Since that ORDINARY DAY it seems like many un- oridinary things have transpired. The Bible calls them 'trials and tribulations'. They are to be expected and anticipated in life. But during this time it felt like things kept happening in succession, like waves crashing on the shore and I was in the waves feeling like just when I'd get to my feet and begin to recover, another wave would hit me, slamming me down again. Anxiety began to build in me..leading me on to panic attacks. I felt like I was 'failing' somehow, like I wasn't a good Christian because I was succumbing to the anxiety. I retreated and isolated and dove head first into my Pity Pool. The funny thing about a Pity Pool is it is really comfortable when you first enter it..soothing, almost. It's warm with a jelly like consistency that makes you buoyant so you can just float there for hours. But then time came when I became just sick of myself, sick of feeling sorry for myself and I wanted out of my Pity Pool...only it takes a lot of effort to work yourself from the middle of the pool to the side steps. God was there,("I will never leave you or forsake you.") guiding me and helping me to the steps. And when I finally reached the steps and walked out of the pool, some pity still clung to me. Blessedly God provided Showers of Mercy and Grace to wash the residue of pity off of me. Some of the trials have not ended, but God has given me perspective and it is a day to day walk of trusting God. During this time I was able to visit my dear friend, Judy, who always has words of wisdom and encouragement for me. She explained that anxiety can be a normal reaction to life and the world we live in...that it doesn't make me a lesser Christian. To really bring it home for me, God used another friend last night, who was telling me on the phone of her physical ailments that have occurred in her body, that were stress related, causing her to be bed-ridden. She's an awesome Christian and highly respected and it never entered my mind that I would think she were a lesser Christian because of her ailments. God showed me that my reaction to stress with anxiety and her reaction to stress with physical problems are the same. I guess the test comes with what we DO with it all. In my friend's case she said "I think the Lord wants me to slow down and rest." In my case, I think the Lord is building my faith and increasing my compassion for people who fight the battle of anxiety every day. I am thankful that God finally bestowed on me the peace that passes understanding and that it rules in my heart (Phil. 4:7)
Psalm 18:16-19 (The Message)
But me He caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; He pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
... the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but GOD stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!