Panic Attacks Got You?

Fear of the Unknown

Today, the fear of the unknown gripped me. I was backed into the corner with a panic attack; briefly I was unaware of how to respond to a fearful circumstance. Many years ago I was diagnosed with panic attacks and thank God, throughout the years with some very good therapy and prayer, I’ve learned how to handle them when I feel they are welling up inside of me. But, why now?

When is the last time you felt fear gripping you; possibly even driving you towards a panic attack?

When we are feeling backed in a corner with fear of the unknown, it can be very bewildering and frustrating as the sensation of chest discomfort, weak legs and other discomforting symptoms take hold of our heart, mind and soul.

God, help me!!! Ever screamed that out in the middle of your fear? I know I have, over and over again and … over and over again, God has delivered.

The Bible does not speak of panic attacks by name, but it does present several situations that could provoke one. Many times the Bible reads that the people were “filled with fear.” Hello, that’s often followed-up by a panic attack. Look at Psalm 55:4-8, it describes how a heart is in anguish within.

The best way I was able to cover my panic attacks was to normalize them. I consumed many publications about panic attacks and learned not to fear them but rather to recognize them as non-life-threatening. If I become fearful of the unknown, I will usually draw closer to God and remind myself that He is bigger than the fear. That’s exactly what I did recently when I felt the panic trying to get the better of me. Jesus put my fear into perspective when He said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” ( Matthew 10:28) Another words, most of what we fear is temporary and has no eternal consequence and aren’t we to focus on the things that are eternal rather than earthly things? (Colossians 3:2) I trust Jesus to take my fears and put them into perspective.

What is gripping you? Don’t go through it alone. God is there with you. If you are unable to feel His presence, call a family member, trustworthy friend, priest, pastor, clergy-man, rabbi, or crisis center for panic…Don’t go through an attack alone.

Psalm 23:4 NIV

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me

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Fear of a Yellow Jacket?

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About a year ago I posted a blog about annihilating a wasp with oven cleaner. Today, I sit as a yellow jacket lands about four feet to my left, but instead of reaching for the magazine to swat it, I sit and observe. Have you ever had a moment where you just sat and watched your fear in peace?

I decided in my trepidation to hold off and observe the striped anterior pulse and protract while meandering into deep thought. I thought about how over the last several years, I had suffered the uncertainty of being hurt by the life that surrounded me; but not any more.

I continued to watch the yellow jacket inch a little closer. I don’t fear because all that I have been through, the hurtful hardships of my life, have made me watch more carefully with a softer eye and less resentful heart. I don’t allow my mind to trick me into imagining things to be more dangerous than they are.

The yellow jacket buzzed away, but only to come back to flirt with me a little more. Isn’t this exactly what happens with our fears? We feel them, maybe even stand up to them only to have them come right back?

When returning fears want to get the best of us, maybe we can allow them to come a little closer? I am currently doing just that. When I feel my heart beat just a little faster or my knees become a little weaker, I don’t allow the fear or the desire to swat over come me. I sit and ask God, “What is it today Lord, that I am afraid of doing?”

I ask today, is there someone who feels intrusive to you, making you fearful of your next step? If so, what does it feel like? Is it your own fear or is it really the person that is being intrusive?

Can you close your eyes and try this prayer…

LORD, help me to discern the intrusion of my own fears and a real intruder. Help me to not swat it away if it is my own insecurity, but rather allow you to help me to work through it.

How far will your fear keep others away?

Are You Afraid?

My Dog’s Fear

Thought for the day: What are you afraid of?

A few days back a family member came for a visit and brought her three dogs. They were well-behaved and friendly. Two were small and one was huge. My stinking dog was deathly afraid of them. They were harmless, especially the big dog; he had difficulty moving around and was extremely calm. While the dogs appeared to invade dog’s comfort zone, she climbed right up onto the top of the chair and rested herself on the back. She sat right on top of Bill’s head, so I snapped a picture. It looked like a fairly bald man was sporting a new wig. We were all laughing so hard. We found the whole thing to be very funny, however my dog didn’t. She was having nothing to do with the visiting dog thing and wanted everyone to go away.

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For those of you who know my dog, you know how cuddly she is. You know how much she loves people, loves to be on a lap resting with anyone who will allow her to. BUT, don’t bring your dog around; she will cower. I have tried all different types of enforcement in hopes that one of my methods would draw her closer to another dog, but to no avail. She’s just afraid. She’s eight years old and is not about to change now.

When the dogs left, she finally came off of the chair and regained her domain.

I started thinking about the things that I’m afraid of and how I don’t like to tell others. I will do anything to avoid talking about my fears. No one is really comfortable with sharing their feelings about their insecurities especially when they are meeting new people or seeking a relationship.

Have you had to share a fear with someone? Did they understand or laugh?

Sadly, I think in my youthful days, I’ve laughed a time or two about someones hang up. Ugh! It’s crazy how we judge like that and then the table turns on us. We become afflicted with a fear and someone doesn’t understand and chuckles under their breath. It’s just not right to judge the hang-ups of others.

God instructs us to not judge others!

James 4:11-12 ESV…Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Is there someone in your life that you need to be a little bit more patient with and try to be more understanding regarding their fears?

Lord, I am in no way perfect and have my own hangups. Help me to be very sensitive towards the fears of others. Help me to judge not.beth new pic