For almost a third of my life, I have lived with fierce panic attacks. The sweaty palms and dry mouth coupled with the violent shaking and thoughts of sheer terror creep up on me multiple times a month. In these agonizing moments, and frankly, even during times of peace, I slip into the mindset that this is always how it will be, that God has chosen this cross for me, and that all I can do is just hold on and survive. I suppose that may be the case, but when I fall into this pattern of thought, I forget about those theological virtues of hope and faith.
Isaiah reminded Jerusalem over and over that God has a plan, an infallible and perfect plan, and our resistance to His will only leads us to sin. And in my experience, sin is often rooted in impatience with the Lord’s timeline. My brain’s limited scope thinks if my prayers have not been answered by now then God is not faithful, and my current state of darkness is where I’ll remain.
Here’s the thing though: “Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be” (Isaiah 49:9). Along the way, guys. Along the way. God did not promise pasture in every moment of our lives, but He did promise that along the difficult way, we will find respite—there is where my hope lies.
My husband who sits up with me while I weather an episode. My friends who understand when I need to cancel plans. My mother who brings a meal or watches my kids. Stretches of days or weeks with no symptoms. God has provided green pastures for me along this journey. I just need to trust that He is leading me somewhere glorious. He's leading you somewhere glorious, too, sister.
This patron Saint of mental health is a powerful intercessor. Learn more about her today!
Jenna Hines has a teeny army of four children and is married to a bearded fellow named Mike. They are a homeschooling family who just moved out to the country. Find her books and illustrations in her shop. You can find out more about her here.