Friday, June 1, 2018

The Lord, My Glory, the Lifter of My Head

                                                            Fledgling Purple Martin

 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Ps. 3:3, ESV

Saturday, May 26, 2018

My Testimony

First published on this blog October 28, 2008:

When my panic attacks began, I read every book about overcoming panic I could find and put what I learned into practice, but nothing worked. My doctor immediately tried medication, but I ended up being medication-sensitive to the SSRIs prescribed to me. SSRIs help prevent panic attacks and, coincidentally, also treat depression. I was able, however, to tolerate alprazolam, a sedative, in its lowest dose. At the same time I took medication, I went to counseling. I faced the abuse I suffered in the past, the lack of peace in the present, and was told I needed to change my negative thought patterns and change my self-image. In other words, I needed to reinvent myself. No one told me how.

I read self-help books and bought positive self-talk tapes and tried to believe in the statements I was to repeat every day, but the critical side of me would not be silenced. I didn’t have any faith in what those statements said. I wasn’t confident. People didn’t seek me out because I exuded strength. I didn’t believe I was going to have a great day. I didn’t believe I had control of my life. If I couldn’t control my panic attacks, how in the heck was I supposed to believe that I had the power to change my life. The panic attacks just seemed to reinforce that I’d lost all control. I never knew when they were coming, how long they’d last, or if they’d ever stop.

Over time my attacks became stronger, and I began sensing evil along with the fear. I thought I was losing my mind, and I wondered if my husband and doctors knew I was going crazy but were afraid to tell me.

In the spring of 2004, I cried out to Jesus for help, knowing that He would do something. I then put myself on my church's email prayer list. A week later, a friend called me and invited me to Beth Moore’s Believing God Bible study. I hadn’t spoken to this friend in over 2 years. I knew this was God answering my prayer. I was afraid to leave my house, but I said I would go. Later, while watching TV, I fell asleep on the couch. By the time I woke up, the Bible study had already started. I told myself it was too late, that I wouldn't go, but then something inside me compelled me to grab my alprazolam and my Bible and go anyway.

The video had already started when I slipped into the dark room and slid into the nearest chair by the door—in case I needed a quick exit because of panic. Someone gave me a book and I heard Beth Moore on the video saying that God wanted me to live life abundantly. That I didn’t have to just survive—that I could thrive. Every word she spoke seemed to be aimed at me, and I felt something in me leap in response. I was hearing Truth for the first time in a long time. I poured myself into that Bible study, and I began experiencing real peace. That Bible study helped me understand so much. My faith grew and I went back to church for the first time in 2 years. The next Sunday I went back to Sunday School. The next Sunday, I taught the Sunday School lesson and was singing in the choir!

After Believing God, I bought Beth’s Breaking Free study and began putting into practice her advice about praying God’s Word over my challenges. I compiled a list of Bible verses that dealt with overcoming fear—verses I’ve posted in this blog—and I began reading them every morning and evening. About 4 months later, a panic attack came, and I had had so many days of peace with God, that it felt like an intrusion—something that threatened to separate me from God. I felt a "NO!" in my spirit, and I grabbed my verses and prayed them out loud to God through my anxious tears. By the time I got to the last verse, the panic was gone. I hadn’t even had to take extra medication. I could scarcely believe it! After that, any time a panic attack threatened, I grabbed my verses and prayed and the panic attack would leave. Over time, they stopped coming at all. Praise God!

I still read over those verses when I'm anxious or upset and not a day goes by that I don't thank God for His faithfulness and love.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Read the Bible to Your Anxiety

Dr. John Piper takes on anxiety in this three-part video series. Click here.

Love this excerpt:

"Jesus assumes that truth — reasons, arguments, facts — affects or influences the emotions. Anxiety is an emotion. It is not a decision. We don’t decide to get anxious. It happens to us. Jesus attacks anxiety in Matthew 6 with truth, facts, promises, and reasons."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Exciting Bird Sightings!

You all know how much I love birds. Well, God knows, too. After church, I took a nap, and then I felt the urge to go outside with my camera. And the Lord just amazed me this afternoon! For the first time in my life I saw a summer tanager, (see video), and a scarlet tanager--within minutes of each other! (I didn't film the scarlet tanager because I thought he was the summer tanager. But then when I went online to double-check, I realized they were two different birds). Then I saw four Baltimore orioles--the first I've seen this year. Last year, I only saw one and just for a few minutes. The cedar waxwings were back, too.There is no activity more relaxing to me than getting outside and observing the Lord's creation. I began doing this during my season of panic attacks, and I always felt refreshed and more at peace. That God was close. I hope these pictures can somehow translate some of that peace to you all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

God Is Light; There is No Darkness In Him

Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:10, ESV 

Cry out to the Lord in your darkness. Turn from everything that hinders your walk with Him. He will come to save you. You can trust Him with everything that concerns you. His wisdom is perfect. "God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5, NIV

Friday, April 6, 2018

Sing to the Lord

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Ps. 96:1-3, ESV

There's something about singing that lifts up the soul and the heart--singing to the Lord, that is. I can sing along to the golden oldies, but that doesn't compare with the joy, the transforming peace, deep in my soul that comes from singing praise and worship songs to the Lord. He is worthy!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Robin Photo Shoot

Robin photo shoot courtesy of the Lord Jesus Christ..."For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible...." Colossians 1:16, ESV