I get panic attacks. Why I don’t ask why.

P1020193A few months ago I suffered the worst panic attack I ever had. I have had them on occasion in my life (usually at the dentist, haha) but this one was by far the worst.

I woke up at 4 in the morning with the sudden feeling that I was about to die. Maybe I had been dreaming; adrenaline was certainly rushing. I got up and tried to gain my composure but I just couldn’t breathe. No matter how many deep breaths I tried to take, it never could get enough oxygen. Then I thought, “Maybe it’s not me that is dying, maybe it’s the baby.”

Not a good thought when you’re pregnant, and it didn’t help me get over the panic attack.

I kept trying to breathe but I literally felt like I wanted to be out of my body. I had the sudden urge to hurt myself, as if I could tear my skin off or something.

Creeped out? I certainly was.

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I tried distracting, reading, praying, anything to bring my adrenaline down. I kept rotating between different soothing activities and about 12 hours later, I was able to breath again. Finally.

I went to the doctor a couple of days later. I wanted to know if my baby was okay. I was living in Sweden for a short time so this doctor had never met me before. She did her intake doctor “thing” and asked a bunch of questions. Have I ever had these before? When did they start? How did I cope? I explained everything and at the end she looked at me and said,”Well, you did everything right and all that you could have done. Good job. You’re strong and can handle this.”

I sat for a moment and thought, “Is that all you’re going to tell me?” Don’t get me wrong, I love being told I did everything right but I was hoping for more. So I asked if I could hear the baby’s heart beat to make sure he was okay.

She said, “No.”

Wait, what?! The next thing she said, I will never forget and it has helped me even to this day.

“Hearing the heart beat isn’t going to help you. If I let you hear the heart beat now in order to feel okay, you will need that every time this happens. You can’t control whether you have a miscarriage or not. You need to just love your baby and trust.”

And I thought I was the spiritual one. I think God can speak to us through all circumstances, and this day, it came through a Swedish doctor.

I don’t know why I have depression at times. I don’t know why, when I go to the dentist, I need nitrous oxide before I can have Novocain or else I want to punch the dentist (this really happens!). But I have committed to quit asking “why” and allow my circumstances to draw me close to God.

Please hear me correctly. I’m not advising for you to stop asking why. I’m explaining why I don’t ask why. I went through a year of counseling and have explored the reasons why I have some of the challenges I do. In a way that helps me to understand where I come from. But just knowing why I developed some of these difficulties hasn’t cured them or taken them away.

When I get into the, “why me?” mode, it doesn’t lead me to a good place spiritually. The focus turns completely on myself and away from God. Instead, I would rather have this drive me to God and rely on Him.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Co 12:7-10

Instead of asking why, I’m trying to just trust.

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” — Ps 46:10

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