“I have come as Light into the world,
so that everyone who believes in Me
will NOT remain in darkness.”
The picture on the top was taken in Ireland, in a place called The Burren, in Lisdoonvarna to be exact! The reason for the candid photo is that I was trying to be captured in a yoga pose. The actual pose I was attempting was the Dancer’s pose where I stand on 1 leg while holding the foot of my other leg up in the air behind my back.
You can’t tell in the first picture, but the second picture shows the high, steep drop into the raging water. So obviously I was quite nervous about standing on one leg so close to the edge, even though I felt I could balance well in this pose in a traditional yoga class. I was in the pose for less than a second when I decided it was too risky and the camera snapped the shot as I was coming out of the pose. I love this picture because it catches me happy and giggling. The weather was perfect and sunny and the scenery magnificent!
At first I hated the picture of myself, and critiqued myself harshly like I always do. But this picture captured me at a moment when I felt good, healthy, and happy to be alive…and because of that I believe it is truly beautiful.
I am NOW reminiscing to a time… back when I was 19 years old.
It was the end of the semester before summer in 2002. I had taken my calculus test and in the middle of it, because of a panic attack, walked out of the classroom without even completing half of it. I had worked so hard in that class and spent many hours in the math help lab as well as countless hours working out problems and staying up all night trying to prepare for the tests. I had never failed a class before! I thought I was supposed to be going to medical school and that now I felt that I had just failed God’s plan for my life.
That was the semester that came with anxiety and panic attacks that I had never before experienced. The anxiety came from a vague feeling of condemnation and judgment. It would always lead to a panic attack because of this foreboding feeling that I was forever cursed from something I did wrong or for some ungodly desire I had. It seemed that the entire semester was spent in darkness, despair and hopelessness. I was a Christian, but the enemy had launched a great attack against my mind and spirit. I would sometimes even feel that the only way out was to not be alive. I was not suicidal and thankfully never became that way. But these panic attacks were very debilitating and had lasted for several months.
After leaving the classroom, I walked over to the Wesley Foundation (student campus ministry on campus at FSU). I laid down on the floor in the isolated small chaplet in hopes that the anxiety would lesson. I somehow got this huge and unexplainable desire to drop out of the classes I had enrolled in for the summer, and go home for the several months to stay with my parents. At first I felt unsure. I was enrolled in some heavy science classes and felt that I would lose momentum and be behind on my pre-medical curriculum. But I had so much peace and relief that I called my parents and told them I was coming home for the summer.
I look back now and can see that these were growing pains that I needed to go through. That summer of 2002 changed my life. I dug deep into God’s word. When a panic attack would come, I opened my Bible and started writing whatever scripture I found. As a result, over the several months, I had unexpectedly memorized a lot of scriptures. Eventually, I was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks less and less. God’s truth was permeating my mind and transforming me. I started to learn and get a grasp on the nature of God and how He felt about me. The scriptures I have written here were so powerful in my transformation. I believe that is the best warfare against the enemy…God’s word. I am alive in Christ, NOT condemned and NOT in darkness.
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” John 5:24
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” Ephesians 2:4-6
We died and were raised to new life in Him. The scripture says so!!!
If you get a chance, go to Youtube or Spotify and listen to the song Resurrecting by Elevation Worship. This song inspired this post. Check out the words in the chorus:
By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare your victory
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me