Monday, August 27, 2012

My Battle with Anxiety: A Gift from God Part 1

I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Three years ago I started having panic attacks. As a result of theses attacks I started having irrational fears; afraid I was going to quit breathing, my heart was going to stop, I had a brain tumor, and that I was just going to all of a sudden keel over and die. I also feared that because of these irrational fears I was going to go crazy and end up in a mental institution or worse, kill myself. I struggled with depression because of these fears, feeling like I would never overcome them. Some days I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day because I felt so overcome with fear. I kept thinking “I never used to be like this. I used to be normal. I just want to be normal again!”

I kept asking my husband, my mom, and my counselor if there was any hope for me. I wanted to know how to fix this anxiety that had now become apart of me and make it go away. I even tried several anti anxiety medications in hopes that they would fix me. They only made me feel worse. This made me feel even more hopeless because I felt I had no other options left but to be stuck this way for the rest of my life.

You might be wondering at this point how on earth I could call all of this a gift! Well actually I didn’t, at first. I called it a curse. I wanted God to heal me, and I wasn’t going to accept any less. But God had other plans. He wanted to use this trial to open my eyes to some things I wasn’t seeing before.

First of all, He revealed to me where I was putting my trust. It is in my circumstances and not the Lord. If my circumstances are good, I feel good. If they aren’t what I want them to be, I am anxious and downright whiney!

Second, I realized I am very afraid of suffering and death. I struggle to believe that dying is gain as Paul says in Phillipians ,or that my present struggles can’t even begin to compare with the glory that is to be revealed to me.  My focus has been very much on the temporal and not on the eternal. I’m clinging to tightly to my earthly home. I struggle to fathom how one can rejoice in suffering. It ruins my fun!

Third I realized that I wanted health, wealth, and prosperity more than I wanted God.  I want a nice cushy life where everything, or at least almost everything goes my way. I don’t want to be bothered with problems. I want to have fun! I want to be comfortable!

Finally, God showed me my misconception that his healing me is the only way I could bring him glory. What glory could I possibly bring God if I have to battle anxiety for the rest of my life? How does that display his power? Aren’t we more wowed by God when He preforms miracles in our lives?

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be addressing all these revelations and how God is transforming my heart. I’m going to share how He is working in my life to replace these lies with the truth. I will share why I believe (or I’m starting to believe anyways) that my trials are a gift. I hope you’ll stick around and find out what God has been doing in my heart. I hope that what He has taught me can also be an encouragement to you.

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