How can you gain freedom from panic attacks? In Christ, God gives us hope and a path to freedom and healing. Hadassah shares her testimony in Day 11 of the What Freedom in Christ Looks Like Online Event by the Blogger Voices Network, hosted right here at KellyRBaker.com.
Hadassah is the pen name of Anna Putz, who is an aspiring writer working on her spiritual memoir, a Marketing specialist, a blogger and a bilingual poet. Her blog encourages the reader to keep moving in the journey of faith and walk deeper with God. She is a Bulgarian living in Austria with her husband. She loves diving deeper in the Word of God and enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her family and friends.
When I experienced panic attacks for the first time, I felt I was dying because of the complete loss of control over my reactions. The fear of death, the terror of losing control and the fear of the next panic attack are the deadly companions of this queen of terrors – the panic attack. How can you gain freedom from panic attacks? In Christ, God gives us hope and a path to freedom and healing.In Christ, God gives us hope and a path to freedom and healing from the queen of terrors – the panic attack, and her deadly companions. @onthewaybg #FruitOfFreedom #BloggerVoicesNetwork
Identifying the Monster of Panic Attacks
There was no way to describe accurately how a panic attack feels. The heart is beating with furious speed. Cold sweat streams from every pore of the skin, limbs tremble convulsively. It is an agony, a complete out-of-control situation, the purest terror.
I have experienced several intensive panic attacks in the summer of 2014. Not knowing what the problem was, added additional fuel to the panic attacks. I cried to the Lord in utter desperation and one day the phrase “panic attack” came to my mind. A doctor confirmed later this diagnose. Now I knew who the hidden monster was. Naming and identifying my tormentor brought the first measure of freedom.
Freedom from Panic attacks and the Battlefield of the Mind
Knowing that these frightening physical symptoms I experienced had a psychogenic origin, took a lot of the fear off me. This realization transferred the battlefield from the body to the mind. I needed to get prepared in advance and I prayed that the Lord would give me a weapon, word of war against the terror of a panic attack. He gave me an arsenal of weapons; however, I would never forget the first ones in the form of songs.
The first one was “Hoshiana” from Joshua Aaron based on Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, NIV)
The second song was “Whom shall I fear (The God of Angel Armies)” from Chris Tomlin. The words are: “Whom shall I fear? I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side.”
I listened to, prayed, spoke and focused on these words in my mind many times per day in the next months. Until they became a part of me and the Lord truly became my light and my salvation from this terrible condition.
The Next Step towards Freedom from Panic Attacks – Tell Your Story and Lament
The next step God led me to do was to get me to talk and tell my story. He drew my attention again to the greatest pain I was facing at that moment – my unfulfilled wish to become a mother. He urged me gently to pour out my heart to Him and let all the suppressed pain out, lamenting in His embrace. I felt prompted to write the story of my life in the form of lament from the beginning until now – all the disappointments, unfulfilled expectations, everything that went wrong. I needed to surrender my life again – in a new and deeper level.
In the next weeks, I was naming my losses, grieving over them, lamenting to God and the closest people around me. I cried out in helpless anger and self-pity. However, I was also realizing that that was a crucial part of God’s therapy to heal me and to help me process the near past, so I can move forward.In God's hands, the panic attacks can bring transformation, greater freedom, acceptance and true surrender. @onthewaybg #FruitOfFreedom #BloggerVoicesNetwork
Trusting God and His Promise for Freedom and Restoration
I took great comfort in the message in Jeremiah 32, 33 and Isaiah 48, 49. God’s words assured me that He would bring me back from captivity, heal me and establish me. I embraced these promises of healing and freedom from panic attacks, restoration, prosperity, fruitfulness and good. Isaiah 49 describes so beautifully the transition from a state of desolation, barrenness, ruin, rejection, disappointment, affliction and oppression to a state of restoration, wholeness, freedom, prosperity, fruitfulness, redemption and joy. God’s tender voice was nudging me to lift my eyes to Him and look around to see the picture He was painting – those who laid me waste were departing.
Acceptance and Letting Go of the Urge to Control
Talking, writing, lamenting and praying led me to some realizations. It was a struggle to humble myself and to accept all my developments in my life, especially the recent ones. This was a process, many steps every day. Intellectually I knew that God was doing a life-saving operation but emotionally it felt like killing. He was cutting deeply, separating me from my ideas and visions about my life, happiness, and self-realization. I sensed this was necessary and the only way for me to open fully towards His vision and plan for me.
It was also a new experience for me to come out the role of a helper, encourager, and supporter, of one who had it all together and to be fully on the receiving end. It felt scary to show my vulnerability and brokenness, but the panic attacks had blasted all defense walls. The way was open.
Emotional Healing – the Last Step in the Journey to Freedom from Panic Attacks
I made the choice daily to trust God that He will make me forget and heal my memories according to His words: “In righteousness, you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” (Isaiah 54:14, NIV) And so He did!
I needed to revisit some painful experiences in the safety of His presence and close these doors forever. I realized that the doors of pain were also the path to my freedom and recovery! I have started to see my suffering differently – with the hope of seeing the change and the good, which God produces in my life and me.The path to freedom from panic attacks involves a transformation of our thinking, naming, grieving and accepting our losses, and trusting God and His promises for restoration. @onthewaybg #FruitOfFreedom #BloggerVoicesNetwork
Do you struggle with panic attacks? Which of these steps towards freedom do you need to take? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.