May 1, 2007 was my first post ever on this, my first blog ever. I was scared to death that someone would blast me for posting Scripture, and yet I knew there were others out there who suffered as I had with depression and panic attacks, and they needed to know what I had discovered--something no doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist had ever suggested to me--the healing power of prayer and God's Word and their ability to calm me down, refocus my thoughts, and bring me into the very presence of my Lord and Savior, which is where true healing begins.
Since 2004 God had been using Scripture to reach deep into my heart and mind because that's where I needed His healing most. I needed help on so many levels, but by focusing on a handful of 3x5s with reassuring Scriptures handwritten on them, God helped me overcome the demoralization and stigma of panic disorder and childhood abuse. He gave me a new identity. He silenced the voices of condemnation in my head. He gave me a brand new beginning. Life in Christ.
Six years and fifteen days later, I'm still leaning on my God and His Word. Meditating on the Bible verses I've posted, (especially when feeling anxious), memorizing them and new verses that speak to me, maintaining a daily time of prayer and Bible study, keeping a listening ear tuned to my Lord, living in authenticity and obedience before Jesus--this is my first line of defense against panic, anxiety, and depression. I haven't perfected this walk of mine, but when I mess up, I confess my sins, receive forgiveness, and accept discipline when God deems it necessary. I wait patiently because I know He will lift me up again. He is working in me to will and to do His good pleasure as I yield my will to His. I am determined to fight the good fight of faith.
This year I've learned more about the connection between stress, anxiety, and depression. I've learned that my personality, biological makeup, and the abuse I suffered as a child have a lot to do with what triggers anxiety in me. Also, my body's inability to make enough natural tranquilizers to meet the demands of prolonged stress is an issue. I've learned that major life events are extremely stressful and that if you have one or more within a year or two, (my mother's stroke, my husband's heart stents, my parents' deaths, my granddaughter's birth) extreme anxiety and even panic can likely be the result. I've learned that saying "no" when asked to take on extra responsibilities is not a bad thing, and no reason needs to be given. I've learned that walking every day for 40 minutes is extremely helpful in replenishing natural tranquilizers and also in getting rid of adrenalin-and-cortisol buildup. I've learned that staying away from caffeine, stressful people, suspenseful or scary movies and books helps alot. I've learned that soy products affect my thyroid and causes mood swings so I now avoid those.
Life has slowed down a good bit since this time last year, and I'm back to slowly tapering down my prescribed tranquilizer. I feel that God is quieting my "innermost being" (Ps. 139) ,and I've been experiencing peace-filled days. God is so good, so trustworthy, and so faithful.
Thank you for all the encouragement I've received from many of you throughout these past six years. Thank you for letting me know how God has blessed you through the same Scriptures He used to comfort and bless me. Thank you for your posts and emails, letting me know you're out there and believing God with me. I thank God in advance for the work He is going to do in each one of us as we press on to know Jesus intimately and to walk humbly in His Spirit and in His Truth. Please pray for me to continue fixing my eyes on Jesus, and I will pray the same for you. To God be the glory; great things He has done for us!