it all in chronological order spoke to my heart, mostly because I had a very similar experience when I was a child. So I could relate to the suffering and to the wonderful feeling of deliverance.

As child I was plagued with fear of dying, and I was obsessed with the topic of death. I was constantly afraid. Even words like bones, skeleton, disease or anything related to the topic of death would put me into inner turmoil. This all started when I was around 5 years old and continued until I was 17. I don't know why or where the fear originated. Often, and sometimes even daily, I would have those moments where I felt like I was not real and that I was just watching a movie. In those moments my brain would buzz and I would hear voices in my head chanting and tormenting me but in a language that I couldn't comprehend. I would lay awake for hours on end trying to think of all the sins I had committed that day, and I would ask for forgiveness over and over and still not feel safe. By the time I was 17 I felt so heavy with the burden that I was tired all the time and just escaped by sleeping my days away. My mom took me to the doctor that year and he diagnosed me with severe depression. She refused to believe the doctor, probably thinking that the diagnosis was a reflection on her mothering, and so she denied the issue.

I was truly alone in the struggle. I had probably prayed the sinner’s prayer a thousand times but it was always out of fear of death and not out of a real desire to follow Him and so it just didn't have any power. I started to believe that God wasn't real or that he really didn't care about little old me. However, after wrestling with my fears of Jesus and various doubts about God, I finally gave my life completely to Him and finally decided to trust Him with all areas of my life. I went forward in an evangelism event and the pastor prayed for me and I invited Jesus into my heart. The Spirit came over me and took that fear away completely. It wasn't something that I even asked Him to do but rather a natural result of a dead soul brought to life by the breath of the Holy Spirit. He breathed life into me I have never struggled with fear of death since then, although I still occasionally have "unreal" feelings and struggle with fear in general. I still have a ways to go in other areas of my life!

That day I felt as if a literal burden had been lifted and if I were to jump real hard I would just shoot up like a rocket. I felt kind of silly about the idea but I actually tried that in the privacy of my room, and much to my disappointment I didn't lift off! It really felt like I could have taken off in flight. For about a month I had a feeling of weightlessness. The voices have never returned and neither has the fear of death. I really believe that Satan's demons were tormenting me with this fear. When the Holy Spirit came on board they hit the road!

It is so wonderful to not be afraid of death anymore since that is a real part of life that we all have to face one day. I actually look forward to that day and see it more like a graduation into something far better. I can't wait! I felt compelled to share this story with you and you may share it with others if you feel like it would be an encouragement or bring glory to God. Say "hi" to Laurel for me.

Blessings on you,
Beth

A Testimonial from Tim West
Billy,
I can identify with this so well. I had the exact same thing happen with me when I was in the 7th grade. I was sitting in my English class and all of a sudden, I felt so strange and became very nervous and ended up passing out. After that, it would happen every time I was in a class and I thought the teacher might call on me. Up until that moment I had been such a ham. I would have been upset if she had not called on me.

From then until my junior year in high school, I became a total wreck. I could be in Sunday school with 3 guys, one of whom was my brother, and if the teacher called on me to read a bible verse, I would pass out. I would cut classes, have coughing seizures or whatever I could do to get out of the class. My junior year in high school, I was nominated for vice president of the student council and would have to make a speech in front of the entire 3000 students. I wanted to get out of it but the principal and advisors said I needed to do it for college transcripts etc. Being weak, I let them bulldoze me into it.

I prayed and prayed and prayed, asking God to take over my life and help me through this situation. I thought I was going to pass out during the assembly, and it was not until they called my name as the next candidate that God did something supernatural. When I walked to the microphone, I felt His presence as strong as I have ever felt it in my life. I was totally calm, and the peace of God which passes all understanding was exactly what I felt. I still don't like speaking publicly, but am no longer paralyzed by the fear. Thanks for this reminder of another thing that God has done in my life besides the obvious things.

Tim

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Billy - is there anything greater than this - than knowing that 'you're not alone' and that your experiences and trials are used to strengthen and encourage others, and in turn, the whole body! Amen!
Robbie Phillips

Anonymous said...

Billy,
It is so refreshing to know that in the Body of Christ we are never alone, not only with the presence of the Lord (which would be enough) but also with the experiences of other brothers and sisters. Thanks for hearing from the Lord and sharing your heart with us.
Serving together with
Alvin