Don't Panic!

Wake up… Open my eyes… it’s a new day and it hits me!! Your not good enough, look at you, you thought you were good? That you were “new” after going to Brazil? Well let me bring you back into reality… YOUR NOT CHANGED, YOUR NOT ENOUGH, and it’s been proven that your not enough look at you. Your not enough from the inside out. I’m all alone and I look around and it’s just me there in the dark.

Lord why is this happening?? Then my heart starts to beat so fast and I began to have trouble breathing. The tears start rolling uncontrollably. I’m paralyzed, I cannot move at all! The room starts to spin and get smaller and smaller. I become a baby girl on the inside wanting her mommy. I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this! I just want to run until I reach anywhere but my mind.

If you don’t know what I just described it’s a panic attack. For the last two years I’ve randomly had panic attacks due to certain triggers. It can be debilitating and as I’ve grown closer to Christ somehow I’ve developed a shame for having them. I would think to myself “ I shouldn’t have panic attacks. I can’t tell anyone because it will make it look like I don’t have a real relationship with God.” Until one day I was tired of going through this alone and I told my mom what I was dealing with. Just like always she brought just the right light to the situation. You see my mom is attending Liberty University and studying psychology. She began to explain to me how there is a balance between the spiritual and the natural. We go through different things in the natural and we fight them both spiritually and in the natural. This lifted a bolder off of my back as I began to see that there was no need for shame I could fight this. I began to read a book that my mom gave me with different coping tools. I stopped “ God how can I talk to other women? How can I help another women when I have my own issues? Then I felt Holy Spirit telling me that women NEED YOUR REAL, NOT PUT TOGETHER, SILLY SELF. They need to know that they are not alone in their journey.

I know your asking well how did you handle having these panic attacks? Well it started at the Rise retreat that my church ( River of Life) had in Asheville a couple of week ago. I told myself I would go and have no expectations so that God could do what He wanted to do and show me what He wanted me to see. The first night they began to sing “ Surrounded” by Upperroom, I had never heard it before. We just kept repeating “ This is how I fight my battles, This is how I fight my battles , it may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by you.” This tears starting flowing!!!!!! When I have a panic attack I feel like I’m surrounded. That I have no where to go. The more I sang the song the more I could feel that I could fight back when these attacks come and that I’m not alone!!!! It may look like I’m surrounded in that moment but if I can just remember that those shadows in the dark are really Gods wings protecting me!!!! He’s right there in those moments.

This song and that weekend at the retreat gave me the ability to see that I have the bible as my sword and I have many other weapons to fight this battle. My other weapons are praise, thanksgiving, writing down bible verses to remind me who I am, the AWARE method that helps me stop and focus when a panic attack starts to come, close friends and family that I trust and most of all above all these tools I have MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. He is always there, like literally always there. He’s ready to help at my time of need, He’s there to help you at your time need!!!

Through all of this I began to see that this time away was not a me thing, it was a God thing. He was strengthening me, showing me and preparing me to be a continued vessel. God brought back to me my first blog post in February of this year. It was a letter to God explaining how everything I do is for His glory. I want you all to know that I love you all beyond words and that even while I’ve been gone you’ve never been far from my thoughts. Through this time I’ve learned that I will write when He tells me to write, I will post when He tells me to post because I’m just a weird, beautiful, misshaped, open vessel ready to be used when HE pours into me. I’m not perfect but I’m His. I’m working on me everyday and I pray that we can all continue to go on our journeys together.

If your reading this and you suffer from panic attacks please reach out to me. I’m here for you, your not in this alone.

Quinika Benton1 Comment