Set Free from Fear

From the Team: An updated version of Lies Young Women Believe (the book that launched this blog!) recently released. To celebrate, we’re passing along five days of devos taken from the pages of the book. (It’s like getting some of the book’s very best content delivered to your screen for free!) Be sure to hop back on the blog tomorrow for more wisdom from the pages of the new Lies Young Women Believe.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

From the time she was in junior high, when her parents divorced, Erin Davis struggled with panic attacks. (You already know Erin as the woman behind the screen who runs this blog!) They came mostly at night and were spurred on by horrific nightmares. When she awoke, sometimes she could barely breathe. She dreaded going to sleep because she never knew when she’d wake up in the middle of the night and feel suffocated by fear. She went to college and married her high school sweetheart. Together, they ministered to the youth of their church, but Erin hid the fact that she was still plagued by panic and fear.

Worn down and completely exhausted, she finally asked some friends to pray with her about what might be causing these recurring, sudden bouts of paralyzing fear. The friends asked what kinds of thoughts ran through her mind during her panic attacks. As Erin shared what she felt during those times, it became obvious that her panic attacks were reactions to thoughts and underlying beliefs that simply weren’t true. Her feelings were very real, but they were based on some pretty serious—and destructive—lies. Lies like:

Lie #1: Everyone leaves.
Lie #2: I have to take care of myself.
Lie #3: I can’t wear my heart on my sleeve or it’ll be crushed.

It was easy for Erin’s friends to see that these statements were contrary to God’s truth, but she needed to see it. As they prayed together, her friends asked her to consider what God would say to her about those things. Here’s what she concluded.

Lie #1: Everyone leaves.
Truth #1: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Lie #2: I have to take care of myself.
Truth #2: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Erin realized she was trying to play the role of God in her own life.)

Lie #3: I can’t wear my heart on my sleeve or it’ll be crushed.
Truth #3: “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

In case you didn’t catch it, the truths Erin concentrated on in that prayer time are powerful Scriptures right out of the Bible. These verses became the focus for her prayer team that day. Over the next few days, she continued to think about those verses as she began to “reprogram” her thinking.

The results were amazing! When Erin drove home a few days later, staying in a hotel alone along the way, she slept peacefully without nightmares or panic for the first time in a long time. Her parents are still divorced. She still struggles with fear at times, but it rarely rises up as powerfully as it did night after night for almost ten years.

The lies she believed at one time put her in bondage. It was God’s truth that set her free.

It’s Your Turn

Do you recognize any of the lies Erin believed in your own life?

What specific truths has God shown you in His Word to set you free?

Leave us a comment below with your answers.

And keep reading the blog all week for more wisdom from Lies Young Women Believe, written by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Dannah Gresh.

About Author

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is completely in love with her chocolate labradoodle, Stormie. (But just for the record, she doesn't like dog kisses.) She's been married to Bob for over twenty years and loves that he brings her "freshly sharpened bouquets of pencils." She's the mom to Lexi, Autumn, and Rob. Oh, and she co-wrote Lies Young Women Believe with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth!

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  • Rachel Lee

    i can definitely relate with the lie of “i have to take care of myself” because i think that if i don’t, then something bad will happen to me that i can never get out of

    • Sarah Bean

      God will always stand up for you!

  • Char Latte

    I’m so thankful Erin allowed her testimony to be shared. It encouraged me so much!! I have had a lot of fear and anxiety in the past and God has been helping me overcome it recently through His Word. Thank you for those reminders! <3

  • genesis herrera

    I honestly struggle with the same thoughts, but in stead of having panic attacks, it’s just reruns of all the painful memories I so badly want to forget every night before I go to sleep, leaving me tossing and turning until 2 in the morning. I finally had to start telling myself to truth, even that meant crying through it. I never liked opening up and being vulnerable, but it’s better to speak truth out loud than to allow yourself to suffocate by lies that are so loud they prevent you from speaking at all. The Bible and the truths I need to tell the younger me what she needed to hear during those times heals and helps me sleep. So this post was a great reminder that God’s truth needs to be spoken out more in my life. Also I recently started a blog called so hopefully if anyone wants to check it out you can. I post every wednesday and would love it if you subscribed. Not to steal bloggers from here what so ever, but I would love it if you read on my blog too! 🙂

    • Sarah Bean

      I’d love to check out your blog sometime! Remember, you are not alone! God will always be by your side!

      • genesis herrera

        Thank you! The same for you as well! 🙂

  • Sarah Bean

    I can relate to “I am alone.”
    This post was really inspirational and it was wonderful reading about how Erin conquered the enemy and let the truth set her free!

  • Jasmine

    I need to hear more of God’s truth over the lies I often hear or even tell myself. The lies are automatic thoughts that just pop in because they sound like a reasonable explanation of why I am feeling the way I do. It is much easier to for me to believe that I am unloved, (due to poor treatment I often receive from others) versus what God would say, “”I have loved you with an ever lasting love.”” ~ Jeremiah 31:3. If He can love me, why can’t others? (and why can’t I love myself?) So the lies are often easier to believe than the truth. 🙁 (no one loves me, no one will ever love me)

    • Oh, sweet sister! You are listening to the lies of the enemy. Our emotions do not always speak truth to us. The power of those lies that you are believing will only be overcome by replacing them with the Truth of God’s Word.

      Here are some truths you can believe with all your heart. You are chosen (Jn. 15:16; Eph. 1:3-8)). You are loved. You are a child of God (Jn. 1:12). You are redeemed (Col. 1:13-14) and loved with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). You cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:28).

      I challenge you to begin reading and memorizing God’s Word – you can start with the passages above – so that you have them in your head and heart to battle the lies of the enemy. Will you do that? I’m praying for you, Jasmine!