Sweet Comfort

So I’m very close to finding a doctor, thanks to my father. You see, my grasp of the whole insurance thing is substantially weaker than that of Rincewind the Wizzard, which, let’s be honest, is saying a lot. So my dad called the insurance company and figured out who and what and where, so now all I have to do is make like two phone calls. Which is nice, because I’ve been super overwhelmed lately.

The other night I had a really bad anxiety attack, probably the worst one I’ve had to date. And it was really terrifying, because part of the anxiety attack is that I feel like I’m literally going insane, which is one of my top three fears even in normal life, right above any variation of hide and seek but just below people with solid black eyeballs. I’m looking at you, Aiden Ford!

Anyway, it turned into this weird but not unusual thing where God was faithful and amazing. It’s hard to explain, so bear with me (haha!), or feel free to leave now, knowing that the point of this whole post is that God is faithful and amazing.

So it’s late at night and I’m sitting in bed, applying for a hundred jobs and researching a hundred doctors, and I can feel the panic start to build up in my chest because I have no job and no idea what is going on with my cancer and a truckload of debt and no idea what to do about any of this. And because I’m still pretty much an anxiety attack noob, I thought it would behoove me to shut my laptop off and go to bed. Which was a big mistake because the minute the lights went out and my head hit the pillow, it happened.

When I get the anxiety attacks, it’s a sort of “yikes, here it comes, OH MY GOSH I’M GOING INSANE AND/OR DYING” progression. Now, this is not a metaphor or a simile or the other one I can’t remember because I am the worst English major ever: at the moment it kicked into the latter phase, I had an impression of a door in my head bursting open and water just pouring into my brain. Then I was in the midst of it and freaking out, all of the sudden everything just paused.

In the pause the Holy Spirit just basically said, “NOPE!” and I had this sort of Kapugen-esque thought which was, “The fear is taking over; I need to change what I’m doing.”

So the logical part of my brain kicked in, which was great because usually that’s not really a factor in an anxiety attack, and the logical part of my brain said, “Lights! Music!” because the logical part of my brain is apparently the Ghost of Christmas Present from the Muppets’ Christmas Carol. I turned on my lights and I put in my headphones and I listened to Sandra McCracken’s album “Psalms” (that is available from Noisetrade right now).

3:30 a.m. Lights on. I colored a picture of a peacock and I listened to Sandra McCracken singing the truth of God’s word. And I had another impression of the music holding the door in my head closed. The water and the panic and the fear were all still there, but the music held them at bay.

You walked us through the wilderness, established us like cedar trees.
Forgive us our forgetfulness. O Lord, you have been good to me.
Beak up our fallow ground. Come rain on us. 

In the middle of my overwhelming anxiety He pushed pause and gave me a way out. When I didn’t even have the words to ask for help He saved me again. I had to pray the Psalms songs for about 45 minutes before I could take out my headphones, but my mind and my heart were focused on God instead of fear.

There are times when it feels like God is breaking up my fallow ground, of which there is a great deal, in exclusively violent and painful ways. I get angry and forgetful and I try to tell Him I’ll do it myself. Experiences like this remind me that sometimes He does it by rescuing me and lavishing His presence and the comfort of His word upon me. And truth be told, I don’t deserve either way. It’s purely grace and love and mercy that He bothers with the fallow ground of my heart at all.

We dwell beneath Your shadow safe; like grain you make us flourish. 
In our silence You are praised. We rest upon your goodness.
Plant us like oaks, anchors of hope.

But He does. And the fear crumbles away and the trust grows a little stronger. And no matter how much I mess it up and forget and panic, He’s still faithful. He makes me flourish. He gives me rest and hope and a future.

O Lord, you have been good to me.

Prepare the soil for the seed, so wash my hands, my heart, Lord.
Walk the golden fields with me, together in the harvest. 


One comment on “Sweet Comfort

  1. Anna says:

    Look up Isaiah 41:13. This verse helped me a lot. I’ve had a lot of panic attacks, and can talk if you ever need to.

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