the fear trap, faith, and the importance of self care

this is part one of a two part post. 

this summer was a rough one for me. our daughter was dealing with a health fear...and i remember telling her that she could not let fear rule her life.  little did i know that i would have the opportunity to show her how. it all started as what i thought was a medical emergency, that turned into not as big as an emergency as i thought, but i still thought there was a much larger health issue that went undetected, that in turned caused me panic attacks and severe anxiety that caused heart palpitations, that caused more anxiety, that caused...  you get the point. it went round and round. 

i had forgot how to laugh.

i had forgot how to enjoy life.

i had forgot how much i enjoyed art.

i had forgot to look and see the gifts that God had placed in front of me.

i had forgot how to trust God.

i was in the deepest, darkest pit that i had ever known.

and i didn't think i would ever get out.

it wasn't until i reached out to my mentor and friend, that i finally saw a glimmer of light. after a month and a half, i finally was able to grasp a small amount of hope that i could, just maybe, get out. i started reading my bible daily, spending time in deep prayer, printing and taping bible verses around our home, reading christian blogs on dealing with anxiety and listening to podcasts on God's goodness. but i didn't feel much better. i was still waking up gasping for air, still crying almost daily, begging God to take my anxiety and fear away. the anxiety was starting to take a toll on my body. i felt myself wasting away...both physically and mentally. i was a sliver of who i had been before. and it scared me.

until one day my husband said to me that i had to let go of the stress. i told him all of what i had been doing. in his wisdom that God gave him...he told me that it didn't matter how much i was reading and praying, i had to actually let go. i'm sitting here in tears remembering that day, because at the time it hurt. i believed that if God wanted me healed, He would heal me. but God brought to my mind a verse... 

“Do not merely listen the the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
— James 1:22

my husband was right. it didn't matter how much i read my bible, i needed to act on it. i needed to believe it. i had to let go of control. of the stress. of expectations. of my thinking that i knew more then the doctors or, yes...even God. the doctors, by the way, cleared me of any heart issues. they say it is perfect condition. stress can cause heart palpitations. imagine that. so can hormones. and caffeine. and fatigue. oh goody. it's been a daily, sometimes, hourly, of letting go and letting God. i feel weak. and unusable. and not good for anything. and i have learned...that's right where the enemy wants me...

 i hope you'll come back for part two...

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be alert of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
— 1 Peter 5:6-8