Stress equals anxiety. At least
that's how it works with me. When I have anxiety I can only feel what is going
on inside of me. Stress causes my body to do silly things and when I have
anxiety I feel it to the highest degree. I cannot function properly. I avoid
things that make me feel funny or send me into a panic attack. This is true
even if it means I don't leave my house. I am not a doctor and by no means know
the science behind anxiety. I am a sufferer and here is my story.
My anxiety came on slowly. It all
started the year I met our adopted kids. That was a big decision in my life
that played out over the course of about a year. In that same year my dad was
rushed to the hospital with anaphylactic shock and almost died. I also
took two overseas trips. One trip was to Israel and one was to Costa Rica.
All of this may not sound like much
to you but I had never been on a plane. Being in Costa Rica was a big
culture shock. On the way home from Israel I developed a slight dislike of
flying. Yet, by the time we got home from Costa Rica I never wanted to fly
again. Then the kids moved in. My stress went sky high. I was a new mom of four
and had never parented a day in my life. I feared they would get hurt or
wouldn't sleep well. Truthfully, I just had no idea what to do with them.
That is when anxiety started to
creep into my life and suffocate me. I began having panic attacks. The first
time was in a car. I did not want to ride or drive after that. Sometimes I
didn't even want to leave the house. I saw a doctor who ran the usual blood
tests and confirmed that I was dealing with anxiety. I was very thankful he was
a Christian. His initial prescription
was a good dose of prayer.
I would love to say that I prayed
to God and he took it all away. Unfortunately, it didn't work like that. I
questioned, “Why am I letting this fear into my life? Why can’t I just trust in
God?” I felt like my family thought I was crazy. I didn't want people to know
because they would think less of me. I am a pastors wife. We are not supposed
to have problems like this. One day I realized that I feared my anxiety. I
feared having a panic attack. Believe it or not, this actually helped me to
better pray to God for help.
My anxiety lessened some and then I
became pregnant. My pregnancy was difficult.
Eventually I was put on bed rest for four months. I really had to rely
on God through that time. After having the baby my anxiety improved greatly. My
thoughts went to my son and not inwardly to myself. I had a baby now that
needed me more than anything. I had to be strong for him.
This of course did not completely
cure my anxiety. I know that it is my weakness and on occasion the devil uses
it against me. I can feel myself start to look back inwardly on what my
body is doing and worrying. I feel my panicked breathing coming back. It is
then that I take a few deep breaths and get back on my knees.
I do not know why anxiety has crept
into my life. I am certainly glad when I am on the winning side of it. In
my heart I know that God is more powerful than my mind. I know that through
life's challenges there is purpose. I have already seen how my
trials have helped me understand other woman in what they face. Sometimes it
is our trials that make us closer to the Lord. I feel like I have overcome
anxiety enough that I can openly talk about it. I believe we each have our own
ways that we have learned to cope with our problems in life. Mine may be
different than yours. Remember, God will never forsake His children. My
favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me." He truly is the source of all my strength.