Surrendering Your Strongholds
By Wendy Blight

Have you ever felt your life spinning out of control, and you didn’t know if you would survive another day? Have you felt like all you had in this world was ripped away? Have you experienced a physical or emotional pain so deep that nothing could numb the hurt?

On June 7, 1986, one week after my college graduation, an unknown armed assailant broke into my apartment, held me captive, stripped me bare, stole my perfect life, and walked away never to be seen again. My heart grew cold. I put a wall around myself, not letting anyone or anything penetrate it. I lived for years cocooned in a prison of fear, despair, and hopelessness.

I searched desperately for answers but found none. Though surrounded by people, I felt alone. I vividly remember one desperate night sitting on my bathroom floor, cradling a Bible in my arms, and crying out to God: If this Book is true, if You love me, if You want the best for me, and if You have a plan and purpose for my life, then You have got to show me. Because right now, I can’t trust You, and I don’t believe in You.

From that helpless place, something new began. God taught me that His incredible storybook, the Bible, is not merely a compilation of interesting stories. It is alive, written by His chosen ones to speak to us today. Little by little, God spoke powerful truths into my life. He also blessed me with times of great joy like marrying my college sweetheart, Monty, giving birth to my wonderful children, Lauren and Bo, and graduating from SMU School of Law. Though many of the truths I learned answered my questions and healed my hurts, I still lived with the practical realities of being afraid.

My battle with fear reached unmatched intensity when we moved from Dallas, Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina. It thrust me into unfamiliar surroundings and plunged me into a place of extreme vulnerability. Once again, God had His hand upon me. I joined my first Bible study, where we studied the topic of strongholds. Although I was unfamiliar with that word, our teacher defined a “stronghold” as any deeply rooted sin in your life that prevents you from growing in your relationship with God. She listed specific strongholds like bitterness, anger, pride, addiction and fear. Fear? When she said the word, a shiver ran down my spine. I was afraid. In fact, fear controlled my life. Could this be my stronghold?

As our lesson continued, I knew God had brought me to this study to bring me face to face with my fear. We learned about spiritual warfare. She taught about the invisible spiritual battle between the forces of good and evil that we all face. I am in this battle. She also taught us that we had powerful weapons with which to fight this battle and one was the “Sword of the Spirit” - God’s Word.

After Bible study that day, I put my son down for a nap. I was so tired of being afraid. I had lived with my fear for over a decade, and now I knew that it was keeping me from a deeper, richer walk with God. Tears poured down my cheeks, and I prayed, but this time instead of asking God to take away my fear, I asked Him to help me overcome my fear. Taking away my fear meant asking God to do the work for me. I knew God was calling me to be an active participant in the work He was about to do in my life.

I eagerly dug into His Word for the answers I longed to hear. Over the next few months, God taught me a powerful Truth about fear: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). The Bible is unequivocal. The minute I received Christ as my Savior, God sealed me with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Living God lives inside of me, and in Him there is no fear!

I sharpened my Sword as I searched God’s Word for more verses on fear. This verse leapt off the page: “He will shield you with His wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you do not need to be afraid of the dark any more, nor fear the dangers of the day; nor dread the plagues of darkness, nor disasters in the morning” (Psalm 91:4-6, Living Bible).

That verse spoke deeply to me because I feared the dark. At night, nightmares flooded my mind. I awakened terrified, fully expecting to see the masked man standing over me. I feared the day. Should I get in the elevator with that man? Should I park that far away in the parking lot? Can I let the cable man in? I was fearful 24 hours a day.

I took these verses and began praying them back to God. My greatest moment in this journey to wholeness and healing was when my husband left for a business trip and I found myself struggling with spending the night alone. I searched in closets, turned on all the lights, turned on all the televisions, and turned on the alarm. I called my friend to pray for me and forced myself into bed. As I lay there, I felt compelled to turn off the television. I fought the urge at first because I knew it meant I would hear every noise, but I succumbed. I lay there in silence, waiting ... waiting for the fear to come as it had done for 15 years. It never did. Instead, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and security! A feeling so foreign that I could not even remember the last time I felt it. In that moment, I had a vision of a wall of angels surrounding my house. After more than a decade of living locked inside a prison of fear, in one single moment it was gone!

I felt compelled to call my prayer warrior friend and share my miracle. When I finished recounting my story, there was complete silence on the other end. I did not understand. Finally, she spoke and her words brought me to my knees ... literally. She said that after I had called, she and her husband immediately prayed for me. He specifically prayed for a wall of angels to surround my home. I was astonished! His prayer was my vision. God wanted me to know that He and He alone was the reason for my freedom ... no rationalizations, no logical explanations. God and God alone accomplished this marvelous work in my life. His faithfulness, His goodness, His Word, His Truth and His power set me free!

Wendy and Monty, her husband of 20 years, live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they are raising their two children Lauren (15) and Bo (11). In addition to being a wife and mother, Wendy is a Bible teacher, author and speaker. Before moving to Charlotte, she practiced law in Dallas, Texas for several years. Wendy’s book, “Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story,” offers the reader a step-by-step walk through God’s Word to find physical, spiritual and emotional healing.

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Blogger Marge said...

I love reading how God works. Thank you for sharing this story.

Blogger Debra said...

Thank You Wendy for sharing your story. I have lived in fear for many years also.I was just praying yesterday, Lord what study do you want me to do next, I think your book is my answer. God is so good!

Blogger Debra said...

Thank You Wendy for sharing your story. I have lived in fear for many years also.I was just praying yesterday, Lord what study do you want me to do next, I think your book is my answer. God is so good!

Blogger Lady K said...

Thank you Wendy! This has truly been a blessing to me on today. I needed that to help me hear God's voice and accept it. Eventhough I know it's Him speaking, I still allow the enemy to bring the bad thought up and fall back into the trap of "FEAR". The Lord is my strongtower and I know that he will deliver me from the strongholds. Thanks again.

Blogger Teri said...

I am witnessing to my neice who is in a drug rehab right now. Pray with me that the freedom Wendy found Kelsey may also find! Thamk You! PTL! Teri F.

Blogger Jennifer said...

I too have been asking the Lord to take away a stronghold. After reading this, with tears in my eyes, I asked Him to help me overcome it. I had never looked at it that way. Thank you for writing this!

Blogger sheela said...

Thank you for sharing this thoughts of strongholds. I realized that I have the strongholds of fear and anxiety. Please pray for me to take the steps to overcome it.


Blogger Angie said...

Thank God for your sharing.Pray for the stongholds of fear and anxiety,please pray for deliverance.Also pray for the strongholds in mysons lives,Myron and Marvin.These would be drug addiction.In this year 2010 I pray for deliverance for everyone who responded to this blog.Thanks again. Angie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me today. I have been dealing with fear for the last year and didn't realize to just now that I was in the midst of this stronghold. My experience compares nothing to yours but it has shaken me to my core. I'm praying that God will deliver me through this stronghold.

Blogger Cindy said...

Thank you Wendy. Your testimony is such a blessing.
My daugther had a terrible experience like this seven months ago. She lives with this type of fear everyday. I am going to begin praying that the Lord will remove this stronghold. I would also be interested to know the study that your group did on strongholds. Thanks.

Blogger sandrenia said...

God knows the right thing to do and say at the right times.God has a perfect plan for our lives if everyone would just acknowledge Christ and seek him daily the world would be a better place.

Blogger sandrenia said...

God knows what to do and say at the right times.If everyone would just trust and believe and seek the Lord daily,the world would be a better place and we will know how to overcome our strongholds and put everything in God's loving hands.

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