I feel as thought we should have a party! My five-year old loves celebrations. I think she will be in charge of my release party. Hope everyone is okay with popcorn and chocolate milk. I am blogging. I will wait to call myself a blogger until I have hit some momentous goal like 10 views, maybe 3 comments, and no random widgets or broken links on the page I forgot to edit. Oops.
Three years ago this would not even had been possible or wanted. I use to suffer from social anxiety.I had a horrible fear of social interactions that would physically manifest itself with rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, dizziness, stomach trouble, inability to catch my breath, and sometimes I felt like I was having an out-of-body sensation. My fear steamed from being judged by others, being embarrassed or humiliated because I would have excessive sweating , or shaking, the possibility of accidentally offending someone and my own insecurities about my body image. My first memories of this is in Kindergarten. I pretended on many occasion to be sick to get out of going to school or sitting in the nurses office trying to convince her I had caught cooties from a boy on the playground. Most of my anxiety in childhood was toss aside as part of growing up. I mean what kid really wants to go to school. I learned to live with the symptoms until adulthood when they seemed to gradually get worse. Which is a problem when you are in the military interacting with people on a daily basis. I was able to maintain during the time at work usually having mini meltdowns after in my dorm room. I sought out professional help that seemed relieve my anxiety temporarily.
Fast forward, to marriage and babies. These added stresses of life seem to break the dam that had kept my anxiety manageable. The episodes seem to intensify and now other humans have to put up with my irritability and wanting to shelter myself and them in a safe zone, our home. The mounting pressure this disorder caused on my marriage brought it almost to the breaking point ( another blog post, stay tuned). Not sure if you notice at the beginning I said “use to”. Well, I no longer suffer from this crippling anxiety. How? In October 2005 the Lord nudged me to attend my first women’s retreat. I knew no other women at the time as we were new to this church and area. I submitted to God’s will and went. This leap of faith transformed me. During the weekend I cried out re-committing Jesus Christ as my lord and savior. Asking him to search me and heal me from my self-made prison to unleash me to do his will.
Psalm 139: 23-24 “Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
The morning of the final day, I awoke with no sign or symptom of my anxiety. Instead, it was replaced by peace in my heart and soul. A hunger to meet befriend other women. An excitement for the Lord. The Lord healed my anxiety.
As I continue my walk and follow in obedience to the Lord (not always easy), this blog is my next step out in faith. A testimony to his greatness, love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace within our family and on an individual level. My hope is that you find encouragement, laughs, and most importantly Jesus.