About 8 years ago, I became quite ill with Barrett’s Oesophagus and food sensitivities. I lost so much weight and I had been told by doctors that if it progressed further – the survival rate was very low. I was also dealing with other disappointments at the time and I found myself fighting feelings of anxiety and fear. I was usually the bubbly and outgoing type but this got me so down. Many nights I would wake, my heart racing and I would be wet all over, afraid and with pressure on my chest. It was hard to breath. I could hardly cry out the words ‘Jesus’ and I kept thinking I was going to die. Other days I would have panic attacks and found it a struggle to get out of the house or into the car without feeling symptoms of anxiety.
Sometimes I would be sitting there with a friend chatting and could not even process what they were trying to tell me because I would be feeling so weird and my head was foggy. I desperately wanted to listen and take in what they were saying but I was so stuck!! It was ruling my life. I felt like I was at the bottom of a pit and couldn’t get myself out.
For months I went to see a Christian physiologist which did help, but most of all I continued to pray. I asked God many questions at the time but my main prayer was for Him to give me the keys to freedom. I knew He had a purpose for my life and I often thought, ‘how can I help others if I am living with this?’
Moment my moment God began working on my mindsets (some of which I had taken on from my childhood and teenage years when my family separated). There were underlying fears I had to face!! There were also things in the natural I had to deal with (Eg: taking a rest day/eating nourishing foods). Bit by bit God took me on a journey.
I also decided that I would not let anxiety and fear rule me anymore. They were not my friend!! There were spiritual and mind battles I had to fight. I held onto God and His word like never before.
I began living for the first time and God opened my eyes to so much more. I had to declare His word over my life and I had to stop thinking I was going to have a panic attack every day (or every minute ) and just look at the good things in my life.
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”. Phillippians 4:8
I was fueling fear and my result was fear but as I began to soak myself in Gods word and worship Him things began to change and shift.
My mind began focusing on what God says. It wasn’t easy and I think that year was one of the hardest times in my life. At the time I didn’t think there was any hope left and that I was going crazy! But now I look back and it feels like a distant memory but one that really shaped me and made me see life from a new perspective!
One of the greatest keys God gave me during that time was that if I start to focus on other people’s needs and not my own that freedom would come. It’s easy to focus on yourself especially when your feeling so sick and your mind is in a battle but as I began to do things for others my problems automatically became smaller. I began to realize how precious life is and how short our time here on earth is.
I didn’t want to live a small or self focused life anymore I wanted to make a difference with the time God has given me.
I have remained totally free from panic attacks to this day and so grateful to God for the wisdom He gave me. Don’t get me wrong there have been times where I have felt fear but it doesn’t rule me anymore and If I feel myself going there I remind myself who God is and that my life is in His hands.
The devil is out to steal, kill and destroy but God came to give us life and more abundant!
I now live an abundant life. There is a peace I carry in my heart. Things are not always perfect and I still face other challenges however I have a renewed sense that God loves me (perfect love casts out all fear) and that He knows my days and that until it’s my time I am going to enjoy life and live out my purpose.
I believe we are living in times where we need to know Gods peace in our lives and know who we are in Him.
And that we can offer this world something different – a true sense of HOPE – here on earth and for after.
Encouragement of the week:
I just pray that this encourages someone today facing the same battle and that it gives you a new sense of purpose and hope. A great song to listen to and declare is … No Longer Slaves (Bethel music)
Love Melly xx