If you’ve ever felt debilitating anxiety or experienced panic attacks, you need to hear this story.
Jeremy Camp, the singer of hit songs like “I Still Believe” or “Keep Me In The Moment”, shares how his anxiety and desire to maintain control physically took over his body. Panic attacks were never present in his life, until the stress became too much to handle.
In this one-of-a-kind Healing Out Loud video, Jeremy Camp shares his journey with sudden panic attacks and the battle to release control of things in his own life.
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I couldn’t get out of bed…
I remember there was just feelings of almost terror where everything was so overwhelming. I had thoughts really literally, “Am I dying?” and there’s fear to go outside. There was about two weeks where I feel like I couldn’t even go outside. I couldn’t get out of bed because I felt like the anxiety and the panic would rise up so much, I felt I couldn’t breathe.
It was terrifying.
Unexplainable anxiety on a mission trip.
So I took my daughters to Uganda for a mission trip. I remember as I got there, there was this feeling of protection, I’m going to protect my daughters. Just me and my daughters. The wife wasn’t there, my son wasn’t there. So I’m feeling this. Everyone’s talking about malaria and yellow fever. We had to get a yellow fever vaccine and take malaria pills and all this. And so as a father, I was already, I think, worked up over that.
I remember I started feeling very shaky. I would try to pick up something and my hand would be shaky. And I was like, “Okay.” So I remember getting ready to do this outreach we were doing. There was 30,000 people and I was getting ready to play a concert and share the gospel. I felt so shaky and I’m like, “What is happening?” I’ve never experienced that. I wasn’t nervous because it wasn’t nerves. It was something different. And so played the show, 1,000 people respond to the gospel. So of course, I’m rejoicing. But also, “What’s happening?”
So we get home after the trip. And of course, the whole time, I’m just curious like, “What if they got malaria?” Seriously, it was just erratic, irrational thoughts that I was having, that I’ve not really experienced quite like that before.
When things quickly went downhill.
So I got home, but once again was feeling this something. It was overwhelming inside where I just felt shaky and unnerved. I was a little lightheaded. I was talking to my wife, and all of a sudden, I just had a panic attack. I never had… I couldn’t breathe. I was shaky and I couldn’t breathe. Finally, I calmed down and she prayed for me. I was like, “What was that all about?” And so I went home. Finally, we were flying home.
She had left to take my kids to the store. I’m at home, I’m working out, exercising. Literally, I was working out and I stood up, and all of a sudden, my body just… I had a crazy panic attack. Everything around me was terrifying. I couldn’t breathe. I was on the ground weeping.
So finally after not being able to even go outside, feeling this immense amount of terror, even having thoughts like this where, “God, are you real?” Even when I went through the loss of my wife, I never really had that thought. I had thoughts of being upset or why, questions why, but not, is it really a God?
To being honest, it was a very dark, dark thing. I knew it was the enemy just chiseling away.
“God, what is it? What is it? Why am I experiencing this?”Jeremy Camp
And this is what happened. So finally I was just praying and I just said, “God, what is it? What is it? Why am I experiencing this?” And literally, He said, “You’re trying to control everything.” Your family, not like I was trying to control them in a weird way, but to protect them and make sure they were okay and I was the one that was trying to keep everything under control. So my family, my finances, and my future. I mean it was as clear as day that I was not trusting God with any of those things. I was trying to control them.
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That control was so overwhelming that it sent me in a place of just feeling out of control.
And that was the whole panic and terror and I felt out of control. Finally I repented and I said, “God, forgive me for not trusting you.”
I’m thankful for the suffering because that’s the reason why I think if I didn’t have that, I would continue on in my own strength.
Jesus said it in John 16:33, He said, “I say these things to you that you have peace. In this world you will face trials of many kinds. You’re going to face trials.” We live in a fallen world. That’s just a part of what’s going to happen. But then He said, “But take heart. I’ll overcome the world.” I look at scripture, I look at the disciples, I look at when Peter was beaten and they counted it as joy.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
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If you wrestle with anxiety, past pain, grief, addiction, broken relationships… you are not alone. The struggle is real… but so is help and healing.