Yes, He hears our prayers, but does He hear the desperation in a child’s cry to Him? Does He respond? Is He faithful in those moments??
As I was driving to pick up my kids from their Dad’s tonight, I began to feel the wave come over me. If you suffer from anxiety or have experienced panic attacks, you know what I’m referring to. It’s an awful, confusing, and hard thing to manage… difficult to press through. Our minds are so powerful. It physically manifests itself. My mind is going, my body is shaking, my heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest, and the fear of what *might* happen overtakes my thoughts.
If you’ve never experienced a panic attack, you’re probably on the opposite end, thinking, “Just relax… it can’t be that bad.” It seems like it should be so easy to “just relax,” but it’s just not.
Sometimes I know these attacks are coming, and can prepare myself… but tonight. Tonight was a different story. It hit me like a freight train out of nowhere. I found myself in a rush to get there, get them, and get home.
But, I was debilitated… I couldn’t drive. My mind was racing. My heart was going crazy. I had to pull over, and stop in a BP parking lot. I felt alone. I found myself pacing, crying, and praying.
So, when I was able to drive again, I got to my ex’s apartment, but I felt claustrophobic… like I might pass out. I had to get out again.
More pacing, pacing, pacing… trying to find the air to breathe, breathe, breathe… then, the kids came, and we were able to go.
So, why the urgency to get home? Because I have a prescription to Xanax there. Yes… that’s my way out when I find myself in a panic attack like that. I’m so fearful of all the “what ifs” that coincide with the anxiety, and my mind just goes crazy. The Xanax alleviates that.
But, I wasn’t home. I had no other choice in that moment, but to pray.
After I had the kids with me and was driving, I wanted to ask them to pray for me… but I doubted, and didn’t, so as I found myself feeling worse, I called one of my best friends to have her pray for me. She did. She then suggested I pull over and have the kids surround me with prayer.
I ended up in a parking lot with 6 little hands laying on me… lifting me up in prayer. They were worried for me, but that worry, and that fear… it was fleeting.
God’s presence is a comforting and powerful force.
My daughter was saying things that there’s no possible way she would have naturally known to say. She does not like to pray out loud, and still struggles with understanding why we pray, and whether or not God will deliver on His promises. We so often doubt as adults, so how much more does she doubt as a child?
But, she began crying out to God in a desperate plea… asking Him to “fling” off of me whatever was causing the attack, the anxiety, the sickness. Telling Him how much she loves me, how she needs me, but how she knew God would keep me safe. She was afraid at first, but ultimately she trusted Him with me. She was proclaiming the name of Jesus, and our love for Him. She was overcome by the spirit of God…
I. was. weeping…
She prayed for me again when we got home.
She. was. weeping…
This girl talks 24/7. I always say that I know God gave her that voice for a reason, and there is purpose in it. I believe one day He’ll use her passion, her love for talking, and her boldness in a mighty way. Tonight, I saw a glimpse of that. She certainly found it within her to pray tonight.
She was not afraid. She saw God’s faithfulness. She saw her prayer heard… and answered.
We were all reminded of how we are so blessed to have *each other*… and if nothing else? Well, that alone is worth being so very thankful for.
And, the last bit of advice she had for me as she was climbing into bed… “Mommy, you should go listen to worship music. That always makes you feel better.”
Yes, and Amen to that.
1 John 4:18 (NIV) – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.