I was drowning...except I was not in a pool of water...I was in a 'pool of panic'. I felt like my air was cut off and I just could not regulate it. You see there was no actual pool or even any water. Every time I felt like I was not in control, when I felt unsure, when I didn't have the answers, those were the times when I felt the panic rising. Panic is defined as sudden overwhelming fear that spreads quickly. For me, the panic would come when I thought about career changes I wanted to make, finances, or even if marriage and children would ever be a part of my life. What is it that leaves you feeling panicked? Have you ever found yourself in a 'pool of panic'?
The funny thing is that panic often starts as a tiny, little thought, "what if...?", "why...?", "how will I...?". Those thoughts grow and grow until we feel completely overwhelmed. Interestingly enough, research suggests that only 8% of our worries are real, legitimate worries while the other 92% never happen, are things from the past, can be categorized as miscellaneous, or are things we cannot do anything about. All of that worry, anxiety, and panic for nothing! If you are like me, there have been times when you did not care what the research says; your panic seemed appropriate based on what you were going through. However, I have come to learn that panic proposes that God is not present in our predicament. If we know that God has a plan, that He is in control, that He is our loving Father and provider, then why panic? If we know that all things work together for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28) and that He supplies all of our needs (Philippians 4:19), then why panic?
Well, simply put, it is because we allow the enemy to deceive us into doubting all of the things we know about our God. The enemy lures us over to that 'pool of panic' one thought at a time and just when the thoughts and questions begin to swirl, he pushes us in, and we begin to drown! By now you may be beginning to panic just thinking about how to take control of the panic in your life. Take a deep breathe and let's begin to put the 3 P's into practice:
The next time you feel yourself beginning to panic, do three things: pause pray, and then praise. Pause and take control of your thoughts, remind yourself that whatever it is, you do not have to be fearful (see 2 Timothy 1:7). Pray and ask God to take the panic away and calm your spirit (see Philippians 4:6). Lastly, praise and thank God for all of His goodness in your life. You will quickly see that panic and praise cannot be in the same place. The more you praise, the less you will panic! Let Him heal your soul!
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise you because no matter what is going on, you are still worthy to be praised! I pray you cover the minds of all those reading this and remove the panic from each of their lives. Help them to trust you day by day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.