I’ve always been afraid. As a child, I had all kinds of fears. I had a fear of not fitting in, a fear of not being liked, a fear of heights, a fear of roller coasters, and a fear of being sucked into an undertow and whisked out to sea.
I’ve always known that God is in control, that he “saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in [his] book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16).
I knew it. But still, I lived in fear.
As an adult, my fear grew into full-blown anxiety. I will never forget my first panic attack. I was 21, riding in the car with my now-husband, and all of a sudden I felt lightheaded, my heart raced, I couldn’t breathe, and I felt impending doom. There was no specific reason for it—nothing that I can pinpoint as the cause. I almost asked him to take me to the hospital, but then, as quickly as the attack hit, it was gone. When I told my mom about it she said it sounded like I’d just had a panic attack. I continued to occasionally have minor attacks like this one over the years, but they never caused a strain on my daily living.
The Worst Came True
On January 15, 2004, I delivered a stillborn baby girl at five months pregnant. After that day, I knew that bad things happen—not just to other people, but to me and to those I love. I understood how broken our world is. I understood how sin has touched every part of our being, even our broken DNA.
Years of anxiety followed. I had random thoughts of “what ifs” and tried to hold on to those I loved even tighter. Physical symptoms developed: heart palpitations, sweating, shallow breathing, and a frequent need to use the washroom. My anxiety became so bad that it ...1
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