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| Author: 40

Freed from Oppression

Testimony by Irene Hale

I was stricken with severe, debilitating depression for 18 months. It started slowly while I was backslidden. I went from wanting to kill myself to the point where I usually did not care. Didn't care if I was awake. Didn't care if I lost my job or not; showered or not; ate or not.

As an over-achiever, the fact that I didn't care about my career or my ranch was totally out of character. My boss sent me to counseling. She also took me to her church where I got right with the Lord. I was sooo thrilled to be back in a right relationship with Him that I couldn't keep quiet at work. I told everyone that would listen.

I wasn't raised A/G, so when I began manifesting last year January it was a great and new thing to me. Anytime someone would mention the Bible or God at work, I would shake like a leaf - sometimes all day. Yet in the midst of all this, my depression worsened. I now had a zest for life and Jesus, yet some days I would wake up wanting to kill myself.

Days where everything in my entire being would scream out at me and tell me that I was worthless, that life was hopeless, that I was breathing air that rightfully belonged to someone else that was more worthy than me. I began to dread waking up every day, not knowing why this was happening and if I would wake up wanting to kill myself.

I spent more time with therapists and shrinks, began amassing pills, and felt guilty that I was having this problem. Steve (my fiance at the time) would tell me that it was a spirit of oppression and to get prayer and deliverance, and I would tell him that it was only a physical thing that the doctors were trying to fix and balance out.

But it never got fixed. I continued to feel guiltier since I was treasurer at the church, created the Sunday Bulletins, was on the prayer team, helped work the soundboard, was there for prayer Tues & Sat and 45 minutes before each service -- plus at home I read the Bible, prayed, and attempted to fast.

I couldn't understand how a spirit-filled born-again Christian walking with the Lord could continue to sink, or wake up wanting to die, and sleep all the time. In the middle of all this was our wedding, and then a valley I slumped into even worse.

I was put on medical leave from my gov't job and it was recommended that I apply for a medical retirement. The docs kept changing my prognosis and finally decided I was manic-depressive and that since I had spent the previous 20+ years in a "manic state" (I never slept much and was into everything) that I was now on the downhill side and would never recover.

Steve was accepted at BRSM and we moved here, and I cried most of the miles we drove from Oregon. I went to revival, and wondered why I wasn't being "touched" by God. I chased Steve Hill every night for prayer. With my profound hearing loss, I sat in the deaf section and allowed the ladies there to take me from prayer team to prayer team for "more" and to soak it in. Yet I "felt" nothing.

I stopped manifesting around Christmas and I felt abandoned. No longer was I interceding for others and it was strange to not cry for hours for the lost. I began to think that maybe I was unworthy of even my God. I stopped going to revival every night. Sleeping even more (15 hours was my average), gaining weight, hating what I had become and unable to get out of the fog. I felt trapped in a fog and lethargic.

If I took all the prescribed medicines, I'd be popping 18 pills a day. I have no idea what we ate or if my husband even did eat during the month of January or February. The moving boxes were still stacked all around. I simply stayed in bed and slept.

The last week of February some of the deaf women promised to pray specifically for me. So did the interpreters. I spent more time on my face before God. For the first time in 2 months I heard His voice again. He asked me if I truly believed that He could supply all my need. That He is my sufficiency.

That He would never leave me or forsake me. I told Him, Yes. His reply to me was to prove it. To quit the gov't job and the high pay. To quit trying to get "steady" money by pursuing the disability retirement and instead trust Him to provide steady money. To not hang on and try to get a transfer of some sort but to just let go.

To forgive the mistreatment I received (things at work began to go downhill the moment I came back from being backslidden), to not pursue the legal recourses available to me but to forgive and pray for those that persecuted me. To remember that God raises kings and kingdoms and uses men for His purposes.

I called my boss and the personnel office. On my birthday, Feb 27th, I mailed my resignation. As soon as that letter went down the mail chute, a rock was literally lifted from my shoulders. It was a physical thing.

I didn't even know a weight was there until it lifted that day -- and it had been a huge and heavy one! The fog cleared. I could see the things around me clearly again. Brighter.

My mind was changed. Now it could spark messages and there was nothing to hinder it where before it felt like my mind was packed with wet cotton. I was laughing from deep inside. Joy began to bubble. I couldn't wait to get to church that Friday night and proclaim my healing to those that had been faithful to pray. To dance to the Lord.

To sing and shout. To hear His voice. Oh the joy of praying unhindered, manifesting again, getting slain in the spirit, feeling the touch of God through His ministers, and feeling the power of God flow through Steve Hill when he prayed. The revival services went from bland to blazing color, full of sparks and sound and vibrantly alive.

I had to bow in His presence; I was in awe that I was permitted to experience so much in worship and that He had waited for me to join in.

I also knew that I did not need to take the drugs any longer. The bottles of zoloft (max dosage for over a year now), BuSpar, valproic acid, sleeping pills, etc. etc. I know from personal experience that whenever I neglected to take the valproic acid or even reduce it I had terrible migraine headaches.

My last action in faith and obedience was to stop ALL the pills, including the valproic acid. When I did that, I was waiting for the usual pounding in my head that would send me whimpering to my bed. It never happened. Praise GOD! I had read up on prozac and zoloft when I was first put on the drugs.

The VA doctor had cut my dosage once before and I was miserable -- sick, etc. -- and rapidly became suicidal. I have also seen a co-worker get weaned from prozac. No side affects or ill health happened to me. One day I was taking handfulls of pills, and the next day none. No problems at all!!

What a wonderous God.

A week later during the service Lindell was playing and spoke about Jesus crossing the lake to the tombs, and saying just one word to the demon-possessed man: "Go" -- and that satan had to flee. I was getting a migraine, and it dawned on me that a migraine is small potatoes compared to a legion of demons, and I decided to do the same thing.

Right there in the service I told it to "Go" and it left and I continued to praise and worship my God unhindered.

I wake up every day with songs of Jesus and praise on my lips. I begin talking to Him first thing as I prop myself up and look out the window at the world He has provided me. And I can sing (or actually "sign") loudly, "When I think of His goodness, and what He's done for me, when I think of His goodness and how He's set me free and I can sing/dance/shout all night!"

"He healed my body, He touched my mind, He saved me just in time!" How wonderful, how marvelous, is my Saviour's love to me.

Satan has tried 3 times to steal my joy this month. It would be something that caused me to feel hurt, and as the pain would sweep through my chest, I would again hear the words, "see, you really are worthless. You really are pretty pathetic.

You should just go and kill yourself and quit putting others into misery. Healing - ha. Just look at you.... " My reaction was pretty quick to all that.

Wow, such personal attention from satan. That just reinforces my healing. I rebuke all those thoughts and feelings and bind it all in Jesus' name.

I remember Steve Hill's words about how satan attacked him just after being saved and tried to tell him that he wasn't saved.

So the last time I was attacked I thanked satan for telling me how worthless I am since that just proves how precious and valuable I truly am to the Lord. And when satan says I'm not healed, then I am assured that I AM healed since satan lies.

God is so good, who has blessed us richly with every heavenly blessing.

Irene Hale