Showing posts with label anxiety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anxiety. Show all posts

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Anxiety attack

I let myself cry last night. I hate crying. When I cry I feel weak and embarrassed. I feel as if I am not holding it together. I feel broken. I especially hate crying in front of my children. I don't want to break their spirits or concern them. I don't want them to see mommy out of control. When I cry in front of them I feel as if I am failing to show them God's light, love, and hope.

I tell them all the time that it is ok to cry. I tell them that it is ok to feel overwhelmed. I tell them that I love them and I pray with them, but when it comes to myself I act differently. If the person in this situation was a friend of mine or just a stranger, I would love them and support them. I don't allow myself the same grace. 

Let me give you a little background on what lead to this crash and burn. Our van is in the shop until next week. My loving parents are going to cover the cost; it is a huge blessing but I feel an overwhelming amount of guilt. I feel unworthy of them to spend even $30 on me, but this amount (which just hearing the amount throws me into a panic) I feel as if I am not good enough to accept a gift this big. My loving amazing hubby is out of town for the week on a Missions trip. I am so proud of him, but I also battle feelings of guilt for being selfish and bothering him with the troubles and wanting him here with me. 

So here I am with all three girls. It is their bedtimes and I feel an anxiety attack coming on, so I tell them to go to bed. Elizabeth, with her loving heart, brings me water. Charlie comes to say good night to me and knocks the entire cup on the floor. Suddenly everything goes into slow motion in my head. The cup of water has fallen on the ground next to all of my hidden and special things from my recently deceased grandma. I see water getting onto the boxes where documents, pictures, and other items are. I try to get it up, I scream at Abbie to get towels, I scream at Charlie to get out of the way, and it seems that are not moving. I suddenly feeling an wave of grief over my grandma hit as the anxiety attack takes over. My chest is tight and I can not breathe. I get all of her stuff up and dry, thankfully there is no damage. As the adrenaline wears off, I feel out of control but hold on by a thin string. Elizabeth with her loving heart thinks I am upset because the water she brought me has spilled and she has gone to get me a new cup. When she walks into my door way with the cup, the string breaks.

"Mommy, it's ok. I am sorry Charlie spilled your water. I brought you a new one." 

I break down and begin scream pleading with her to please go pour it out. No water please please take it out. As she walks away, I realize that Charlie is crying and apologizing for spilling the water. Elizabeth is crying and apologizing for bringing me water. Abbie is trying to calm them and keep them away from me. I want to comfort them and tell them that it is ok, but I am crippled with anxiety.  I begin shaking, rubbing my ear to calm myself down, and rocking. I am doing everything I can to keep myself from crying. I am unable to talk or make eye contact with them. I am able to message a friend and my hubby. My world felt like it was crumbling and I was unable to hold it together. Elizabeth with her loving heart brings me a cup of her colored pencils as a gift. Even though it felt like everything was mumbled and I couldn't process all the noises around me, I hear her voice to Abbie. "I want to do anything I can to make her happy again. I don't want mommy to be sad." Abbie tries to physically remove Elizabeth from the room as tears begin to stream down my cheeks and all I can see is the blurry image of them falling and leaving streaks on my shirt.

I look up, still unable to stop the tears, and tell Abbie to leave Elizabeth alone. I set her gift down and lay down on my bed. I have her lay next to me. I breakdown in tears. I cuddle her. She asks me questions. Why am I sad? Do I miss daddy? Do I miss my grandma? Why am I crying? Will I be ok? 
I am still unable to speak. I just nod in response. I let myself cry, and I let myself cry in front of my girls.

Can I say how good God is? He is so good. I am so thankful for what he does and how He brings me peace in ways I couldn't imagine. 

I hear Elizabeth and Abbie talking about what they should do. They both agree that they should pray over me. Elizabeth is cuddling with me, Abbie sits behind me and puts her hand on my back and they pray. I can feel the anxiety subside, but tears still continue to stream down my face. I am finally able to speak to them.

Elizabeth asks what is wrong and I, remembering her struggling earlier in the weak to communicate her negative feelings, say "a bunch of bad feelings". I tell her that I miss daddy. That it has been a long day. That I miss my grandma. I tell her that I am just feeling sad and was feeling frustrated. I tell her that I feel sad and guilty for making them sad and cry. I tell her that I am also happy to have them. I tell her that I hate crying, especially in front of people. "I am that way too mommy". Elizabeth offers to bring me a new cup of water and I chuckle.

Feeling completely drained, I have them call Charlie into the room. I apologize to Charlie for getting upset about the water. I tell her that I know it was an accident. I tell her that I love her and always will. I love all my girls.

The three girls agree that they need to take care of mommy. They decide to give mommy a relaxing (not relaxing to me but sweet) back rub and massage my feet. All three girls karate chop my back. Elizabeth and Abbie see how dirty my feet are from walking around and they literally clean my feet. I am reminded of how Jesus cleaned the feet of the disciples.

I am in awe of God and His infinite grace and love. He sent my loving amazing children to not only love me in my mess, but to pray over me and literally was my feet. (it was with a squirt bottle, paper towels, and lotion lol).

I know that this week will not be easy. I might be anxious, I  might be overwhelmed, I might be tired, I might be frustrated, and I might be lonely. God will still be good. He will still be in control. He will still hold me. 





Friday, September 9, 2016

Why are God's People Afraid to be Real?

In the past I thought being a good Christian meant wearing a mask. Projecting an image of happiness and wholeness to all those around me. I thought the mask would help others to see Jesus through me. It would keep my brokenness from becoming a distraction to others. I would wear this mask that I created and when the mask would slip, I would become overcome with guilt for failing as a Christian.

Through the last several years, I have found that sometimes people can see God most shining through the cracks of my brokenness. I was doing God no favors by being artificial. God wanted to use my brokenness. He wanted to heal my brokenness. He wanted to love me in my brokenness.

As a society we have things that are stigmatized. Things that go unspoken for fear of rejection and judgement. Sadly, this is not much more different in our Christian walk.There are some subjects that are uncomfortable and can make us feel vulnerable.

Top Three Things Christians Hide: (Some of these overlap)

1. Mental Illness- Depression, Anxiety, Postpartum, Bipolar, PTSD, Schizophrenia, ect.

As I struggle with depression I find times when I feel the need to fake a smile, even when I am feeling shattered. Sometimes it is to hide my struggle. Sometimes it is to not make someone else uncomfortable. Also, sometimes it is because it makes me feel like I can just make it through. I am one of those personalities where if I am on the verge of crying and a friend tries to comfort me through kind words or through even just a touch, I fall apart and have a hard time gaining composure again.

In our society, mental illnesses are seen as weakness. They are often misunderstood. As Christians we are one body. So why can't we be vulnerable with our brothers and sisters in Christ? How is our pride getting in the way of allowing us to seek support and prayer? Are our expectations of others and attitudes keeping others from reaching out to us?

2. Addictions- Drugs, Alcohol, Food, Pornography, ect.

As I struggle with overeating I feel a deep sense of shame and guilt. I will have a nagging thought that seems to get louder and louder as I entertain it. I seek it for comfort. It makes me feel better, but the feeling is so short lived and I end up feeling defeated and worse than before. It is an idol that I have given myself to and that I felt could take away the pain. Food is not the only addiction I have had in my life, but at this time it is the one that I struggle with day by day, hour by hour, sometimes moment by moment.

If so many with addictions find help with support groups, how many more Christians could if we could be open about our struggles? If we could listen, support, and pray for them? Unfortunately, judgmental attitudes get in the way of showing love to each other. Imagine a brother or sister in Christ came to you and said, "Please pray for me. I am addicted to pain pills." How easy would it be to judge that person? It can be so easy to compare ourselves to others, when really we should be comparing ourselves to Jesus.

3. Sexual Immorality- Lust, Adultery, Pornography, ect.

A little over ten years ago, I had an emotional affair that turned into physical affair. It had started as a friendship. Someone who I felt understood me and who made me feel better about myself, when at the time I felt I was in a loveless marriage. I quickly became emotionally attached to the person. My heart would start racing when I saw their number on the caller id. I would find reasons to go and talk. After having a fight with my husband, I went to my friend for comfort. The emotional affair became physical and I had committed adultery. I was so attached to this person that I was willing to break apart my family. My life quickly fell apart. It was soon after that I allowed Jesus to be the Lord of my life.Thankfully, God has worked so many miracles in my life and has brought healing and restoration into my marriage.

In the church sex and sexual immorality is often a topic that is brushed aside. We feel uncomfortable talking about it and it has become faux pas. So many families are or have been impacted by sexual sins. It seems almost like we believe if we ignore it, it will go away. Sexual sins are embarrassing, but they wont just go away. Jesus was a great example with the Samaritan woman at the well. 


John 4:15-19 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
John 4:39-41 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  And because of his words many more became believers.

Why should we get real?

*Not only are mental illnesses, addictions, and sexual immorality similar in the way they are stigmatized, they are all very isolating struggles. They lead to others withdrawing and trying to handle it on their own. If we as a body can start communicating about them, it will remove some of the power of them. We can then lift each other up and encourage each other. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.


*We are a light, even in our brokenness. The world is filled with fallen broken people. If we can be real with others, they can see that God loves us in our brokenness. We are unable to do good on our own, but God still uses us to bring Him glory. How cool to have a God that can use the very things that we struggle with, to help others. 

1 Timothy 1:15-17 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Brothers and Sisters, 
If you are struggling and you feel all alone, you are not! It may feel like the world is caving in on you and like you are just trying to survive. Even then, God is still there. He loves you so much and you are precious to Him. Please reach out to a friend, family member, a doctor, or a pastor. We are stronger with others at our side. Please let me know if there is any way I can pray for you! 
God Bless, 
Faith

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Prayer of the Doubter

God, You are good. You are have always had your hand of protection and provision upon me and my family. I have seen You do miracles that would be considered great to many and in some that would be considered tiny. You have shown me great mercy and love, even in times when I was least deserving. You reign Most High over all. 

Yet God, I still struggle to see You at time. I struggle to remember Your goodness and faithfulness. I struggle to understand that You are bigger than my circumstances. I struggle to know that You love me in my weaknesses. I struggle to look to You first, instead of trying to carry the burden alone. 

God, I am sorry for my lack of faith. I am sorry for taking my eyes off of You. I am sorry for allowing the things around me to consume me with anxiety. I am sorry for failing to give You the glory and honor You always deserve. 

God, my God, I need Your help. Help me to set my eyes on You, Lord. Help me narrow the gap between my head and my heart. Help me to rest in Your promises. Help me to have more self control when it comes to my emotions. Help me to hide Your word in my heart. Help me to set aside the things in this world and of my flesh and become more like Jesus. Help me to remember to place my concerns at the foot of the cross and to leave them there. Most of all, Lord, help me in my unbelief. 

Amen

There is a great sermon from Pastor Rob Schneider titled The Struggle of Faith on 9/7/2014 on the website http://www.calvarysbc.com/media.php?pageID=6

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Facing others (Part 1)

Have you ever ran into or met someone that you personally don't know, but that person knows about you? 


Growing up I had this happen often. My mom would tell someone at work or one of her friends about me and what trouble I was giving her. When I would meet the person I would feel mildly embarrassed but would brush it off. It was never anything that I considered too personal. I am often that way. As I have said before, I am an open book... the strange thing is I at least get to know who I am an open book to and I am the one choosing to tell the person which gives me a sense of control. 


Tonight, I was blessed with being able to attend a small group of very loving people, but I was also extremely anxious because the leader of the group knows of some of my scars that I am not and won't be able to divulge anyone else with. There was a situation that I did not cause but it ended up effecting me. God has been so gracious in the grace, healing, and restoration He has brought to the situation. One of the persons who God is using as a vessel to heal this situation is the leader. 


I had heard so many good things about this man's ministry. He has taken a deep wound from his past and gave it to God. Though his wound had hurt many around him, he was able to seek restoration and healing through Christ and is now showing others how to do the same. His name is Tony Ingrassia and he is one of the pastors at Outpost Church. His ministry strongly focused on the healing of so many kind so wounds. When I met him, he was nothing but gracious to me. He introduced himself and involved me in simple conversation to make me feel more welcome. I was so glad to meet him and to get a chance to see the group I had heard so much about. Suddenly, my excitement turned into nerves. 
I felt as if he had seen some deep hidden place in my heart, a wound that had been concealed for the welfare of others. I had decided to give God my anxieties and to listen whole heartedly to what God had for me to learn (I will cover that part in the second half of this post). My feelings were very similar to those written about  in "Killing me Softly."





As the discussion part started I had a battle dwelling within me. Part of me wanted to be honest and vulnerable about what God was showing me through the lesson, but the other part didn't want to make myself any more vulnerable that I was already feeling. 


"There's a battle between good and evil
And it's raging inside of me
There's a struggle - it's God and the devil
It's Love against the Enemy"- Chris August


I did decide to share and I am so glad I did. I continued to feel anxious for a while after the group had ended, but I knew that I didn't want to give Satan a foot-hold. I have to give God praise and glory for helping me, teaching me, and for carrying me through my weakness. 

It is late and I would love to share what I learned from the lesson part but I need to go to bed. I will share with you all tomorrow.

Just as a bit of a preview, I will be sharing off of this thesis.. 

"You must give God direct access to the most wounded places of your past, to be healed in the present, so you can have a 
healthier future." - Tony Ingrassia, Outpost Church




Part 2

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My struggle with self image...

When I look into the mirror I don't recognize myself. I see this person who has glimpses of me but at the same time is not in the same body as I remember. At some points I try to avoid them, for fear of breaking down in tears. As distorted as it is, I don't imagine myself as a fat person. I feel trapped in my body. 


I am an emotional eater. I am sitting here filled with anxiety over what I am about to post, and trying to resist the large bag of  Cheetos that is calling to me. Though I know it is wrong, I am one of those people who eat to numb the pain. 


When I was speaking to a friend of mine, the other day, we were discussing anticipatory anxiety (where you become anxious at the thought of whatever might cause anxiety. One of my counselors told me that the best way to face it is head on. 


So here I go.... (heart beat races... breathing becomes rapid... sweat begins to accumulate on forehead.)


I had seen a news article on a very different blog. The Belly Project is where they are encouraging "real women", as they call them, to post a picture of their bellies. Under the picture they state the age and  any pregnancies, surgeries, or other things that make your belly what it is today. 


27 Yrs old & 2 Pregnancies (10 months post labor)


The truth:

I am beautiful from inside out. 
I am not alone. Many women have issues with their self-image.
I am wonderfully made but a great creator.
My belly housed my beautiful daughters. 
My mind can be deceptive and distort things even more. 



Proverb 31:30 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."


Genesis 1:27 "So God created mankind in his own image, 
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them."


Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."




How do you feel about your body? What do you think about the women from the Belly Project?

Friday, June 1, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 4

List 5 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.


1. Lose the weight now... You may think that you are obese but you are only slightly overweight. It would be a lot easier to lose the weight now then to try to when you are obese. 


2. The fibromyalgia pain is not going to go away... Don't feel defeated, but also don't let the pain stop you from doing thing. I know you want it to just mysteriously go away but it wont. It may sound weird but you will grow to appreciate it when you see that it pulls you closer to God and creates character. 


3. Be more active in school activities... I know you think it is cool to be one of the "weird" ones and to rebel against the system but you will regret not doing any activities with your free time. 


4. You are not stupid... The reason you have are having problems reading is not because you are stupid. Your reading level is definitely not where it should be, with help at Sylvan, things with be so much better. Don't wait to tell the parents and to get help.


5. Spend time with your brothers.... I know that you must be thinking "Whhaaatttt?", but trust me. In a few years you wont really see either of them except on holidays. One will be starting a family and be very busy, and the other will isolate himself from the family. You are going to miss them and maybe by forming a better relationship with them now you can keep the connection. 


Even though I may say all of this to myself, I know that 16 yr old be was hard-headed. I didn't really listen to anyone. Though I would recognize my own face, I would not recognize anything else about myself. I will become, what was at the time, my own worst fear. I became my mother... lol


Part of me wants to warn myself about friends that will deeply betray me, but I even though they caused me pain I would not give up the time I had with them. It was a good time. 


There are lots of struggles after I was sixteen (teen pregnancy, manic depression, shaky marriage, ect.), but I wouldn't tell myself about them because it would just make the younger version of me anxious, and because God uses it to build my character. Those things also are what brought me to making Jesus the Lord of my life. Prior to my struggles He was just Savior. 


Matthew 11:29 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."


Romans 5:2-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."


What would you tell your 16yr old self? Would you take back anything? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2

Describe 3 legitimate fears and explain why you fear them..


1. I just realized today that I have a fear of my husband losing his job. In the last year my husband has shown up at home early twice unannounced. Each time I was hit in the gut with a terrible feeling. Just upon seeing his face after he opened the door, I knew that he had lost his job. I felt so overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. I feared not being able to pay the bills or provide for the girls. His new job has him coming home at random times when they are not busy. When he walks in the door my heart and thoughts start racing. I know in my head that God is in control and that he has and will provide for us, but my flesh pulls me into a place of fear. 


2. Depression, anxiety, manic depression, and other mental illnesses run strong in my family as well as my husbands family. Since my oldest daughter is so much like me, I fear her possible struggle with mental illness. I remember the feeling of being in the deepest darkest place ever. Being only seven years old, we have already seen a few red flags such as her mentioning suicidal thoughts. I so want to take away any possible pain she may have. I know that it is my job to teach her to trust in God, to control her emotions and actions, and to communicate anything that might concern her. 


3. Spiders... they are creepy, they are quiet, they have eight legs, they are spiders.. Need I say more? Little spider or big spider it doesn't matter. They all scare me. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Making Good Impressions

As my husband sets down the phone my anxieties rise. I know what he is about to say and I know that there is not much time, or is there? My heart starts pounding and I start to contemplate all that needs to be done. Then he says it, "My dad is coming over and will be here in 30 mins to and hour." Ugh, the In-laws. 


Let me explain myself. My husbands parents are divorced and have been since he was a little boy. His father was remarried and now has five more children. His mother has three boys with his father and one after the divorce. I love my In-laws very much and enjoy spending time with them, the only part I don't like is the In-law part. I feel this enormous pressure to please and impress my In-laws. The pressure isn't assisted any by my husbands distance from them. He isn't as close with his parents as I am with mine or as I would like him to be. I so want them to feel welcome and at home with me and in my home. My husband really doesn't understand this concept. He always gets made when I make a mad dash around the house to clean. 


I know what each of them likes and I try to use their likes to make them feel welcome. When my MIL, Mother in law, comes over I turn on Whitney Huston or Celine Dion; she is a little easier to please. For my FIL I bake. A few years ago, when he came to the house, I was baking a cake. He mentioned how lucky Alvin was to have someone who makes delicious food for him and how it reminded him of how his moms house used to smell. Ever since I try to bake something when he comes over. I like to have something that makes him feel relaxed and happy when everything seems to be crazy.


My mom always had a way of making people feel at home in her home. When my aunt would come over, my mom would have her favorite candy. When a friend would come over, my mom would have their favorite game out. I always saw it as an amazing gift of love. 


1 John 4:7 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."


Last night things became a little more difficult when my hubby threw me a curve ball. When the FIL was here, my hubby decided to give something, that was given to me from my dad, to one of his little sisters. He told my FIL that I had said it was ok and that I haven't used it in a long time. I was trying so hard to be self-controlled and to not flip out and make my FIL uncomfortable. When I had a moment alone with my hubby, I tried to explain the position he put me in. How much the item meant to me and how it wasn't fair for him to give away something of mine when I am not even allowed to touch anything of his. I tried to encourage him to give away his item that he doesn't use either but he refused.


I don't know if I was more angry at his actual actions or if I was more mad at the fact that I was blind-sided and embarrassed. I am trying to learn how to let it go. I know that no item is worth the separation from my husband. I also know that I need to show my husband love just as much as I need to show his family. 


1 Peter 3:1-6 "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."


I love writing. I started this blog angry and stressed and now I feel refreshed and clear headed. Thank you for listening to my ramblings. 


How do you feel around your In-laws? Do you clean up, like a mad woman, before company? How do you handle anger?