“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3
Today is my cousin Bethany’s birthday. She would have been 41 years old today, and sadly she passed away at age 36. We were like sisters growing up. Even as we got older, we stayed in touch. When I got the call in October 2012 that she had passed, my heart was broken. Our family had already experienced 3 family losses in 2010. I was devastated. I believe all of the tragedies my family had gone through, the every day responsibilities of being a busy wife and mother, and family members who are alive and well not having much to do with me and my family slowly contributed to my downfall. I became UNDONE or in modern day terms, I had a breakdown.
A year ago on this day, I had a severe panic attack. I am not sure if it was because of my late cousin’s birthday (she would have turned 40 last year) or the stress of all the activities the kids were involved in that week. I don’t have the answers, but it scared me. I tried to seek help, but the medicine they gave me made me sick and I had another attack two weeks later. Three years ago, I had a really bad panic attack where it felt like someone was choking me. It lasted for hours. I’m sorry if this scares you, but it’s like Shane Hale wrote the other day, it’s not my story, but His.
My recovery from those attacks has been long and hard. I did all I could to get help and it took months to finally get some answers. I was physically and emotionally sick. I lost 10 pounds because I was too stressed to eat. I wish I could tell you all that happened to me, but what I mainly want to share is that God, only God lifted me out of that pit. The devil not only came after me during the day, but even at night I would have night terrors. Yes, this happened and yes this was a very dark and scary time in my life, but God… He brought me back to life. It did not happen overnight, but I started a prayer journal and did a lot of research on anxiety, panic attacks and stress. I know what Scripture says about anxiety and worry. I wish I could say I am fully recovered, but I am not. What I CAN say is even though I’ve come close to having other panic attacks, God has not allowed what happened a year ago to happen to me again. He has given me strength and courage that could only come from Him. He has fought this battle FOR me and taught me how to fight to keep my mind and thoughts under control. My relationship with Jesus is closer than ever. I know if I had not gone through this, my walk might not be as close with Him. He is my number one priority, my Rock, my Refuge, and my Counselor. I know in my heart that I went through such a dark time to help other people who might be going through that too. Hey Satan “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..” Genesis 50:20
I am still standing even though I’ve been knocked down quite a few many times in my life, I ALWAYS get back up. I will fight until my last breath and the Lord is fighting for us all even though we may not be able to see or feel it sometimes. Keep fighting the good fight sweet friends. I hope this encourages someone today. This was very difficult for me to share, but I felt like God wanted me to testify how He brought me through the most difficult time in my life. With God, all things are possible. Stay close to Him and He will uphold you by His righteous right hand. 🙏🏻
4.1 mile run today in honor of my cousin’s 41rst birthday. Running is my outlet and it’s just what I do especially days like today. Our family has experienced so much loss over the last 7 years. I run prayer miles for others who may be sick or grieving too. I dedicate my run to Bethany today. I love you and miss you. So thankful you are at peace.