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Just another story.

I have been told telling my story will help.. people. I don't see how that is the case but I figure there is some reason I have dealt with the things that I have. So I'll start out simple.


Anxiety.


Crippling. Suffocating. Like a straight jacket warn under water.


Sounds so dramatic. So exaggerated. But it's so real. There's a quote that describes it perfectly "You don't need water to feel like you're drowning, do you?" no. I don't.


I've always had anxiety. for as long as I remember. After I had my youngest child it got significantly worse. It was no longer a panic attack that I would get over once I figured out or was proven everything would be okay. It was tightness in my chest all night and I didn't know why. It was someone is going to get sick and I know that will kill us all. It was sleeping in his room every night for months. It was waking up every few hours to check his breathing. It was my daughter has a sore tooth it's all going to end. she's going to be gone. It was someone said something the wrong way and now I'm convinced something is very very wrong and I was right all along. Some of it I can't even type. It's like a bad omen you never want to say about yourself. or your child. Anxiety was taking the air out of my lungs. I felt guilty I was not breastfeeding, I felt guilty if I did anything away from my children, I felt guilty when I enjoyed something. anything.


So clearly I could not function normally.


I prayed, I begged and pleaded with God to make sure everything was okay. everything was not okay and I knew it. But it was a much different not okay than I thought. It was just in my head. And I needed to get help to see that clearly. It's as if I knew, and I could tell myself what I knew, but I defiantly would not believe it. My family gently let me know I needed to talk to someone. professional. I think part of that was because they were exhausted with me coming to them asking them to save me.


It's really difficult as a Christian to know you need more help than average. There are other Christians out there who will say you're only numbing God's voice or you are just hiding the pain and not dealing with things. That you aren't trusting God and that you're sinning.


Anxiety is not a sin.


One of my favorite quotes says "it's not that we don't trust that God will do His best in us, it is that we are afraid of how painful that best will be"


I know God has me in the palm of His hand. And I comforted by that. But it doesn't mean that life here on earth is not terrifying.


I obviously had some (okay, a lot) of post partum issues, and I needed medication to bring me to a level that helped me think clearly, but this is an issue I have struggled with my entire life. I would find comfort in knowing God had me but still be having a panic attack that I was going to die and leave my kids. It had nothing to do with not trusting God. It was me. knowing this life is painful.


Fast forward a year. Church is talking about a missions trip to Louisiana to help the victims of a thousand year flooding event that took place last August. My oldest was convinced immediately to go. Maybe she wanted the experience. Maybe she felt called to serve. Maybe it was both. I do know it was a God thing. Because God immediately started to work in my heart. My first reaction was that I couldn't go I have a one year old and a six year old who need me here at home. Leaving for a week was just not feasible.  But it didn't take long for me to view things differently. My verses for this circumstance were Isiaiah 6:8 and James 2:17.


I was clearly being called to go. I have never understood when people claim that until now. I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay here where it was comfortable. Where my little kids were. Where I was safe. I had no idea what Louisiana would bring, what I would leave at home. And at some points that anxiety creeped back and I was convinced I would not make it there and back safely, and I would not come back to healthy, safe children.


This trip changed my life.


Again with the dramatics. But it's true. Because for me it was about so much more than just a trip that made me feel better about myself.


Let me start with the fact that I even got there. mentally I went kicking and screaming. And we arrive, and I am terrified of every person I speak to and every situation I may get thrown into but somehow it all worked together and I became closer to my church family and to the missionaries on this trip than I ever have to anyone I have known less than ten years. This organization is about pushing you out of your comfort zone. About showing Jesus' love to others. not just talking about it... I wish I could explain to you how very much it means that I prayed out loud to a whole group before this week was over. Since I have been home I have smiled confidently at people and spoken openly about my faith. Self efficacy was definitely the word of the week.


I have never realized how much a flood can take.
These homes were gutted, their things were tossed, they lost so much of themselves that may be tied to this earth. The stories that came out of this wreckage were powerful. 5 feet of water in one house. driving to safety but getting blocked by flooded streets. This wasn't expected. There was no real warning. They get standing water all the time. it has never flooded like this. They could be asking God why did you do this to us?
But even through this devastation and depression and pain, these people's spirits were not broken. They know God has a plan for everything. They were still a community filled with hope for Christ and hope for each other. They were still working on making things better for themselves and for each other. I want an unbreakable spirit like that. Another God thing.
I cam home with a better appreciation with how to love others by serving them. That my every day life is a missions field. That I can do more than sit at home and pray. I can take action. That even though I have no skill set in pretty much anything, I can work hard and I am willing and God will use me. And that is beautiful.


So this broken, messy, anxiety ridden girl has discovered what she knew all along, that God is bigger than her mess. God will make beautiful things out of dirt and dust and grime. And God is working even when we don't see it. Because a year ago today I was watching my baby breathe, crying to myself and hoping we would just survive the day. the month. the year. Literally. But last week I was traveling 17 hours from him, helping fix a broken home, and connecting with people I didn't even know. I walked away from this experience knowing I am worth more than the world says I am, that  I am capable of more than I ever believe I am, and that I want to do more- to serve more than I ever have.


"There's nothing too dirty, that He can't make worthy"

Comments

  1. This is beautiful! What a powerful testimony of God undying love for us, We all have a purpose and there is no greater joy and fufilment that walking knowing who you are and whose you are!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And That phrase!! "Knowing who's you are" speaks so much to my heart!

      Delete
  2. Praise God for what He's doing in your life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Praise Him. When I listen there is change. ❤️ Just praying I can continue to find that discernment.

      Delete

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