I should have seen the warning signs. The increased headaches, sleepless nights, and loss of appetite were all classic signs. But for some reason I ignored the signs and continued on, without thought, with my crazy life.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in my van yesterday, trying to breathe through severe heart palpitations, that I realized ignoring those signs was a bad choice. That realization came too late, however.
The palpitations turned into a panic attack, and I just sat there in my van, breathing deeply, fighting the urge to get out and run. Adrenaline rushed through my body, making me feel weak and shaky.
Oh brother, who has time for this?
To say that I was feeling overwhelmed this week would be an understatement. I have woken up everyday feeling as though a truck ran over me during the night. Monday I began wondering if it was Friday yet. I even looked at my calendar for the following two months and begin to cry.
Being as this is something I am working through still today, I thought I would open myself up completely to you, dear readers. I can’t give advice on how to ignore stress, or reveal three new steps to avoiding panic attacks. If I had the wisdom to do so, there wouldn’t be a need for me to share these very personal details of my life with you.
I do know one thing, however. I know where to go when my body betrays me and I am in the midst of fighting anxiety. I know where I can run to find peace again. I don’t need to stop and analyze why I had a panic attack yesterday. I don’t even need to try and change this crazy life of mine. I just need to slow down enough to remember God is there, waiting for me to turn to Him.
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.” – Psalms 142:3a
Even in the midst of a panic attack, I can feel peace, because God knows the path I’m on, and He knows what is ahead.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:30-31
I know in the midst of a panic attack, God knows exactly what is going on in my body, and He cares.
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” – Psalms 139:7-10
In the midst of a panic attack, I know that God is with me. No matter how awful it feels, or how alone I may feel, God is there.
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” – Psalm 91:4
I know that I can always run to God. There is always peace to be found, no matter what circumstance we are in. I may not be able to change my circumstances that are causing the stress and anxiety. I can, however, find peace in just knowing I’m not alone. God promised to be my shield in my crazy life.
So, although I felt pretty terrible yesterday for a few moments, these verses brought comfort to my very being. I was able to breathe normally again, and walk into my kids school. I even smiled, and chatted with teachers, hugged my boys, and laughed with other moms. This morning, I am thanking the Lord for the panic attack I had yesterday. It put my mind where it needed to be, in order to get through the crazy!