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Anxiety Attacks

    Oct 2, 2022 | by The Fellowship

    It all started many months ago when my 9-year-old daughter witnessed a classmate get sick and throw up in their classroom.  She came home horrified, sharing with me what had happened. I tried to reassure her by saying, “He might have had a tummy bug or eaten something bad.  I am sure he will be all right and back in school soon!”

    Before bed, she approached me almost crying and saying she could not stop thinking about it.  The scene kept playing over and over in her mind.  I tried to reassure her yet again as she reluctantly went to sleep.

    The next morning, she made it to school, but almost immediately the school nurse called to say that she had thrown up in the hall.  Following school protocol, I went to pick her up and keep her home for the day.  I said a quick prayer, hoping she was not coming down with anything serious or had not caught something contagious from her classmate.

    When I picked her up, she told me it was thinking about what had happened to her classmate the previous day that made her sick.  She could not stop the thoughts and was afraid her mind would never quit playing it nonstop!

    The next day was worse.  She did not even make it out the door without gagging and losing her breakfast.  She was inconsolable, hysterical and with tears declaring: “I do not want to go to school!”

    My daughter missed a whole week of school, was barely eating, often in tears, fearful of throwing up again.  Just thinking about getting sick was making her physically vomit!

    Her daddy and I had no idea what to do.  Never had I experienced anything like this, much less even heard of such a problem.  All we could do was pray – and call on others to pray with us – our LIFE Group, pastors, family, friends, neighbors.  We were lifting her up to Jesus for mental, psychological, and spiritual strength and healing.

    Honestly, my husband and I were scared and helpless, not a feeling parents are supposed to have!  We literally got on our knees, calling out to Jesus, and pleading for our daughter!

    We spoke to the school counselor who recommended a therapist that visits the school twice a week. She helped my daughter immensely to understand her feelings and taught her techniques to help her work through the reoccurring thoughts.

    Looking back on those two months last year, it felt like an eternity.  Slowly, but surely, we got her back in school even though she spent a lot of mornings in tears. I also spent many nights in tears, begging God to strengthen her daily.  Many days I had to walk her into the classroom or into the counselor’s office.  Many days I spent visiting her at lunch just to coach her through eating the meal.

    As our support system continued to pray, God provided amazing teachers and school staff to express understanding and kindness to our family … and encouragement from others who have struggled with the same problem.  We received many meals and welcomed friends who took the time to talk with our daughter and pray with her.  The Lord also led us to an amazing Christian counselor. The outpouring of God’s love has been so amazing!

    It has been almost a year to the day since the incident that initially triggered her anxiety.  My daughter mentally and spiritually has come a long way.  She continues the process of learning how to work through her feelings and the deeper meaning of anxious thoughts. 

    Comfort has been found in Bible verses and praise music.  Being outdoors gives her release!

    The Lord has revealed Himself to my daughter in amazing ways!  She now has a very real relationship with Him, trusts Him to lead and protect her, and her prayers are not rote – but very personal and intimate.  The enemy intended to destroy and distract – his attacks have only made her look to the Lord more.  The enemy intended to isolate her – yet she has been overwhelmed with so many pouring out love and support.  The enemy intended to weaken her – instead, her faith has grown by leaps and bounds.

    My daughter still deals with occasional anxiety.  It is a reminder to turn to God who never leaves or forsakes her and is there to help her every step of the way.  I can only imagine what an awesome plan He has for my daughter -- to help others in distress, to share what He has done for her, to declare His forever faithfulness from her personal experience!

     J. P.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
    for those who are called according to his purpose. 
    Romans 8:28

     

     

     

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