I need to be honest with y’all, with what just happened to me. . .
So, remember when I mentioned that I was struggling with anxiety recently and my nightmares were getting worse?
Well, just an hour ago, I was having a “panic attack.”
I wouldn’t call it that, but that’s how you guys might understand what I’m trying to describe to you.
I was on my laptop, trying to figure out how to operate a Hanukkah gift I received a few hours ago, when I suddenly felt frightened and anxious and mournful all at once.
I didn’t know what was happening, but I felt exhausted; I began to silently weep violently on my bed with my sisters in the other room.
(No one in my family knows this happened, but my swollen eyes can testify to my account. I KNOW THAT THIS HAPPENED, although it feels like a dream.)
I don’t remember much of what actually happened, except that I couldn’t stop crying and I felt desperate and alone as if I was about to die again. . .
(The other night, I “knew” I was going to die in my sleep. I was TERRIFIED that night that I wasn’t going to wake up the next morning. I even got my heart right with God, and prayed for my mom one last time. . . But, I woke up the next morning.)
As this sudden fear consumed my entire body, I managed to type down all that I felt and experienced because I happened to have a Google Document open when this transition from searching on Google to a full-out panic attack happened (in a span of ten seconds).
Here’s what I typed. . .
(And, before you ask, YES, apparently I wrote it like a story because that’s my personality even when I lose control over my body. I know some people will think this is fake or concocted, but this HONEST TO GOODNESS happened to me, and I want others to know how this encounter changed my life.)
Here’s what I wrote down. . . (Literally, the “a single tear escapes. . .” and all that. I copied and pasted this into my post. THIS IS LEGIT WHAT I TYPED. Anything in parenthesis is just to help explain some concepts to you guys.)
A single tear escapes my eye before another follows pursuit. Why am I crying?! Why do I feel overwhelmed? What is wrong with me?! What is going on?!?! I’m perfectly fine, so why do I suddenly feel overwhelmed? Please. . . Aba! (Aba means “Daddy” in Hebrew and is often how I refer to God in my mental prayers, like when I say a prayer in my head.) Please stop this!!! Why do I feel this way! Daddy, make it stop! Make this anxiety go away—WHY? Just why??? I was so strong before; I was coping with the stress, the mess of a life I have, the pain. . . Why do I feel heavy and depressed and saddened? This shouldn’t happen anymore!!! My God, my God, where are you?! Why am I blubbering like a baby?! Why are you letting me cry in this dark place? (Mentally it was dark; my room was actually lit up with multiple light sources.) Why do I feel exhausted and desperate and spirit-less. . . What is going on with me? Please, MAKE IT STOP! I feel pain! Why, do I feel it all of a sudden? Has it been building up all this time? I can’t even see a foot in front of me because my eyes are clouding my sight. Please, Aba. Please, make this mournful grief cease. Please, I want your peace. I want to feel well again—If it was the chocolate I ate this night, I’ll quit eating it. I’ll eat to live, instead of eating for comfort. . . My strange and overwhelming panic attack subsides. What just happened? Why did my body freak out? God, please don’t allow my body to do that again. I felt alone, so alone. I felt like I was dying. . . Again. Why does this sudden fear keep returning to my mind? Why is it controlling my dreams and thoughts? Please, don’t make me suffer again! Please, protect me, Daddy! Please don’t part from me again. . .
I shake my head as I begin to tremble again with tears beginning to build up in my eyes. My bottom lip quivers as my salty tears streak down my face until they run into my open mouth. Another wave hits me. What is happening to me? Is this a panic attack? I had one last summer, but I slept through most of it then. . . I don’t remember much about what happened. . . I can’t speak. All I can do is silently cry to myself and breathe heavily as I try to release my pain from all that has happened. Please, God, take this from me. I don’t like this feeling. I can’t BARE this feeling of rejection, abandonment, fear, loneliness, pain. . . What is this that has taken control over my body? Why are you allowing this to happen to your child? I may not be the most devout child, but I do try to live a moral life. . . I pray, I show up to Shabbat, I don’t murder, I don’t lie—intentionally—I know I haven’t necessarily read the Bible in a while, but I am your child, and I like to learn about you. . . So, why are you doing this to me? Is this your way of getting my attention??? My eyes cease to pour their bitter tears. My heart ceases its pounding rhythm. My tremors and headache and anxiety cease to exist. What was that?! Was that a panic attack, or was that a sign from my Aba to get my life back on track?
Aba, guide me in the life I’m supposed to lead. Aba, if I’m supposed to become a devout person, an obedient child, bring the tremors back and the anxiety and the pain and frustration, so that I may know what to do. If you SHOW me just once more, I will do as I have said. If you overwhelm and take control of my body again, I will become the child I’m supposed to be. Instantly, the tears fog my eyes. The snotty nose (I was writing this in the moment, so this sentence sounds weird, but I’m not going to change it because I wrote it during my wake up call.) and despair fill up my already broken heart. Okay, Daddy. Okay. I’ll do it! This instant, I vow to live out my faith. I vow to be the servant of God I talk of when people ask me about my faith. The obnoxious sensation leaves my being. I become quiet again. My body becomes quiet. The noises and sounds the desperation caused flee my body, and I’m now silent. I will do as I have promised, Aba. . . No more shallow obedience, shallow faith. I will become the person I used to be, the person worthy of leading my family, my children (Again, this was in the moment; I’m not pregnant or anything.), my friends. . . I get up from place.
I am telling y’all EXACTLY wat happened to me. . . So, I threw my laptop off of my lap and started vigorously seraching my room for my BIG NIV study Bible. . .
I hadn’t even noticed that it was missing from my room since. . . when my friends from Texas visited us. That’s sad. 😣 And, I’m ashamed to admit it.
I spent ten minutes searching for it before settling on my nine-year-old beaten up NIV pocket-sized Bible I carry with me wherever I go.
I immediately opened it up and found an orange sticky note I had left in my Bible when I was a Junior in High School, taking notes for my Worship class test.
Instantly, I looked up those verses to discover this. . .
I read the 1 Corinthians passage first. I read still moved by the weird and passionate encounter I just had. . . Then I read verse 33; “God is not a God of disorder.”
I laughed self-consciously, because in those ten minutes of chaos and tears I would’ve disagreed.
Then I continued to read the scripture until I came upon the line, “Anyone who does not recognize that, will not be recognized.”
Now, this is Paul talking about “proper worship.” He was talking about tongues and then right before this verse, he was talking about women speaking out against their husbands during church. But, THEN he mentions the gifts of God and how they are GIFTS and how they should not be hindered by other people. That just hit home for me. . .
Then, I moved on to the Ecclesiastes passage. . .
Guys, I was searching in the New Testament for a good two minutes before I realized I DON’T know my Bible that well; Ecclesiastes is in the Old Testament. ☹😟
I found it, and I began to read. Then I teared up as I read, “There’s a time to cry, and there’s a time to laugh. There’s a time to be sad, and there’s a time to dance.”
And, THAT is what I did. God, was letting me cry and letting me be sad, because it was my time. . .
Just so y’all know, the only other time I had cried so HARD as this was when I found out that my mom was diagnosed with a fatal Cancer. Nothing else has EVER made me cry so passionately, so heartfelt, so violently that my body trembled from each sob before. . . 😢
So, now, I’m going to do something about my life.
I’m no longer going to be that Christian girl that just goes to youth, goes to church, reads her Bible occassionally. NO SIREE!!!
I made a vow to God, unconsciously, when I was in the middle of weeping for my faith, yes, but it was a promise nevertheless, so I will honor it!
From now on, I’m going to walk the walk instead of talk the talk!
I will NEVER be the same again. . .
And, believe it or not, THIS is a good thing.
I am REDEEMED!!!