Let me start by saying – “My mind can be a scary place sometimes.”
I’m not sure why but over the past few weeks I’ve been hit with sudden bouts of dizziness. The first time it hit I was at work. One minute I was typing away at my desk and the next I was holding on for dear life as the whole room seemed to spin out of control. The swirling passed after a few minutes but since that day it keeps happening several times a day. According to all the doctors I’ve been to so far the dizziness is vertigo but I say its scary! My symptoms range from a little off balance feeling to having the whole room spinning. I never know when it may happen, so normal life things like going to work or just going to the store have been hard to do. So far, each bad episode has passed after a few minutes, but my fear is – what happens if it doesn’t? Can this ever start and not stop?!
Add to the vertigo that I caught some sort of illness last week and had a fever the second half the week and then add last Saturday afternoon. Saturday, I was sitting on my couch watching TV when a sudden wave of fear gripped me out of nowhere. I had nothing to fear yet I felt as if sudden doom was happening. I have had panic attacks before, but nothing like this, this was the mother of all panic attacks and for the rest of that day and all night I felt like I was stuck in a sea of fear. The worst was the night…every time I would doze off would wake up with the most awful fear gripping me with my heart pounding so hard it felt as if it were going to explode. Sunday morning it was not only fear but now I was exhausted from no sleep and also an anger feeling was gripping me. I am not sure what that was all about because I am not usually an angry person. By then I was feeling as if I may be going crazy and wondering if maybe I may have a brain tumor or something.
I told my husband that I wasn’t going to church but then at the same time I knew I needed to go. I didn’t want to but I did. Back and forth and back and forth I struggled with that but eventually found myself in the car on my way to church. In the car, I felt so terrible I was panicky, had stomach issues, and the weird anger… I even told my husband that if someone asked me how I was that morning instead of my usual ‘I am good’ response, I was just gonna say, “I am terrible!” That is so not me. Really.
So we get to church and seriously getting in the door was hard, this probably will sound horrible for me to say, but everyone is just so happy at church, and to be honest I think I just wanted all of those smiling people to ignore me for the day. But of course they didn’t and of course, I didn’t tell anyone about my fear/anger/crazy/whatever-was-wrong-with-me problem. And thankfully I was nice. We went in and sat down and a friend came to chat and before you knew it I was even laughing over some silly story she told. The laughter felt really good, but it was short lived because just as the service started, I felt that familiar dizziness. By the second song, I was in the bathroom putting cold towels on my face while holding on to the walls waiting for the dizziness to pass. I finally made it back into the sanctuary by the sermon but now the panic was back and it was gripping me so bad. I felt as if I was suffocating, drowning right there in the back row of the church service and nobody knew.
I wanted church to be over right then so I could leave and I almost did leave, but I didn’t and thank God I didn’t because the sermon series we are in at church right now is titled ‘The Armor of God’ and the message this week was ‘Helmet of Salvation.’
Imagine that!? The sermon was about the Helmet of Salvation when the place that’s been under fire all week for me is my mind and now my pastor was talking about guarding our minds against enemy attacks!
I felt myself clinging to the scripture as we read it. Familiar words that I have prayed a lot over the past few months actually –
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20
After the message everyone stood up to pray, I wanted to stand but I couldn’t, I felt like I was teetering on the edge of a cliff with fear and dizziness so I stayed down in my seat for the prayer. I don’t really remember the words that were prayed, but one part I do remember is the pastor pausing for us fill in the stuff we needed to let go of and God’s voice in my head saying, “You’ve gotta let it go, I’ve got this, trust in my love. All you have to do is let go, I promise I will catch you.”
I did and just as He promised He caught me.
My Pastor had no idea what was going on in my life when he prepared his message this week but I know without a doubt God knew!
My armor was back in place.
I’d like to say that for the rest of the day I was well, but I wasn’t. I actually went home and laid down for most of the day, but no matter what happened all day if that panicky feeling came along, I’d lean in more to God remembering that I had to use his armor to protect my mind and my day was pretty peaceful.
I went to bed last night and had a really good night of rest for the first time in a long time and so far today I feel refreshed and I am thankful.
As far as my health goes – I’ve been to 3 different doctors so far and have an appointment with an ear specialist on Oct. 4 and today I am seeing my endocrinologist. So far no one knows what is bringing on the vertigo, and I also suspect the panic may go hand in hand with that. I hope someone finds something easily fixable. No matter what happens though my prayer today is this…
Father, Today I place life in your hands realizing I can’t do this alone. You’ve brought me through so much and you have never left me to face anything alone. Your peace has carried me to where I am today, and now to the start of this new day. Without you I couldn’t make it, please don’t ever let me stray away from that knowledge of your power and how I need to make sure I am tapped into you to stand firm against enemy attacks. Thank you for everything you do, but most of all Thank you for loving me. Amen
Thank you for reading and make today a great day!
Check out this video by Jeremy Camp – Same Power
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