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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sometimes it's time to pause

The world got a lot more beautiful on December 5. Lucy Elizabeth Alligood made her debut. She is as perfect as her big brother and big sister and, like her siblings , she makes me want to be a better person , to do my part to bring good to the world around me, and to help her follow Christ with her whole heart
I'll get back to writing posts soon but for now I will just enjoy the blessing that God has sent to our family. Welcome baby girl. We are so glad you were born !

Friday, December 4, 2015

When Panic Attacks - part 1

Fear has always been around.  Since Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden out of fear, this emotion has been controlling behavior of people everywhere.  If not controlling, then threatening to, and inducing paralysis, guilt, and panic. 

Fear of all sorts of things - heights, public speaking, needles (my personal phobia to address) as well as fear of rejection, loneliness, loss of security, and death.  Even fear itself is frightening.  It is destructive to relationships, careers, and personal growth.  And it is cyclic in that fear often induces more fear, anxiety, and stress.

As followers of Christ, we usually suffer our fears privately, wondering if we are spiritual failures to succumb to the negative feelings that leave us paralyzed emotionally, mentally, and even physically.  We try to address our fears in lots of ways, most of which do not lead to sustained success.  We feel guilty, telling ourselves that we ought not to feel this way. We might try positive thinking or even quoting some Bible verses from time to time.  Or we ignore the fears and try to avoid situations that might trigger those feelings of terror.  Or we convince ourselves that fear is somehow normal and therefore we must just deal with it as best we can, often with medication that at least takes the edge off the panic.  Then we usually lay shame on top of the fear.

And yet, the fears persist. The physical manifestations are indeed real - elevated blood pressure, sweaty palms, acceleration of heart rate, difficulty breathing. So are the emotional symptoms - feelings of helplessness, panic, and despair are brought on by the body's response to fear-induced adrenaline levels.  All too often, those who suffer from fear usually find themselves eventually locked in a battle with depression as well.  It's a natural outgrowth.

So, what do we do?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What do you do when it seems overwhelming? Panic Attacks - Introduction

And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
 yes, I would wander far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness

I think every person alive has felt the angst penned in Psalm 55:6,7.  When pressures mount, or sorrows pile up, or demands overwhelm us, there is a soul-cry that bubbles up - "just get me out of here!"

I know the feeling well.  The longing to escape the pressures and troubles that cause pain and angst and sorrow.  The desire for rest and comfort and peace.

I am so grateful for the vulnerable authenticity of the psalmist.  It is great encouragement to know that God deemed it profitable for my training in righteousness (see 2 Timothy 3:16) to include this passage in Scripture.  I urge you to read the entire Psalm; it is very likely that you, too, have felt the need to escape life's unrelenting stresses.  This Psalm might help you process the strain.

Let's have a look at some of it together....