Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Psalm 139:23
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
You may have noticed that I share a lot of scripture relating to anxiety. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I've shared Psalm 139 with you least once! Anxiety is something I deal with on an almost daily basis. It came on full force about 9 years ago. I woke up one Monday morning unable to stand up straight because my back hurt so badly. I called in sick to work...I was an aide in a special ed classroom at the time. I stayed home...took it easy...and hoped I'd be better by the next day. Well, I woke up Tuesday and I still couldn't stand up straight. So I called in sick again. And I stayed home. I don't know why...or what happened...but that night, I just sort of lost it. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't breathe right. And all I could hear was ringing in my ears. I didn't know it at the time...but I later learned I was having a full-blown anxiety attack.
I ended up calling in sick for the rest of the week. I could barely function. I was so terrified to leave the house. It took everything I had to get Seth to school each day. Finally, on Friday, I couldn't' take it anymore. And I ended up in the office of our women's pastor. I walked into the church office...immediately began to cry (something I'd been doing ALL WEEK)...and fell into her office.
After talking and crying..a lot...she gave me one of the most useful spiritual tools I've ever been given. She explained to me that anxiety was an attack of the enemy on my mind...on my thoughts. And that when these thoughts started to enter my mind I needed to say six simple words..."In Jesus' name, I rebuke you." She explained to me that anything I ask of God, in the name of Jesus, shall be done. So when I rebuked the the name of Jesus...he had to flee. HAD to. And the amazing part? He did. Immediately.
At the beginning of my learning to deal with anxiety, he would return shortly thereafter...hoping I'd forgotten how to use my spiritual tool. But as time went on...and I had more and more faith in God and His perfect care of rebukes became more effective.
I still deal with anxiety...almost every day. Sometimes it's just a little nervous flutter in my gut. Sometimes it's a little stronger and I am shaky and unable to get full, deep breaths. Sometimes I'm nervous about a certain situation. And sometimes an attack comes on from out of nowhere...for seemingly no reason at all. The important thing is that now I am able to realize what's happening. I usually feel them coming on. Sometimes they sneak up on me. But they no longer prevent me from leaving the house. Now, when I feel an attack hit, I pray and then I speak it out...I tell Chris, "Honey, I'm feeling anxious for some reason." Then we'll talk about it for a minute...I take a few good, deep breaths...and then move through it. Many times, just speaking it out...telling someone...makes it lose it's power and loose its grip.
You may wonder why I never chose to get on medication for it. I don't like medication. My that medication, while very helpful for some, is too readily prescribed. I didn't want to be reliant on a pill. And I don't think God wanted me reliant on a pill either. He wanted me reliant on HIM. So...that's how I chose to deal with anxiety. I understand it's different for everyone. But I also understand that God is a BIG God...He's bigger than anxiety...He's bigger than depression...He's bigger than cancer...and He's certainly bigger than a pill.
Again, this is ONLY my OPINION. An opinion based on what God has done for ME. I am not condemning anyone for taking pills. But I do believe that for some...they're not necessary if we would just learn how to deal with the symptoms and the triggers using Godly tools, rather than masking them.
The bottom line is, God is good. And He loves us. ANd wants the best for us. He knows our hearts and our anxious thoughts. He wants us to be mind and body. He wants us to lean into trust rely on Him. And these trials we go through...these tests...are allowed as a way of strengthening us and drawing us nearer to Him. Not nearer to a pill. At least that's how I see it...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Some Thoughts of Fasting on Day 3:
First of all, I want to thank all of you for your comments, for your support, for your encouragement, and for your helpful advice during this fast. You are all amazing...and I'm glad you are there for me. On a not so positive note...and I'll just give you a warning...some grumbling is about to ensue. SO...walk on by if you don't want to hear honesty that includes much whining.
I know this is not what a fast is about. I'm supposed to be focusing on the Lord...and listening for His voice...and I am. I'm just also a bit distracted. Luckily, He is very patient with me...thank goodness.
It's Day 3 and I still have a headache. I've decided, I am not good at fasting. I feel like a failure. And apparently, according to what I've read, discouragement is common when one is fasting. From what I've read, it will pass. I hope it passes soon..because it's getting on my nerves. I'M getting on my nerves! I cried in the shower today...CRIED. Partly, because I want a diet Coke. But mostly because I am being so pathetic about the stuff!! Get a GRIP, girl!! And I just want to say that I hope you realize, those of you reading this, that I am writing this honestly. I pray that it is not a deterrent should you choose to do a fast. I recommend it. Obviously, it is VERY enlightening. I just don't like it.
That last sentence just made me laugh...I wonder if God is laughing at me, too? Maybe with me? Let's hope...


Unknown said...

Even in this part of the fast, God is revealing things to you... where your dependency is, what you fall back on when up against the wall, your humanity (He's God, we're not! He's strong, we're not.),...
We know these things, but do we KNOW them?

2 Cor. 10:4-5
"...for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,..."

Every thought captive to the obedience of Christ! Philippians 4:8!!!

Wish we lived closer too! What fun we would have!!

Mari said...

Thanks for being so honest about the fast. I can remember the first time I fasted, I had read up on it, and yes, being an avid coffee drinker, I weaned myself off, slowly before I tackled the fast. Even so, I still had headaches and terrible lower back aches. The longest I've ever gone on a fast was 7 days...and that was no food at all...only water.

I've been on a juice cleansing fast, and it was rather easy...but, sigh, I kept in a cup of coffee per day, so it made that one totally doable.

I admire what you are doing, and God knows your heart. You aren't a failure...if you were you would NOT have even tried this.

Fasting is NOT easy, and the only way I find I can do them, is if it is a spiritual journey. God always teaches me something.

Hang in there. You can do this!

I am praying for you now, Michelle, and as God brings you to my mind.

Anonymous said...

powerful post. i think i see a book on this in your future. xoxoxo

pinkpeppercorns said...

"I cried in the shower today...CRIED. Partly, because I want a diet Coke."

This gave me a very good chuckle. :)

You are so awesome. :)

kristenfeola said...

Just wanted to share a couple of verses to encourage you that were helpful to me when I was battling anxiety and fear:

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." - Psalm 56:3

"I sought the LORD and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." - Psalm 34:4

God is your Stronghold!

A Friend Across the Miles said...

Somewhere, in the not too distant past, someone asked if it was possible to like you any more than ever. Well, yes, it is. If I could reach through this screen and hug you, I would. Your honesty is so darn refreshing. And encouraging. And challenging.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Nancy said...

Love your honesty. Crying in the shower...partly because I want a Diet Coke....girl, you made me spit my diet coke out! I can relate to your pain. We're hooked on DC aren't we?

I want to encourage you to not consider yourself a failure at fasting. Instead see this as a learning experience. Anything we do in God's name is good. Amen.

And, if I could take you to Sonic for a Route 44 DC when this is all said and done, you know I would! We'd go for happy hour :0

Talitha said...

Oh Michelle, how I adore you! You are so brutally, fearlessly honest. I have fasted before, with similar results, but I was nowhere near brave enough to share those thoughts. Thank you! I think (now) that most of us probably feel that way when fasting. We are so faulty... broken... incapable. Thankful for Him who is more than capable!

And I totally agree with you on the pill thing.