“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:11 (NIV)
In a previous blog titled, God Never Quits, I spoke about how I was awakened with a panic attack and how God used the lessons He had taught me last year about His peace to calm down and slowly go back to sleep. When He burned the blanket of depression a few months ago, I assumed that meant the anxiety/panic attacks were part of that package and they would disappear too. Nope. I was wrong.
If anything, I can say that I have been more anxious, which is different from fearful, since the burning of the blanket. I haven’t been able to understand why God would take away part and leave what seems to be its twin, or maybe it’s a cousin. Either way, it’s not welcome.
However, God’s ways are not my ways. One thing I do know about my Heavenly Father is that He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. Complete healing, not partial, not halfway, not the bare minimum, but full healing. As I talked before in God Burned the Blanket – Part III and Healing Doesn’t Always Look Healthy, sometimes God requires action on our part for full healing and sometimes God just heals. Again, not for me to decide or to always understand His ways.
There are a few things I’ve learned through walking this journey. I think there was always a layer of anxiety/panic attacks that was hidden by the overall spirit of fear I lived with daily. And while God didn’t choose to heal me of everything at the same time, He’s been working with me by slowly peeling off the layers in the order that makes the most sense… making sure I have the knowledge and training I need ahead of time to help me be successful.
God healed my fear of winter driving without fanfare or even much acknowledgement. One day I was white knuckled driving down the road; the next I realized I wasn’t pacing the house nervously when my husband went off to work and I got the kids ready for school with the threat of a looming blizzard.
A year later God invited me into the journey of watching the blanket of depression get burned. I appreciated that healing on a deeper level because of the lessons He had taken the previous years to teach me about hope and peace.
I’m still learning how to completely surrender to Him in order to walk in the freedom from food addiction and the emotional hole I dug deep before asking for help. Maybe that’s why I’ve had so many false starts and stops.
And lastly, it wasn’t until I recognized the healing of fear in certain areas of my life and the freedom from the weight of depression that I could feel the full effect of the anxiety that had a hold on my life. Now that I’ve recognized it, and God has taught me the tools I need to effectively fight in His power, I have been fighting back every time it tries to gain a foothold. I fight back with Scripture verses, I fight back with worship and I fight back with the promise of previously answered prayers.
I may not know when freedom will come from anxiety/panic attacks or what the next layer God wants to work on in my life, but I do know from looking back that He always prepares me ahead of time, He always wants the best for our lives and He always is right there to fight for me, teach me how to fight or encourage me as He fights right along with me.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017