The daughter of a renowned psychiatrist, GRETCHEN KESKEYS, speaks about her divine deliverance from fear
Sacramento-based singer/songwriter Gretchen Keskeys has just released her debut album 'Walking In The Spirit'. Gretchen grew up in a secure and loving home. Her father was a renowned psychiatrist and bestselling author who Life magazine once called "the father of pop psychology." But when, as a teenager, Gretchen began to be plagued with fear, paralyzing anxiety, insecurity, superstition and depression, the therapy she was offered just left her more depressed and anxious. Realisng that her daughter was spiralling down fast, Gretchen's mother read her Matthew 11:28-30. It spoke deep to Gretchen's heart and for the first time she had hope. As she began to study the Bible and look to Christ, her fear began to subside. And that is where her spiritual journey began.
Now with the release by Creative Soul Records of her 'Walking In The Spirit' Gretchen is able to tell others of the healing and restoration she has found in the Lord. Her song "Prince Of Peace" speaks powerfully about the singer's release from fear. She wrote on her website, "If you have ever truly been without peace, you know that when you have it back, it is the most cherished, most wonderful thing imaginable. Without peace and a sound mind, this life is unbearable. That was me. As a young adult, I was plagued with severe anxiety. It was so bad that I would grind my teeth at night as I slept. I was in bondage to rituals of counting and checking and washing. I tried to keep this very secret, and that just caused more stress. I had panic attacks that caused me to dread any kind of public gathering. Leaving the house was a huge event for me that would take every ounce of energy I had.
"Why I had all this fear, I cannot say for sure. But, even as a very young child, they called me "worry wart." I just had that tendency. But, some things did rock my world in my young life that caused me to have deep insecurity and fear about my life. I was deeply afraid of what would happen if I died. I also carried a lot of shame about embarrassing myself or my family. The mind can go to some very troubling places when fear takes over. I was truly trapped in darkness. Not that I wanted that. I had a love for God. I knew about God since childhood. I loved to sing hymns. We had a placard in our home that read: 'God is Love.' I knew God was good. But, I didn't know him. All this fear and torment was getting to be more than I could bear. I would just start crying out of nowhere. I couldn't even smile, let alone laugh. I never laughed. My mother knew something was deeply wrong with me. But I was afraid to even try to explain it. My late father was a well-known psychiatrist, and I literally thought they would have me locked up if they knew how crazy my mind seemed. I couldn't think straight because of the fear. I was really spiralling down and very afraid.
"My dear mother Amy, who was raised by a mother who had a deep faith, knew Jesus Christ. We didn't have much of a 'faith filled home, but we did go to church somewhat regularly. But, church to me also caused anxiety. It was just more people to be afraid of. People who I thought were more sane than me. Thank you Jesus that my dear mother saw I needed more help than any therapist or person could give me. I believe Christ put on her heart the fact that only his love could help and save me. She came to me in my room, where I had been for many hours crying, and read to me Matthew 11:28-29: 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'
"After I heard that Scripture, something happened to me. Jesus touched me. For the first time in many years I had hope. I felt that finally someone could really understand my heart. My heart that I so feared would be misunderstood by people. Jesus Christ understood. That day changed my life. This was the beginning of my heart and mind being healed and transformed. No doctor or medication. Just Jesus Christ. My mind began thinking clearly. His love replaced my fear, just as he promises in Scripture: 1 John 4:18: 'There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.' And his beautiful peace filled my heart as he promises in John 14:27: 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.'
"The song 'Prince Of Peace' was written out of this place of the deepest, most profound gratitude for the peace Jesus gave me and gives me still. I cherish it. And I cherish Jesus. Because I know as long as I am his, I will have this peace. And peace for an eternity! He transformed my mind from one of torment to one of peace and joy. I could literally laugh again. And my joy has only increased over the years as my walk with Christ grows deeper. I truly enjoy this life he has given me. And he promises that for us all. To give us life abundantly!"The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.