Alright ladies and gents. My heart is pounding and I think it is because the Lord is revealing something big here. This requires extreme vulnerability on my part but in order for breakthrough to happen in our generations the power of testimony needs to be revealed. There is a power in silence but an even greater power in speaking out how you overcame difficulties. Thank you Jesus for breakthrough, peace, and showing up. His throne room is the best place to be… I’m telling ya, it’s true! So I’m inviting you to come along with me on this journey and I’m asking you for grace.
Who has ever experienced a panic attack? They’re the worst aren’t they? They seem to cripple your mind and require so much energy that by the end of it you feel so weak and feeble. Today I experienced another attack. I fell victim to the fear that was gnawing at my mind that the sickness I struggled with for six months last year was coming back. I could feel it coming on all morning. My breathing was uneven, my heartrate was high, and I was short tempered. Something was off.
But first let’s backtrack to the beginning of last year. I had just decided to leave college and move back to my hometown. I was broken, hurting, and pretty confused. I moved into a little cottage with my sister and went into a spiral. I was alone most of the time so my thoughts were my only company. I wondered if I had made the biggest mistake of my life by leaving college, I felt abandoned by my Jesus even though He was with me the whole time, and I was searching for identity in my community. Here is a golden nugget: seeking identity in anything other than the One who created it is going to cause pain, disappointment, and feeling unfulfilled. It was during this time that my panic attacks really began to flare up. I had experienced them before but not this severe. I wasn’t having them super often but when they came I felt the heaviness of the spiritual battle going on around me. Those fiery darts are reaaal. Now I’m gonna be honest with you and tell you that I really didn’t handle these attacks very well. They put me out of commission for the whole day if not more. I would feel drained, weak, and depressed. I even had a panic attack at the summer camp I was working at while I was supposed to be leading high schoolers into freedom. Thankfully their encounters were never based on my performance but the presence of their King.
So fast forward a little bit. I just went through an intensive season of discipleship that I will forever be thankful for. It was through the atmosphere that Circuit Riders created that enabled me to seek complete breakthrough in freedom and my identity in Christ. The funny thing is that I was sick the entire time I was living in California doing the program. But my condition doesn’t define my attitude and breakthrough isn’t limited to the perfect candidates. My heart was open and my spirit was willing so the Lord saw an open target. He made me a new creation. Tears are flowing as I write this.
Having the Holy Spirit as a best friend is honestly incredible because He opens your eyes to so many things. Today, as I felt the beginning of a panic attack coming I sat on my bed and cried out to my roommates for help. Okay maybe it wasn’t that glamorous. First, I tried to overexert myself and do laundry at a laundromat and pushed all my feelings aside. Then when I literally couldn’t complete a simple task I crawled onto my bed and it wasn’t until they asked me what was wrong that the tears started and my mind just unleashed on them. Thanks for being there, roomies. But my point here is that He was gently whispering to me the whole day that I needed to stop and get face to face with Him. He saw that my flesh was being dramatic and had the grace to show up and pour out peace in the calamity. It took me being cocooned in a sleeping bag in a dark room playing the most powerful worship music for an hour for me to finally realign my mind and give myself over completely to Jesus. Regardless of what it looked like I know His character is good and I trust Him to lead me through whatever this wild life looks like.
So I’ve got flaws for sure and I’m telling you this not for pity but to share with you the power of relationship with Jesus. It is amazing to me to see the difference in myself from last year to now. Depressed and isolated Lis is now walking in utter joy and complete satisfaction. The most exciting thing for me is that this is only a year transformation. He takes us glory to glory. He fulfills His promises. He continues to pour out His furious love for us. Growth is a continual undoing of ourselves and instead a constant realigning with our Father. It is a beautiful process.
Now I have the opportunity to go to our last CR Monday night worship service tonight and worship my heart out to the One who saved me today, yesterday, and will save me again tomorrow! This panic attack has not determined my day, my attitude, or my love. Relationship with Jesus means we get to walk in joy and peace regardless of circumstances. Relationship with Jesus means keeping our love on despite what the world throws at us. By the end of this week our entire team will be crossing America and Carrying the Love to over 200 college campuses. OF COURSE we are getting spiritually attacked!! Huge breakthrough is coming to America, to our generations, and to the nations! So we pour out our thanks to you, Jesus, for taking all affliction for us so that we may spread your Good News to the beat up, burnt out, and bedraggled.
“For His love is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods- of elation or depression. The furious love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change. It is reliable. And always tender…
If we as a Christian community took seriously that the sign of our love for Jesus is our love for one another, I am convinced it would change the world. We’re denying the world the one witness Jesus asked for: “Love one another as I have loved you.”