In an instant, my arms went numb and then my legs. My breathing shook and labored as if oxygen levels were too low to get what I needed. Fear engulfed me so completely I nearly passed out. I was too afraid to pass out, and fought through tears as fear continued to grow. Later, my counselor encouraged me that if I’d have passed out I would have been OK.
My body would have had a chance to reset itself from emotional overwhelm. I had an anxiety attack.
It’s embarrassing to admit this, because for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to please God and live with great faith. I’ve wrongly believed the enemy’s whispers, that to deal with anxiety is to be in sin. That anxiety indicates I’m too weak to be of value for Kingdom purposes.
It’s just not true.
Unresolved hurts, fears, and destructive belief patterns can cause anxiety to build. In some cases, to the point of an attack. For me, high stress and hyper-vigilant living contributed. Some people have overactive limbic systems or biological makeups which make anxiety more likely. From what I understand, symptoms and causes vary from person to person. I don’t pretend to understand the nuances for all of us; I share what I’ve come to know in hopes that it helps you too.
Anxiety is an emotion. Emotions in and of themselves are not sinful. They are indicators of something going on inside of us and they should promote us to action. When anxiety attacks, we can choose a course of action that fosters healing over destruction.