16 years ago, I went through one of the darkest and scariest seasons of my life.
On my way to see Joseph one night, I experienced what would be the first of many panic attacks.
I honestly didn’t realize it was a panic attack, I thought I was maybe getting sick and didn’t think too much of it.
But then it happened again a couple of days later. I started feeling nauseous and like I was going to throw up. My hands were sweating, my heart was racing and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I was in my car again when it happened and pulled into a gas station to grab some water and see if I felt better.
This became my normal every time I’d get in my car and I quickly developed extreme anxiety whenever I drove anywhere. After several weeks of this, I felt like I was going crazy. My stomach was always a wreck, I was on edge. By now, Joseph and I were married and what was supposed to be marriage bliss was a total nightmare.
The anxiety and panic attacks caused me to fall into a deep depression that I didn’t realize I was in.
I fought this life for years. Years. And for a long time I lived my life trying to put up a front and tried my best to keep the fact that I was falling apart hidden from everyone. I was embarrassed and felt like a total weirdo. I know that’s a strange word to describe the way I felt, but I completely felt like a weirdo. Like something was wrong with me and I was defective.
It took years for me to heal and finally feel somewhat normal. I still remember all of the late nights I would wake up crippled with anxiety wishing that God would just take me because I literally felt like I was going crazy.
As hard as this journey was, God never left me. And He brought me through it stronger than I ever was. He placed people in my life to carry me through my hardest days and His Word was my comfort during those late nights I felt I couldn’t keep living.
I wish I could tell you that I never experience anxiety anymore. I wish I could tell you that one day, the anxiety miraculously disappeared. But that’s not my story.
I still struggle every now and then. Not the way I did back then, but I have my moments when I feel anxious.
Last night was one of those moments. I’m not sure why, but I kept waking up through the night feeling so anxious. But the difference now is that instead of wishing God would take me, I cling to Him for strength. And I did that last night.
1 Peter 5:7 says, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
And that’s what I did. I kept repeating this verse saying, “God, you tell me to cast my anxiety on you and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m casting my anxiety on you.”
The anxiety didn’t go away completely, but I was comforted that no matter what God was taking care of me.
When I woke up this morning, I felt like God wanted me to share this with you all today. I don’t know if you find yourself crippled with anxiety or depressed, but I want to take this opportunity to tell you that you are not alone.
Stop trying to do this on your own and give it to God. Cling to Him. Take Him at His word and declare it on your life.
I know it may feel like it’ll never get better, but it will. The biggest thing I learned was to take my life day by day.
Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry about tomorrow. For tomorrow will bring its own troubles. It tells us there’s no reason to worry about the small things because God takes care of us. Just as He feeds the birds of the sky and the flowers in the field grow, we will be taken care of. Because are we not more valuable than the birds and the flowers? And worrying won’t add a single hour to our life. So stop worrying and give it to God.
Consume yourself with God. Write out verses on notecards and put them in places that you will see them. Surround yourself with Christian friends and prayer warriors that you can reach out to. When we are going through something like this we are so crippled that even praying isn’t possible. There were so many times when I was so anxious, I couldn’t think straight. But I had people in my life that I could text or call at 3:00 AM and they would pray for me.
Stop fighting in secret and tell someone about it. You are not weird. Stop thinking that there’s something wrong with you. You are a child of God. You are weak, but He is strong, you are weary, but He will hold you up. You are not enough, but He is!
Don’t let the enemy win. Don’t let him convince you that sharing your struggles will make you look weak. Find someone to share them with that will commit to praying for you and with you.
Choose to fight. God is on your side.
Take your Bible right now and read Romans 8. Read it, believe it. You are more than a conqueror.
I hope this helps someone today. I always say that I hate that I still struggle on random days with anxiety. But sometimes I think it’s for a reason. Because experiencing it allows me to help others going through the same.
I pray that if you are struggling that you will choose today to trust God and cling to Him. Believe in His promises and declare them over your life. He loves you. He cares for you.
I love y’all.