Through a series of blogs under a category called "Folded Corners," I want to share what He has done for me. I am weary of holding it in [Jeremiah 20:9]. Every morning for years I have kept a prayer journal. Each page begins, "Good morning, Lord." At the end of writing, I open my Bible and read, sometimes randomly, sometimes the next Psalm. When a verse directly addresses something I wrote or asked, I would fold the corner. This blog will take from pages starting in September of 2017.
At this time, half way to LPC licensure despite a concussion, then a broken arm, the panic attacks hit. These were partly due to an unnoticed, inadvertent doubling of my thyroid medication. The attacks coincided with the start of a new, full-time position at a state agency. The agency didn't provide counseling, so much as turn-and-burn sessions, collecting fees from state funding as fast as possible. Enter depression. This was usury and the energy there went straight into my sensitive being and contradicted every reason I got into counseling in the first place. If I could only get through this, though, then I'd be licensed and have my own practice where I could give full and ethical sessions.
I lasted three weeks.
The day I quit, I expected the panic attacks to stop. They did not. They continued daily, lasting all morning, for a period of six weeks. I got medical attention and finally they began to decrease, at an agonizingly slow pace. I could no longer stand to be alone while my husband was at work, so I stayed with my parents during the week. I attended therapy and worked hard and prayed harder. I did not hide my pain from friends or family. I asked to be put on the church prayer list. I needed and asked for all the help I could get.
The journalling became more important: An anchor to grab, upon waking each day. For 30 years I lived for the thrill of professional pursuits, though looking back the path is riddled with falls. Now, all this came to a screeching halt. The lasts seven years were devoted to first, post-graduate work, then satisfying state licensure, and acquiring near 6 digits in student loans I had no idea what to do with myself. I wanted to die. But I still had my faith. Thank God. As I journalled, and wrote to Him, I would fold the corner of any page containing what can only be His replies.
Though the acute panic attacks were finally reduced to anxiety, this and the depression lasted for four months. 120 days. Usually, in the Bible, trials last up to 40 days. Except for that 40-year journey in the desert. These four months felt like an eternity. He had rescued me repeatedly [2 Corinthians 1:10] and I knew He would again. But when?
I am eager to share how He "refined me in the furnace of suffering." [Isaiah 48:10]. He has given me a new heart. I wonder how many new hearts he gives us in a life time. Because this isn't my first. How many more? Because, "He will fulfill His purpose for me."
I have had two months with no symptoms. I work two part-time jobs that pay my student loan each month. And I am content. I have no more desire for earthly gains. (This started with shoes, to my dismay... now, finally, my expensive taste in cars).
Glory to God, in the Highest. Please, allow me to share.