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'You Can Be Free in Jesus': As COVID Has Spiked Anxiety in America, Author Shares Testimony of Healing

Image source: CBN News
Image source: CBN News

The number of adults affected by anxiety is staggering and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 40 million adults face anxiety.

In 2019, 11 percent of people said they had feelings of depression, but that number greatly rose to 42 percent in 2020.

Although Scripture tells us to be anxious for nothing, many people in the church have also been impacted by anxiety.

Lifeway Research reported that 49 percent of pastors admit to rarely or not addressing mental health disorders like anxiety. 

Author and Minister Chanel Abrams told CBN's "Prayer Link" that believers can find real freedom and live anxiety-free. 

Her book, Anxiety-Free: Victory Over What Held Me. No Longer Bound. Now, I'm Free! was released in December which explains more about anxiety and how to overcome it.  

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Abrams admitted that she suffered from panic attacks and anxiety for years but was afraid to tell others. 

"It was something that I suffered many years with and I was ashamed of," she said. "Of course we know that the enemy loves shame. In the African-American community, it's not something that is widely acceptable to talk about - panic, anxiety, or depression - so it was a perfect blend to keep me bound."

She believes the church has a difficult time addressing these issues, partly because it takes multiple steps to truly deal with the problem.

"I say you need Jesus, a good church, Bible study, and a therapist," Abrams explained. "You need all of those things in order for you to be successful. What happens with anxiety is that sometimes it is introduced by trauma and if we don't address that trauma, which is the gateway to open things for anxiety, then that is a perfect breeding ground for someone to be anxious." 

"And I think the church shies away from that because they think 'just come to church on Sunday and everything will be okay', but it takes a little bit more than church on Sunday in order to be free from anxiety," she added.

Abrams also revealed that she experienced sexual abuse during her childhood but chose to confront the situation rather than let it consume her.

"That opened the door wide for the enemy to come in and make me anxious as well as depressed," she said. "I decided that I was not going to be silent about my trauma from my past and I was going to start speaking out about it in the event that it may help somebody to be able to say, 'Oh, she's able to make it so if she can make it then I can make it too.'"

Lastly, Abrams said she hopes her book will encourage people, who are suffering, to find freedom in Jesus Christ. 

"I want people to know that you can be free in Jesus and that you have to believe what the Word says about who you are in Him. God does not want us to be bound, He wants us to be free," she noted. "He sent His Son to the cross so we can be free, and there's no reason for us to be bound by anxiety." 

"We just have to cast our cares upon Him because He cares about us and humble ourselves before Him," she continued. "Allow Him to give us that peace. Peace is not something that we have to pursue, it is a gift that He gives to us. We don't have to chase it, He gives it to us."

CBN's Prayer Link airs weekly on the CBN News Channel.

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