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.