I Believe…

Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life. – Renee Swope, A Confident Heart

The panic attacks began a little over a year ago.

I had come to the end of a stress-impacted season, which had begun with the death of my father. I didn’t have time to grieve, and so I masked my pain with the busyness of life, work, and academics. Once the school year came to an end, I had no more disguise. The emotion was overwhelming. The panic set in.

For a year now, I have lived with extreme doubts, anxieties, phobias, and internal, unexplainable panic. My powerlessness to control situations and my inability to “keep it all together” has led to disfunction in relationships, the inability to complete tasks, and my lack of motivation to pursue dreams. Very few knew. I wear a smile. Dress to impress. Hide the doubts. And dismiss oddities and indiosyncrisies as my A-type personality.

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder? Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Who knows.

It doesn’t matter.

It just feels terrible.

Just when I thought I was going to drown, a professor at my university shared with me five simple words that have become a mantra for him in his battle against fear–“This Is Not From Him.” I have repeated these words many times for the last few months, and yet the panic continues.

It is not enough to remind myself that doubt, fear, and anxiety are not from the Lord.

Rather I must rely upon what IS from the Lord.

What are His truths? What do I believe?

I believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)

I believe he is making me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I believe my hope is found in Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)

I believe the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

I believe the Lord is trustworthy (2 Samuel 7:28)

I believe that the Lord is with me and I need not fear (Isaiah 41:10)

I believe the Lord is working all things together for good (Romans 8:28)

And in these beliefs…these promises from God, I rest.

And the panic begins to fade.

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37 thoughts on “I Believe…

  1. This..Is..Not..From..Him Thank you! I am going to remind myself of this in a situation I have in my life. I believe it will help me to not react when I get frustrated but by reminding myself of this I would much better be able to respond.

  2. I am writing that list down to use for myself, too! It will be so great to have those truths and verses in one place to quickly find when doubt sets in. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is not from Him! I love this, and it is exactly what I needed this morning as one of my own fears (a very stupid one at that) seems to keep resurfacing. That fear is not of Him! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me this morning.

  4. Mary — your post touched my core. I went all through graduate school in the shadows of anxiety with frequent panic attacks. I took medication, and plugged along, pretending and hiding my pain. I found my solace in the Scriptures, and my way out through Him.

  5. Mary, I been in your shoes before and know how the enemy can “come in like a flood,” but the Lord our God is greater than those thoughts and feelings. I hope you continue to allow God and His Word to bring healing and strength to you in mind, body, and spirit. God is love and He is light to you. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    Love and prayers,
    Barbara Prince, OBS Small Group Leader/Prayer Warrior Team

  6. Amen! I love that you focus on what you believe IS from Him. If you focus on what is not from Him, you just keep focusing on the bad stuff. It is better to focus on His promises in the Word! God bless you for sharing with us today and that your panic is fading!

  7. Mary, thank you so much for sharing your story. I have struggled with some of the same things on and off over the years. ”This Is Not From Him.” I love this! I will be telling myself that today. Prayers for you and for you also Debbie!

  8. Loved reading your blog Mary. I too have suffered with anxiety but I’m pleased to say that God has brought me a long way in overcoming it, however my husband still suffers & it is very painful.

    We had been hoping & praying for a miraculous instant recovery for a couple of years & although I do believe God could do this if he wanted to we recently rediscovered through his Word, that when our He created us he gave us free will which means we choose our thoughts! He says ‘Do not LET you hearts be troubled…’- John 14:1 and ‘Do not be anxious about anything…’ – Philippians 4:6. These verses reminded us that we CHOOSE to be worried / anxious, the ball is in our court! God tells us not to be anxious & if we BELIEVE His Word then we don’t have to be. I think you’re absolutely right in claiming God’s promises & believing them – I am with you & we are choosing freedom!

    • Amen sweet sister! I love your remarks to choose freedom! For we have freedom in Christ from the chains of anxiety and panic. Thank you for joining me in this struggle and in claiming God’s promises! We are overcomers!

  9. I also walk the path of panic attacks. Mine were pointing me toward a much deeper thing- facing the depression that was very, very, real in my life. My battle is physical and spiritual, so I am in a season of therapy and medication, which is just fine. I is identify with pasting on that smile, getting dressed every day for school and pretending, the exhausting pretending. I still do some pretending-my husband is the worship pastor at our church, and out of my deep respect for the love of my life, it is not yet time to share this invisible illness. Thank you!

  10. I read this blog as if I wrote it myself. I am experiencing the same thing except I lost my mom at the age of 56. Being a single mom of 2 elementary aged children at the time, my life was crazy. As things settled down a bit, I began to actually grieve and I haven’t been able to stop. It’s been 6 years now. I feel so alone, I need my mom. I have parenting questions for my now teenagers. The other emotion my church staff had to add to my set Not From Him list is GUILT!

    Thanks for sharing Mary!

  11. Thank you for sharing your story! I suffer from anxiety that makes me physically sick at times. It is my hope that this OBS will help me to personally know God so the nasty devil on my shoulder who brings me anxiety and doubt will go away for good!

  12. I’m a leader of a small Facebook group and one the ladies recommended your blog to us. Thank you for your submission! I’m going to have to remember that “This Is Not From Him.”

    Also, I checked out your about page and see you work at Crossroads. I grew up less than a mile from that church and attended for some time while in junior high. However, I don’t live in Corona anymore. How awesome to have read your blog today!

    Blessings,
    Bree, OBS Facebook Leader

    • Bree, thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I am also an OBS small group leader. Where do you live now? My family and I live in Riverside and I have been working at Crossroads for a little over a year. Blessings to you.

      • Hi Mary, I live in Orange County, but I’m hoping to move to LA soon. I’ve been testing for a position for several months and will find out in two weeks if I’ll have an opportunity to interview. I lived in Corona for over 20 years and graduated from UC Riverside. When I went to Crossroads, they conducted services in tents (that was about 17 years ago). It’s such a small world! God bless, Bree

  13. Thank you for sharing your struggles. I too struggle with worry and fear that has gotten worse since having a child. This is Not from Him is so wonderful to remember. I’m going to start remembering to tell myself that when fear and worry start in. Thank you so much! God Bless You

  14. Mary, your story so resonates with me. My father died 31 years ago today … unexpectedly and tragically. I thought I had dealt with it, but for years I pushed it aside and pressed on … so I thought. Finally, 10 years later the Lord brought me to my knees and the healing began. Obviously, you are opening up to his healing power. He is the great physician and can cure us of all that ails us.

  15. I love those I believe statements! It is amazing how repeating those truths can be so calming when the anxiety strikes. I have those panic moments too, more often than I care to admit. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I remember having my first (hopefully only) panic attack–scared the living day lights out of me. I am also type-A and have struggled so much with anxiety and depression. I have done exactly what you are doing- posting Scripture all over the place, playing Christian music all the time, just keeping my mind completely filled up with God thoughts. As humbling as it was, and boy was it, my dad called our pastor and he asked the church to pray. Perhaps one of the biggest things that helped was reading Neil Anderson’s book- The Bondage Breaker. I had no idea until I read that how much spiritual warfare I was facing, because I also had gone back to school for my master’s degree and was right in the middle of God’s will. Not an easy time, but God brought me through. I love your blog!

  17. I enjoyed reading your blog so much as I too have had severe panic attacks for years following a hostage situation at gunpoint where I worked as a charge nurse. I suffered from PTSD and could not go anywhere for a while. I could not work. I barely started getting back to functioning and my husband of 39 years died very suddenly last Christmas and i am now in panic mode again as he is the one who stood by me through everything. Two weeks ago I was told my father had very little time left, but we are all Christians and tonight I am going to write done some of those I believe statements and remember that all my doubts and fears come from Satan, not my wonderful Savoir! I am so glad I read this!! Thank you sharing!!

    • Martha, my heart breaks for your circumstances. I will be praying for you as you struggle through this difficult time. Claim His promises. He is faithful even in the storms! He will never leave you!

  18. I understand your trouble with anxiety. I deal with this too. Sometimes the fear and worry are so overwhelming that I don’t know how I get out of bed in the morning. Thank you for posting those scriptures, I’ll be taking note of those! Praying that you are able to overcome the panic attacks!!!

  19. How dear of our Father in Heaven to reach down to you with love and encouragement from that professor. He is so good! Thank you Mary for taking the time to also post those wonderful encouraging verses. They will be coming along with me today! God bless you!

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