Thanks so much for joining us for our Lights of Hope in Times of Darkness Series! Each post in the series is written by a different author. We hope you’ll be blessed, encouraged, challenged and comforted all at once. Please let us know if you need prayer – we’d love to pray for you!
“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” Psalms 32:7
It had been a normal day in my household and everything was going smoothly.
My husband and I sat down in the evening to watch a movie, and suddenly I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It felt as if something were sitting on my chest and my ribs were unable to expand at all to get any air into my lungs. The dizziness and passing out feeling started to creep on as well.
I called my mom, so terrified about what I was feeling, and she reminded me of the severe anxiety attacks that I had battled throughout my teenage years and early twenties. I had not experienced anxiety in three years at this point and completely forgot how intense and real the symptoms could feel.
From that night on, I had a huge battle with anxiety, which led into depression.
Everyday, almost all day, I was struggling to just get through work, get through the evening routine with the kids and fall asleep. I constantly had a lingering feeling that something was seriously wrong with my health. I felt so strongly that I was losing my mind.
All of that fear of something that I knew was not real turned to shame and embarrassment. This soon led to a complete shut down of myself and a complete shut out of all those around me.
I was quickly falling into a deep pit of despair. I felt there was no hope and I dreaded having to open my eyes each morning, while simultaneously dreading going to bed at night. The anxiety was so out of control I was terrified I would die in my sleep from being unable to breathe. Irrational fears that I knew were not reality, but I could not get rid of.
I felt so alone and everything just seemed so bleak.
I opened my Bible one day to the first chapter in the book of Psalms. That entire book helped me transition from a time of darkness, hopelessness, despair, and fear into a time of light, hope, joy, and strength. There is a verse that I hold tightly to my heart now because it spoke so loudly to me during this time in my life,
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears,” Psalms 34:4
The book of Psalms is written by those feeling the same emotions we struggle with and yet at the end of each chapter you will notice praise, trust and hope in our God. I realized in going through this amazing book of the Bible that I too could praise God through this difficult season of life and find hope in Him. I always knew I could trust in Him, but I needed to be reminded of that because in the midst of my feelings I lost all sense of hope in anything.
When I could see no light at the end of each day, I could certainly place my hope into God, who has carried me through much worse in life. The NIV version of Psalms 62:5-6 perfectly describes what I was reminded of and found again in my journey through the Psalms,
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
It took me about two weeks to get through all of the Psalms. Anytime I felt sad, hopeless or anxious I would pick up right where I left off. Every time I opened it back up I was filled with the hope that tomorrow could be brighter.
God always saves us from the snares of our enemies, even when that enemy is our own mind. God is my fortress, my rock, my salvation, and my hope can always be placed in Him. I had a renewed sense of peace in knowing that my fears and sadness could be placed onto the shoulders of my wonderful Father because He is only too willing to take the burden from me. A burden I felt I could no longer bear.
I came through this dark season and into such a great time of joy and hope because I put my hope and trust in the Lord. Two years later, when I had postpartum depression with my third child, I was once again able to go through the Book of Psalms and pull myself out of the depths of despair and back into the arms of my loving Father.
Today is a new day and if you are feeling the same sinking, out of control sensations that come with depression and anxiety, then I ask you to open up your Bible.
You are not alone.
God’s word will renew your spirit, fill your heart and slowly lift you back up from the depths you are sinking in right now.
Heather is a mother to three, soon to be four children, and a wife to Zachari. She loves finding new ways to apply God’s word to her life and that of her family. If she isn’t creating checklists and schedules, she can usually be found blogging over at From Perfection To Grace, drinking coffee, trying out new recipes, reading a book or spending time with family. You can also connect with Heather on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter!