Monday, September 9, 2019

Panic

Over the last year and a half at my old job I had started to get panic attacks. It had never happened to me prior to that and I was unprepared.  

My self-esteem and my confidence were shot. My boss had made sure of that.

A therapist had given me tools to shut the attacks down before they even started. The key is to recognize the early stages and act accordingly.  Once it  gets to a certain point however the tools don’t work because the part of your brain that reasons shuts off. It’s then that you can’t think, you can’t pray, your thoughts aren’t your own.  It had been over a year and a half since that had happened to me.

That was until a couple Sundays ago.

It was the close of a rough week.  I lost my job in June and the stress of trying to get a new client and make ends meet in the meantime had been ramping up.

I was talking to someone about their job and all at once my face felt hot my heartbeat started to race.  Seconds later I begin to power sweat and my vision narrowed.  
I had missed the warnings, or they had went so fast that I didn’t stand a chance.

I stumbled out into the foyer and rushed for the door.  I got out into the fresh air and headed across the lot.  My peripheral vision was gone and I was in a bee line for the truck. I climbed inside and sat. I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t think, I was absolutely overcome.  
The thoughts came faster than you would think possible unless you had experienced it.  It’s like twenty voices all at once. I couldn’t stop them, I couldn’t refute them and I couldn’t pray.

“You had the best job you ever had and you blew it”  
“You won’t ever get a job like that again.”  
“You don’t have an education” 
“You didn’t go to seminary.” 
“You’re going to work at a factory.”
“You aren’t good enough.”
“You are unqualified.”
“You can’t pay  your bills.”
“You can’t provide for your kids.”
“Face it, you screwed up and you may never be happy at a job again.”

I was frozen for about 40 minutes in my truck tears slowly spilling from underneath my sunglasses.

I made it into the auditorium after the 3rd song.  I take notes every week put them together after the service and we post it online.  I know some people enjoy those and I didn’t want to miss that.

Pastor Larry spoke that day on Fighting Like David.  Honestly that made me feel even worse because I had given up.  Normally I am outside greeting EVERY Sunday  whether I am on the schedule or not, because that is my absolute favorite part of my week.
I didn’t fight that morning I fled and I felt just terrible about it.  To compound that, one of my friends from another church had shown up to visit and I wasn’t there to greet him.  I was in the back in my seat just circling the drain.

When the altar opened I nearly ran up front.  The Holy Spirit ministered to me while others prayed with, and for me.

I felt much better after church but I was still nervous about my future.

Wednesday night, before church my family received a blessing from someone. I don’t know who and I won’t give details but it was a blessing that was exactly to the penny what we were lacking for the month. I’ve been pounding the pavement, emailing and doing odd design jobs here and there trying to do my part but things are slow.  

My wife Linda and I have been faithful tithers for years.   We have seen the supernatural power of that work in our lives and in the lives of others.  Linda is unshakable when it comes to this.  I try to be, I want to be but I’m not always.
When I get worried and depressed she always tells me that God will take care of us.  I won’t lie, sometimes when I’m really down or depressed her faith can infuriate me.  She never stops though, she’s confident in God.

Last week when we received that gift it was like God was saying to me “You locked yourself in your truck out of fear and shame, you doubted me. I have never failed you and I never will, even when you close your eyes so tight you can’t see me. Even when you fail me, I am bigger than your problems, your runaway imagination and your fears. Look what I can do son.” 

God isn’t a genie and not everything goes the way you plan even when you tithe without fail. Somehow though even when it seems impossible, when there is no way it should work out He makes a way. 
It might be by blessing you with more work, and you have to work harder and have less free time than ever to earn the money. 
It might be by giving you a new job better than anything you have ever dreamed. Restoring you like Job ten times over. 
Or maybe He just compels another one of His kids to help you in a time of need.  
Somehow He makes a way when you tithe. I can’t explain it, I don’t deserve it but It happens. 
I have several of these stories myself and even more from others.I know what I want in my heart of hearts as far as work goes.
Is it still a struggle? Yes, it is, I don’t know what the rest of September will be like. I don’t know what is next for me, I don’t know where or when the next job will come.  

I do know that He has plans for me and I am excited for whatever is next.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Thanks for reading

Alan

1 comment:

  1. Alan you are such an inspiration to so many people...... your strength proves you have God walking with you every day. I feel the love you have for God and his people! You should never doubt or fear anything because God truly walks with you Alan. Thanks for being you and a good role model for people and kids who see you daily.

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