Regaining Hope

While ministering in Europe, I received the following testimony from a lady mature in years:

I was born and raised in a very legalistic and abusive “Christian” home. Church attendance was mandatory, but the physical and emotional abuse I suffered at the hands of my parents distorted my concept of God. In our church was a large sign that read, “God is love.” But I had no idea what love was. If what I experienced at home was supposed to be the love of God, then I wanted no part of it. I moved away from my parents to attend college and away from God. I finished my Ph.D. in psychology and worked as a professional counselor for 20 years. During that time I suffered continuously from depression. Finally I realized that I couldn’t help myself much less others, so I went into educational psychology and finally into vocational psychology.

In desperation, I started to attend an International Church. A Sunday School class was going through a video series by Neil Anderson. I learned who I was supposed to be in Christ and finally someone explained to me the battle that was going on in my mind. I found out that there were trained encouragers at the church who were taking people through The Steps to Freedom in Christ. I made an appointment with great apprehension and much fear. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I had nothing to lose, and possibly much to gain.

It was an amazing encounter with God. I could feel the layers of self-righteousness, pride, rebellion, and sin come off. Every step was meaningful to me, but the biggest release came when I forgave my parents for their abuse and for distorting my concept of God. As soon as I was done, I knew I was free from years of living in bondage to the lies I believed about God and myself. I was connected to God in a living and liberating way. His Spirit was now bearing witness with my spirit that I was a child of God. I was set free, and I haven’t struggled with depression since that day.

Dr. Neil

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