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National Bible Bee Alumni, Holly Ciampi (20), is a Christian writer, filmmaker, entrepreneur and musician. She resides in the warm Grand Canyon state with her wonderful parents and with her super six siblings. Of the eight years she participated in the National Bible Bee, she qualified for the NBBC twice. Today, we are delighted to share her story.

“Sometimes life takes turns we never expect. A lost job. A sudden illness. A new house. A failed test. A pay raise. 

When I was about 12 years old, I experienced my first panic attack. It was definitely unexpected. I didn’t understand what it was, why it was happening and where it was coming from. It was paralyzing and fearful.

That first panic attack led to years of fearful nights, more attacks and much anxiety. Everything in me wanted to escape this bondage, but I didn’t know how. When panic attacks would occur, I could never think clearly, but struggled just to slow my breathing and come back to reality. I was captive to fear.

Until one day I discovered the key to freedom. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 

My eyes were suddenly opened. My fear was tormenting me, but could be cast out by perfect love; His perfect love! That led me to remember Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

I quickly gathered more verses like 1 John 4:18 that talked about fear, love and peace. I memorized them and quoted them over and over so that they would be thoroughly ingrained in my mind. Out of the verses I chose, 1 John 4:18 and John 14:27 became my anchors, my lifeline to Jesus. 

When the next panic attack occurred, I quoted those two verses over and over, reaching desperately for His love until the fear that threatened to suffocate me became replaced with peace. I kept this practice up, holding to the Scriptures I was memorizing through the National Bible Bee and on my own. 

Through this unexpected event in my life, I was finally able to experience the freedom I longed for and build a close relationship with Jesus that I didn’t have before! What a relief and blessed joy it was to experience freedom in His perfect love! 

What about you? No doubt you have had some things happen that you never expected. There may have been times you have lived through things that were the farthest from what you imagined life would be. You often wondered how you would make it through the trials. Maybe you are in that place right now.

Come to Jesus and cling to His word! His word is truth and filled with power to set you free from the things that hold you captive. His word is an anchor in the midst of the storm. Strive to consistently hide God’s word in your heart, so that when you are stuck in the throes of something unexpected you will be able to overcome.”

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