Mar 4, 2010

Battle Weary

wind flower Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm tired of being afraid
I'm wondering how I got this way
I'm trying to remember
What life was like before
Panic moved in
Without even knocking on the door

(from You Have Mercy by JJ Heller)

Many of you know that I used to battle panic attacks. Fiercely. Daily. Up until 3 years ago, they lurked around every corner waiting to pounce and devour me. I felt powerless. Helpless.

Completely Without Hope

No matter how I prayed and begged God to take them away, they remained. Sometimes they even gained ferocity. I simply could not understand why God, the Great Physician and Healer, would not yank them out of my life like an attentive gardener would remove an overgrown weed choking life out of its surrounding garden. Why? Why would He wish this upon me? Did He not care that I felt like I was going crazy? Did He look the other way when He saw me too scared to even leave the house? Was He sitting idly by while my skin crawled, my stomach lurched, and my thoughts raced?

Where was this loving, concerned Father everyone was prattling on about?

Concerned? I felt dismissed. Loving? Ha! If letting your child feel like she is two hyperventilating breaths away from the Loony Bin is love, I was starting to think I didn't want anything to do with it. Still, I couldn't bring myself to walk away. If I gave up on God, where else would I go?

"So listen: Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you. All who keep asking will receive, all who keep seeking will find, and doors will open to those who keep knocking." Luke 11:9-10 The Voice

Why does God tarry? I don't know. Why did I have to fight panic for a decade even though I was screaming out for relief? Only God knows. One thing I do know? I once was imprisoned by panic. Now I am free.


And I am more sure than ever that there is a God, He is enamored with me, and He is more attentive than I could have ever imagined. The only answer I have for how I got from questioning God's love to being convinced of it was that I held on. I fought through. I did not give up on God.

I chose to believe that He was faithful to me even though I felt abandoned. (1 Cor. 1:9)
I chose to believe that He loved me even though I felt discarded. (Jer. 31:3)
I chose to believe that He cared about me even though I felt ignored. (1 Pet. 5:7)
That joy would come in the morning. (Ps. 30:11)
That I was more than a conquerer. (Rom. 8:37)
That He had given me a spirit not of fear, but of power, love and a SOUND MIND. (2 tim. 1:7)
That He would finish His work of freedom in me, even if it was taking longer than I liked. (Php. 1:6)

I chose to believe, and kept on choosing. Day after exhausting day. That was my part. God did the rest. Sometimes that's all God is asking of us--to stick in there and keep believing. Thank God, because often that's all we can do, right?

Sisters, I don't know exactly what kind of battle you're in today. Can I encourage you to just keep believing God? As much as I hated my season of panic, I know that I grew closer to my God and learned how to successfully fight the enemy because of it. It has also grown a compassion for other fearful women in me. I get them now. If I hadn't have had my own bout with anxiety, I would be in serious danger of doubting the faith of a gal in the grips of terror.

Sidenote: If you are struggling to believe God on something, DO NOT listen to the voices that say you have no faith. No, sister. . .God is in the midst of stretching the faith you already possess. You feel like you've lost your belief when in reality, it's being proven and grown.

There will be an end to your present struggle. It will not last forever. But the lesson you learn from it will. God is there. Very close-by. Working. Loving. Listening.

Fight to believe it.

Jesus, it's so hard to believe all the good things about you in the middle of a "bad" season. It's difficult to keep our minds on you, so we're asking you to empower us to believe you love us, are working for us, and are accomplishing something eternal in us. Help us to stick in there and fight through. Bring us out on the other side with shining, monstrous faith in you and your love for us. We love you, amen.

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photo: wind flower/photobucket user: horsemad883


Anonymous said...

Thank you. :) (I still have my 3X5 card with the word "fight" written on it...the card you told me to make.)
Love you - A

Anonymous said...

I love this post. Thank you for the scriptures, they are a great reminder. I have been struggling with addiction my whole life it feels like. Just when I feel like it starting to get better it gets worse. But I know I can take refuge in God's hands, even when He feels so far away. The other day I had a vision of being chained to a cave wall. Jesus unchained me and we walked out of the cave.... and we were BOTH fat :) What a sense of humor God has sometimes. He DOES remind us in little ways of his goodness, that he will never leave us, that he is our refuge. He did that through you today in this post. Thanks.

Misti said...

Thank you so much girls. I'm so humbled to know that God used me today to speak to you. I'm blessed.

The Potts Family said...

I think you might have written that just for you