Heart pounding, hands shaking, I laid in bed the other night–unable to sleep. I had read an article that freaked me out. Medical-related, as usual.
I deal with severe panic attacks, and they usually present themselves quickly, out of no where. I was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and had it removed—all in the span of six days. Ever since, I’ve been fighting off anxiety on a daily basis. My husband, on the other hand, is much better at staying calm. He balances me out, which is great. However, he doesn’t know what a panic attack feels like, so he can’t quite relate.
In moments like this, I try to explain why I’m freaking out, and he does his best to help. He’s very patient and understanding. But it reaches a point where he just can’t fix things.
Are you dealing with anxiety?
It can be scary when it’s 11 p.m., you start feeling anxious, and you feel completely out of control. I remember Elyse Fitzpatrick once said,
You usually feel anxious at night, because during the day you feel much more in control.
And that’s so true.
When a bout of anxiety hits me, I sometimes expect my husband to be able to fix things. I long for him to have the perfect words to calm my anxious thoughts, but many times, he doesn’t. Instead of getting frustrated with him, I’ve had to come to the realization that my husband can’t be my ultimate source of peace. He is extremely comforting to me, and his prayers and words often do wonders for my nervousness, but my ultimate peace comes from God.
When I face moments of extreme fear, I’m learning to first pray. I get it all out on the table with God, and ask for peace. Then I go to my husband, and tell him I’m feeling anxious. Sometimes it’s helpful just to talk it out. I let him know that I don’t expect him to fix things, and that I just want him to know. I ask him to pray for me, and I pray some more.
Praying through the fear…
Noticing a pattern? Prayer really does work wonders when you’re dealing with fear. I’ve been battling anxiety since I was about ten years old. It’s really tough, and it does affect my marriage in tremendous ways. But I’m learning to give it to God first. Before I get frustrated with my husband, before I have a total meltdown, before I seek peace anywhere else.
Prayer should be your first step towards peace in times of anxiety. It’s extremely frustrating at times, when the person closest to you can’t quite understand what you’re experiencing. But it’s not his fault, and he’s not meant to be your ultimate source of peace and faith. Talk through your thoughts with your husband, but ultimately lay your fears at rest with God.