Written by: Alicia Chevalier
Ill be honest. When I was asked to write for this blog and share how I am thankful for my experience with anxiety and fear, the feelings became all too real once again, and I thought to myself, ‘are you nuts?’ That was an awful time in my life.
However, just as God brought me through that trial, he will surely give me the strength and peace to get me through this post. Who knows, maybe my story will help one of you?
My story begins when my husband and I were on a drop-everything-and-go kinda vacation. We had nothing planned, no time frame, we just got in the car and headed for vacation in North Carolina (Nascar country-my hubby’s heaven). All of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks, shortness of breath, uneasy feelings, upset stomach…. What’s going on? We went to bed that night not quite sure what was going on. Maybe the high altitude of the mountains, something I ate, a blood clot? All I know is it was an awful, unwelcome feeling and it was more than welcome to leave – anytime.
When the morning came I was feeling a bit better and we continued on with our vacation. Once back at home a few days later I noticed the shortness of breath had returned along with the very uneasy feelings that became so bad that one Sunday we found ourselves at the hospital in emergency thinking it could be a heart attack or something else. The doctor checked my heart, my lungs for a clot, my blood, and found nothing wrong at all….let me tell you, it didn’t feel like there was nothing wrong.
It felt like there was something VERY wrong.
He said, “ I think you are experiencing anxiety, has anything major happened in your life? Maybe a trama? Or big event?” I said no, my life was going on its merry way, nothing to worry about, no stress that I could think of, just doing my own thing! Little did I realize that the last part of that sentence (doing my own thing) WAS a big part of the problem. Anxiety is something I would not wish on anyone. If you are, or have dealt with anxiety know that I have been and will continue to pray for you.
I followed up with my family doctor who told me that if my anxiety gets bad enough where I couldn’t go to work that I would have to try medication. Luckily, I never got to that point because I work with my mom and she was a shield through this troubling time. However, I did experience the fear of not being able to be home alone, the need to be totally dependant and only an arm lengths away from my husband. I thank God for him. He is so caring and patient with me. He was so careful to try and not stress me out in anyway. I experienced the loss of sleep, total melt-downs, and feeling sick to my stomach 100% of the time. These feelings went on for a good 5-6 months. One of my really good friends suggested seeing a naturopath. She helped me with vitamins and was trying to get my hormone levels under control! Who knew little hormones can reek such havoc on your body when they are unbalanced.
The whole time I was going through this trial I cried out to God! God, WHY is this happening to me, WHY do I feel like this, HOW can I fix this? Even though God was with me the whole time, I didn’t feel a change in my level of anxiety until I changed the way I was praying. From why and how, to HELP I NEED You. This is when God started to work in my heart. I couldn’t see it then, but I totally see it now…..I was doing my own thing, without Gods help. I am a Christian, I go to church, I am a leader for our youth group and I know what it means to have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. However, I was living my life for me. Not for God. I was too busy with everything else going on in my life. I wasn’t reading my bible or spending time in prayer when I knew I should have been. I wasn’t asking God to come into my day and walk with me, or lead me in the direction I should be going. I was totally just doing my own thing asking him for help only when times got tough. Please don’t get the wrong message from this post. Do I believe God gave me anxiety and fear as some kind of punishment for not being a better Christian? No, of course not. God does not work like that. Do I believe God used my struggle with anxiety that was caused by unbalanced hormones to get my attention? Absolutely. I truly believe that until I asked God for help, understood that I couldn’t do it alone and put my faith and trust in him – he took my hand, lead me and allowed me to go through this trial. God’s word and promises are so true. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Yes sometimes he does allow us to go through some pretty rough and trying times. However, when the waters rise he will never let you drown. Call on His name with all your heart and “lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Just because he lets us experience pain sometimes does not mean he doesn’t love us. It’s actually the complete opposite. He wants to help us. He is just waiting for us to call out His name.
My time of anxiety was trying and painful but I have never leaned on, trusted in, or cried out to God more than I did going through this tough time in my life. I can honestly say that the relationship I have with God now, where I am in His word, praying more and inviting Him into my day – everyday; would not be what it is if I had not gone through this trial. That is what I am thankful for.
God longs for us to need Him and cry out to Him for help.He is our healer and the Great Physician. It’s so clear to me that God strategically placed people in my path that would help me get through this tough time. I had people praying for me left, right and centre. I am so thankful for such amazing, knowledgable, reliable and caring family and friends who really were praying for me!
A kind hearted and loving lady of the church took me under her wing and I believe adopted me as her special mission during my struggle. She told me to read Psalms 91 and speak it out loud adding my name to it. To this day that is one of the most helpful verses I have ever read and if not for my anxiety I don’t know that our relationship would have formed. I would have missed out on great guidance, someone constantly praying for me, and a trustworthy friend.
Sometimes we wonder why these things happen to us. Why we have to feel pain. Why we have to go through certain things. But just know when your world feels like it’s crashing down around you, there is only one name you need to call on: Jesus! He is faithful to guide you through your troubling times and bring you safely through to the other side. Eventually you will see how a tragedy can someday be something you are thankful for. God knows what He is doing. Let Him guide your path.
Alicia is 26 years old and is married to a very handsome farmer who just so happens to be the love of her life. Alicia and her hubby live on the home farm in the Lakeshore area. They have been very happily married for four years and everyday is a new adventure that they look forward to experiencing together.
Alicia has been raised in the same church that her and her husband currently attend and serve in. Alicia works with the youth group and has a passion to teach them what she know’s about The Lord! Alicia has an amazing family and awesome friends and feels that God has truly blessed her.