“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
I’ve spoken in depth about the healing I’ve received from winter driving as well as from depression that I’ve lived with off and on since childhood. Today I want to talk about another miracle God chose to give me in 2017, not because I deserve it, but because I asked and He answered.
Just as I’d lived with the label of “irrational fear of winter driving” and “depression” throughout the years, I knew I also suffered from time to time with panic attacks. I didn’t think much of them, though, because the depression took center stage and tried to steal all my attention, keeping the panic in the background.
However, as the depression blanket was burned and I was resting in God’s peace, the enemy didn’t want to leave me alone quite yet. He ramped up the panic attacks which would wake me in the middle of the night, terrified of things that normally during the day I could rationalize away.
At first I was upset. Why would God allow me to suffer with panic attacks when He had already healed me from fear of winter driving and depression? I thought this chapter was done and I was moving on to learning another lesson. However, I soon realized God had given me the tools I needed to fight this struggle, and if used properly and consistently, I wouldn’t have to suffer for long.
The first time I woke up with the panic attack and all the fears streaming through my head, God also gave me a song, one that I’ve sung along to on the radio numerous times. While I didn’t remember the whole song, the phrase that kept playing on a loop in my mind was exactly what was needed to combat the thoughts swirling and vying for my attention. I realized I had a choice: pay attention to the thoughts and fears or start singing along with the song and believe in the truth behind the words God was giving me. I chose to sing, silently of course because my husband was still sleeping soundly, no clue that his wife was fighting a spiritual battle next to him.
While it wasn’t instantaneous, the longer I sang, the calmer I got and the fears quieted. I was able to get back to sleep and wake up fairly refreshed and ready for the day. A few hours later while driving the car, the exact song came on the radio and I was able to listen, really listen to all the words. They were so fitting for what I’d been fighting only hours before.
The panic attacks didn’t go away immediately. They would show up throughout the months at random intervals, when I least expected them – sometimes during the day, sometimes at night, much like the bouts of depression had occurred.
I prayed for God to heal me from the panic attacks but didn’t receive an answer right away. The week of Thanksgiving, our church had a worship night – a night to come together as one and offer our praises to God in the form of song. My kind of night! Our daughter and I went and during the evening, our pastor issued an invitation for anyone who needed prayer for anything in their lives, to come forward and a member of the church would pray with them.
I felt God inviting me to go up and receive prayer about the panic attacks. While I hadn’t had an attack in several weeks, I felt led to obey and went up. It was my pastor’s wife who prayed for me and she interceded on my behalf for God to completely heal me. I went back to my seat and had a wonderful time of worship, one on one with my Father and left that night feeling yet again … His peace.
It’s now February 2018 and I haven’t had a panic attack since. There have been a few instances where the enemy tried to stick panic back on me as well as the day I had to stand up to the enemy and pray to eliminate holiday depression for good. But full blown panic attacks haven’t returned. I know God has healed me completely and He gets all the glory.
Come back next time as I talk about how modern day miracles aren’t always healing us from things but instead sometimes God putting other things in our lives for His glory.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018