I met LeAnn face to face in September of 2019 at an Ashes to Beauty Women’s Conference in Missouri. {More about the conference in a future post.} A few weeks previous she had sent me a text introducing herself and letting me know she was praying for me prior to my arrival at the conference. Needless to say, I was looking forward to meeting this total stranger who was lifting my heart and my life up to Jesus in prayer. She is the dark haired beauty standing next to me in the picture.

Her story of deliverance from anxiety and depression is powerful and her voice is so needed to encourage others and help them find their way through the darkness. I am very grateful that she was willing to share her testimony at the conference in front of over 700 women and here with us today.

Grab your coffee and meet LeAnn!


Good morning ladies my name is LeAnn Kaminski. Oh, where to start? I guess I’ll give you some background about my childhood. My parents were young when they had me, 18 and 19, and neither of them had a relationship with the Lord at that time. Life at home as a child was dark. My dad struggled with mental illness that ran in his family, including anxiety, bipolar depression and schizophrenia. I, my two younger brothers, and my mom got the brunt of his illness in many forms including anger, belittling and other forms of mental abuse. My mom often took the hardest beating both physically and mentally. My dad would say things to her like “you look fat and disgusting” or “you’re worthless like the rest of your family”. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I can recall my dad saying something nice or even saying, “I love you,” to my mom. I didn’t hear it often either. I loved my dad, but it seemed like nothing we ever did was good enough and no matter how hard we all tried he remained miserable and depressed most of my childhood. My mom left him several times over the years and eventually they divorced when I was 17. I was introduced to the Lord by my grandmother at a young age and gave my life to Him followed by Baptism when I was around 8 years old. Even at that young age I understood how desperately I needed Him and needed His love. It has sustained me over the years and, “thank you, Dear Lord”, for a praying grandmother. When I was 18 I decided to join the Army Reserves and I married my best friend who I’ve been married to for over 22 years now. The military took me around the world and my husband and I spent our first 3 years of marriage in Bamberg, Germany. In the winter of 2003, I was activated with an Army MP Battalion out of Arlington Heights, IL and spent a year in Bagram, Afghanistan. I was out of my parent’s house and hoped to leave the hurt and darkness from my childhood behind me. I thought that the military and travel had prepared me for most anything life threw my way.

Fast forward a bit into my adult life. Life was pretty good. I had a good marriage. I had a great job that I loved. My beautiful daughter that I adored was almost 10. It was the summer of 2015 and I remember praying one morning before going to work, “Lord, please help me to be a better mother and a better wife.” I also asked Him to reveal the things in my life that were getting between Him and I. God did just that. “How?” you ask. Well, He allowed me to walk through the scariest depression and anxiety I’ve ever experienced. You see, I had been listening to and believing lies from the enemy since I was just a little girl, but I had never really faced them head-on or called them out for what they really were…LIES. Lies that had been shaping my life and affecting those that I loved the most. At some point when I was a child, I began to believe the lie that I had to be perfect to be loved. Perfection had become my biggest addiction in life. In my quest to be perfect I had something happen to me physically that summer that sparked a crippling depression. I had been obsessing over some scarring and discoloration on my face which led me to having a spot chemical treatment that resulted in a second-degree burn in the middle of my forehead. For most people, this is the sort of thing that would really stink, but they would probably hide out for a week or two, if possible, and then life would go on. But for someone like me…it was enough to drive me into a complete OCD fit that would later result in depression and anxiety. I feel the need to explain how the depression was sparked because Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a very real sickness. I have always referred to myself as OCD because of the issues I have with not being able to leave something undone or my need to perfect every little thing. This is the sort of illness that can drain you and it can drain your family. Often God would point this out to me and I would feel so guilty because I knew how it affected my daughter and my husband negatively, but I never really faced it or laid it at God’s feet. Even after my skin healed from the burn, my mind wouldn’t seem to heal. I spiraled into a very deep depression and I began to have anxiety attacks while at work and at home when I would try to sleep at night. The anxiety was so strong that I would begin to feel numbness in my arms, starting in my shoulders and running down to my fingertips. I began seeing things, terrible things, when I looked at myself in the mirror, things that didn’t exist. In my mind I could hear the Devil taunting me with lies. This went on for several months and my mind began to slip further and further away from reality. There were days that my husband would literally have to pick me up out of the bed in the morning to get me moving. I didn’t want to face the world and I was afraid of where my mind would take me on any given day. Things that I had always done and even obsessed about around the house, like the dishes and the laundry, I was too sick to even do. My husband and daughter stepped up and cared for me during this time.

In the fall of 2015, my mind became so sick that I started contemplating the idea of suicide. The enemy had convinced me that I was at the end of my rope, that I had lost my mind like the rest of my dad’s family and it wasn’t coming back…ever. I injured myself during this time and honestly I believe it was a cry for help. I had told my husband that I was getting very scared and that I needed help, but I know now that he just didn’t understand the seriousness of my illness at that time. With the help of a good Christian friend and my husband, I went into the psychiatric unit at St. Anthony’s hospital in St. Louis. I spent 3 long weeks there before coming home. I started taking medication for a time and this was very hard and scary for me. I knew that there were many people praying for me, so I took it one day and one step at a time. Going home after being released from the hospital was scary. I had been depressed for what felt like so long that I truly questioned if I could ever feel normal or feel joy again in the place I had always felt those things before. When it was all said and done, I suffered with the depression and anxiety for over a year. God blessed me tremendously during this time of mental illness by revealing to me lies that had been placing a wedge between Him and I. God also grew my husband spiritually during this time. My husband began praying over me and reading scripture to me daily to help me cope with the depression and the anxiety. Our love grew stronger than ever. I turned to my grandma for wisdom a lot while I was sick and she spoke this over me once while praying, she said, “LeAnn, I know you are going to get better because you belong to our Father and I know that when you get better He is going to bless you with another child.” At the time she prayed this over me, I thought to myself, “that is just crazy and I don’t deserve a blessing like that. My mind is not well, why would He choose to bless me now?” But wow, our God is amazing! A Christian counselor that I had been seeing told me to pray for God to fill me with His perfect love that casts out all fear and against the lies from the enemy when my anxiety became more than I could bear.

On September 21, 2016, I gave birth to our second child, Jay. I can honestly say without a doubt God filled me with His perfect love again when I became pregnant with Jay. I haven’t struggled a single day with depression or anxiety since giving birth to him. Every day God filled me with new joys and He began healing my mind slowly. The enemy tried to convince me that I would never receive healing and that I was always going to struggle with mental illness, but in Christ I have victory!!!! God fought for me and guess what… He always wins!!!!

A few things I want to share that God taught me during this very dark and scary time:

1) The Devil is a liar.

John 8:44 New International Version (NIV)

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

So much of my life was wasted believing I had to be perfect and nit picking everything about myself and the world around me. No one is perfect except for God.

2) I am not a slave to fear or mental illness.

Romans 8:15 New International Version (NIV)

For you did not receive a spirit of that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by Him, we cry, “Abba, Father”.

2 Timothy 1:7 New International Version (NIV)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

No matter how scary the depression seemed to get at times…I never lost hope that God was there with me and in me.

3) I can have control over my mind and my thoughts.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Each and every day during that period of darkness, I had to take captive the thoughts that were going through my mind and I had to speak God’s truth over them…His word and love saved my life. On the days I was too sick to pray, I asked others to pray God’s Word over me.

4) Being filled with God’s love will overcome anxiety and depression.

1 John 4:18 New International Version (NIV)

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.

If you want to be healed ask God to fill you with His perfect love!

5) When you don’t know what to pray, God’s Spirit inside of you does!

Romans 8:26 New International Version (NIV)

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

On many occasions when I found myself not knowing what to pray, I simply cried out for God’s Spirit to intercede for me.

If someone you love is struggling with depression, please understand this is not something they can just get over. Honestly, before getting sick, I thought it was. I really believed that depression was something you had control over, but I understand now that true depression is an illness of the mind. God has the ability to heal you of anything and He will choose to do that in many fashions. But the thing I want everyone to understand is that depression is serious and should not be taken lightly. Please, if you are struggling with depression, don’t keep it to yourself. Get the help you need and ask others to pray with and for you.

Lastly, I want to say that God answered my prayers when I asked Him to make me a better wife and a better mother. He used the depression and anxiety to help me overcome and face many lies. I am a different person today than I was almost 3 years ago. Sometimes in life we have to take a journey through the desert so that God can take us to that place where we can be set free.