“Esther 4:14-Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.”

“Thank You for choosing McDonald’s can I take your order please?”

“One second. Danny what do you want? Ok, I’ll take a Cheeseburger Bundle meal with no ketchup on the burgers, make the nuggets fresh, a large French Vanilla Ice Coffee with extra French Vanilla, 2 McChickens with dehydrated onions only, and a medium Fanta. Thank you”–

That’s when I heard the reminder in my mind, you didn’t order those fries without salt.

I was hungry, and wasn’t trying to be picky, Danny likes salted fries, I never eat salted fries. I got my food, switched out Eli’s soda for a soda with no ice, and started the drive home, while picking at the fries as I drove.

I get home, smoke a cigarette, and indulge in my ice coffee. I got my food, opened up a mountain of Ketchup, and began to eat, all while surfing Facebook. Before I could finish, the changes started occurring. I ignored all signs, and still ate. My initial thought was maybe the coffee and bread is running up my blood sugar (only I don’t have blood sugar problems.) I finished eating and decided to call a friend of mine on the phone.

Talking 90 miles a minute, I knew it, and I said it out loud “Something has thrown me into a panic attack, either that or my sugar is high, something I ate done this, or maybe it didn’t, but something caused it.” I went and smoked again, continuing to sip on my coffee, but then placing my coffee to the side in case it was a blood sugar spike.” I stayed on the phone and placed a load of clothes in the washer and washed the majority of my dishes. I could no longer stand and had to get off the phone and go lay down. I told Danny again what was going on, and that I’d finish the dishes in a bit, once this passed

It was all I could do to make it to the bedroom when it set in fully. I made it to Eli’s room, laid down on the mattress, and just like that I was gone. I called my daughter, Jaylah.

The heat began to rise from my collar bone, the flesh on my neck began to burn upward reaching my jawbone, my head began to hurt, the room began to spin, my legs began to jerk, my heart began to race, my hands and my body felt like it was eating itself from the inside out. My air pods were in, and I tried so hard to focus on Jaylah’s voice as she was talking on the other end of the phone. As the sound of her voice cracked through my ears as a center of focus, my mind went haywire. Where did this come from, why is it happening God, and what can I do to stop it? Please stop this God. For God hath not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and of sound mind. I knew this wasn’t God. But all this wasn’t from the devil either.

I got off the phone with Jaylah and began to back track everything. What did I do that was any different, than my normal routine? What was the trigger? Was it words, was it the food, was it a memory? What was my body feeling, was it high blood pressure, or was it anxiety? I replayed my minutes leading up to the attack and remembered the “Salt”. Dr. Google, I need answers. Can high blood pressure trigger anxiety? Anxiety, if left untreated can cause hypertension. Can Anxiety trigger high blood pressure? I already had that answer. The salt clicked on me again. Ok, Google can salt trigger high blood pressure and that trigger anxiety? Excessive salt intake raises blood pressure and increases the workload of the heart, causing the body to release adrenaline into the bloodstream and leading to anxiety. AHH. HAA. I found it!! And I realized God tried to warn me of the salt! Only I didn’t listen.

In the bible I read (now listen, before you go farther, you know very well that 99% of my topics relate back to Jesus, and I don’t like to write unless he helps lead me. ❤ smile) back to what I was saying, in the bible I read that all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. So, how on earth could a panic attack caused by salt intake work for God’s glory? Well, it caused me to have to examine myself, and due to some unforeseen, and uncalled for conversations it caused me to have to examine my marriage, my purpose in my marriage, the reason for feeling alone while being married, and the purpose for my pain.

Right after the panic attack set in and before I even attempted to wash the dishes, & while coming from the utility room, after I was finished smoking at the back door, I closed the door laundry room door and walked back into the kitchen, leaving the washer, & dryer in there without heat, and without heat the water pipes could freeze off. I have a habit of closing doors, especially that one. Instead of Danny opening the door, he proceeded to remind me to keep it open, and that I would cause more damage than good, blah blah blah blah. My mind was swimming and I couldn’t process it. All I heard was you’re a kid, and grow up, stop doing stupid stuff. I screamed “Stop, you have these attacks too, where all you need me to be is there and not say a word, so stop! I can’t process.” In my defense, he does have panic attacks and has had them since watching his Dad pass away, so he of all people should understand it, when he himself has came through the house gasping for breath, just needing me to be there, while silencing the house long enough for him gather his pieces. So, why wasn’t he on my team, and why was he attacking me verbally, while mentally my mind eloped to a place of darkness, mental claustrophobia, and emotional madness. I’ll tell you why, because it wasn’t him at that very moment going through it. It’s not because he didn’t care, it’s because he wasn’t the one in the storm. He’s part of my storm, but he’s not the one wading the waters spiritually.

Again, let me say all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28. But who’s purpose does it work for the good of? The person is the lord, and the purpose is his reason for calling us. To make this verse a little clear let me paraphrase it, not taking from or adding to it, “Everything works for the Good and for the Gain of Jesus, and his reason for allowing it to happen is to shape us, and equip us for when we fully step into our calling, as a chosen vessel of Christ.”

Back to the manic, and the examination of all that was around me. After laying down paralyzed, and seeing the cause of the problem, I again went and smoked, and I called my friend who I was initially on the phone with and let them know what had happened, letting them know I was ok, and that it would pass, I was informed I was pale white, and yeah, I knew that already, but my color quickly returned.

While smoking another toxic puff and listening to my Gospel Jam, talking to Jesus in my head. I began to explain and think upon how alone I feel in my marriage. I began to think about my relationship with my husband in the beginning of my marriage and how it looked now. What I found was this: In the beginning, I came in like a bat out of hell. I was wild carefree, I didn’t even know how to write a check, didn’t have a driver’s license, I didn’t work or even have the career mindset. I was drugs, drugs, drugs. I was chaotic, but he loved me without measure then. I wrecked his world. (Note I do not blame myself or my addiction for that, life happens to people, and well, it happened to us, he could have chosen to let me walk, but God had other plans, plans that I am beginning to be shown, and plans that are working out for God’s glory.) Back then I had outward beauty, but my inward parts where the shadiest painting that portrayed darkness, and white powder, & the blood of others. I was relentless and didn’t give a flying crap about anyone. The only love I knew was that for my Dad, who was dying, and two kids I had lost all custodial rights to. I depended solely on Danny for everything, clothes, shelter, bills, food, (I did do the cooking-I’m an awesome cook), but everything else that was done then, was done by him. And he loved me through it all. Before, I go farther let me state this Danny is 24 years older than me. In the beginning we were very active in our life together, meaning in all details. But he was also 52 and I was 26. We were close no matter how many times, I tried to pull away, we were very close. I didn’t move in here to use him, I was drawn to the fact, I had dated every type of man except a church going man, and he was the first. Something different. Opposites attracted.

Going forward, it’s been around 8 years, and everything has changed. We are no longer active, he’s 60 and I am 36. It’s not just sexual, but the mental part has changed also. Mentally, things are different. Even though he goes to church, I still feel that he’s not where I need him to be spiritually for me, this has been an ongoing dilemma since I got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. I’m not condemning him or anyone, I’m only stating how I feel, and how I’ve felt. It’s ok to be human and feel things, but one must also cypher where the thoughts are coming from and know how to deal and process them in order to have the most effective outcome, and when you’re married, sometimes you have to be the one cypher it out with God for you and your spouse both, especially if you’re spouse doesn’t believe or has different beliefs than you. You see, I’m a Holy roller, good old fashion Holy Ghost filled, prophecy believing, power of Jesus Woman of God, I’m non-denominational I believe in preaching in houses, tents, and even stores if that’s where the spirit hits you, and he goes to the Church of Christ. I’m not judging, but only stating that some of members have different beliefs than what I have, and he just so happens to be one of them. Love his heart. And I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve been far from a perfect wife, even after being saved. I’ve let my emotions of what if, when, where and how things are going to play out instead of focusing on the here, now, this very moment, God what are you showing me, what do I need to learn, and how do I go to the next level with you. I am a procrastinator, and at least 3/4 of the beginning of my walk with Christ, I didn’t fully trust him. Hey, it’s hard to trust in a God you can’t see, and one that you know is there, but one you really haven’t saw move in your current situations I’m as real as it gets and won’t sugar coat my life to look like someone, I am far from being. I am not flawless, I am imperfection, in the hands of perfect Lord. But God is still with me, and tonight he began to show me this: in the beginning Danny and I was closer, and we still are close, but like seasons change so have the both of us. I now drive everywhere. I’ve worked fulltime for the past 2 years. I now have a 6-year-old child, I’m very active in the lives of my other two children, that I lost full custody of. I am sober, and I have been saved and sanctified for his Glory. I make sure all the bills are paid, I write checks, use a debit card, try to manage the bank account (I’m working on that one, Jesus its baby steps with me remember.) I do everything now that I never done back then. I am becoming independent. And Lord forbid something ever happen to Danny, I could survive without shacking up with anyone (I wouldn’t do that anyways). I am fully capable of raising Eli, on my own.

God took me to this picture of how I see myself in this season of loneliness, this season of being married, but also being loneliness, and he’s told me that this is where I’m to learn to rely on him and on him alone. I am to learn to rely on him for strength, to bring my husband to him. I am to rely on him for spiritual and emotional support that I am lacking in all angles of life. I am to draw closer to him and make him my 1st true love, and I am to make him my husband and see him as my husband. I am part of his true bride. The church is the Bride of Christ, and he is our Husbandman. I am to rely on him for all intimacy, not the sexual part but, the mental part. The part that says I love you this much, this is what you mean to me, this is what I think about you, the part that is truer than any sexual or physical attraction that anyone on this planet could possibly give me. I am to rely on him to grow me in this season of loneliness. I am to learn to rely on him for everything, cause whatever I need that’s just what he is. He reminded me I was to learn from my husband, and all that right there alone is a handful to learn, along with all the other things I’ve learned from him so far.

Jesus also reminded me that love is choice placed into action, and not an emotion. Emotions come and go, they’re up and they’re down. We fall in love, and we fall out of love, but true love is a choice, put forth in motion that then becomes that action, that shows, love is unconditional, its without bounds, its forgiving, it’s not boastful, its reaching and lending, its understanding and compassion, its nurturing and not self-seeking. Its laying everything down for those around us, and we are not to love our own selves above others. We are to love people as Christ loved them, even when it means loving the unlovable. Jesus loved and still loves a lot of people like this including myself. He loved the Sadducees, and the Pharisees, the 2 two religious sects that came together in unity and conspired to have Jesus condemned to death. He loved them so much he was willing to die for them. And he loved you and I so much he done the same. So many times, including last night I told Jesus, I cannot do this, and I’m not doing this, but he loved me enough to say, “I love you still, yes, you can and yes you will!” To love pressed down and without measure is to love like Jesus. To love people when they’re arrogant, including love ourselves when we are arrogant (I know I can’t be the only person who gets under their own skin ❤ ) . We are to see the good in others and see the good in all situations no matter how hurtful they may seem or dark they may seem. We are to self-examine ourselves daily and our motives daily. I cannot examine your motives, and you cannot examine my motives. But I’ll tell you this, you know a tree by the fruit that it bears. Our actions speak louder than any words that we will ever say. I can scream at you all day that I hate you, or that I can’t stand you, but if my actions show you otherwise, in the end you’ll feel the actions that I took, instead of the beginning words that I spoke. The tongue is an unruly member, and no one came tame it, and he who can is a perfect man, and no man is or was perfect except Christ. We’re going to mess up, we will mess up, but though we fall, as long as we are trying to live and walk as close to Jesus as we possibly can, we will rise again.

Jesus isn’t a religion; Jesus is a relationship. Do you have that relationship with him? Are you allowing him to mold you, and hold you? Do you seek him, do you think about him, do you interact with him? Do you want to be who he’s called you to be, are you stuck in a timeless motion stop picture? Do you know you have a way out of your thoughts? Do you realize this very second, he’s with you knocking at your heart and saying let me be more to you, let me be your strength, your courage, let me in I say, let me in. I won’t come in where I’m not invited, and I’ll only knock for so long, if ye hear my voice harden not your heart, I’ll come into you and sup with you and make my ways known to you. You have a calling on your life. We all have a calling on our lives. The bible tells us that the gifts and the calling of God is without repentance, meaning he won’t take back what he’s set over you to do, but you do have a free will to say “No, God, I am not doing this,” and you can choose to walk away. You can take your talent and hide it in the earth, and just wait on him to come and give it to another who will take it, and use it, to multiply the number of souls that are in heaven. He will use the gift he’s given to you to draw others in, that I cannot reach, because they’re not the ones I’m supposed to reach. I’m supposed to reach you! I’m supposed to let you hear my experiences of life’s ups and downs, and my own struggle to find light in darkness, and how I know God’s always been there. I’m supposed to witness Jesus to you, his relentless love and compassion that he has on the prodigal, the lost sheep, the church itself, and the power of planting seeds in unbelievers, the power of the cross, and obedience, when being obedient is far from what this flesh wants. Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. Our flesh is enmity or enemy to God. It is often drawn away with the many lusts and affections of this life, when the Spirit itself seeks life, and wisdom from the Father, the Spirit seeks to be obedient at all costs, even if it cost us everything, we ever thought would make us happy, or what we thought we wanted or needed, in order to draw closer to Jesus himself. Everything is a hard price to pay, but Jesus gave it all. Think about the high cost of discipleship, “It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.” The bible says whosoever desires to be my disciple must pick up his cross and follow after me daily. The cross that the flesh of Jesus died on, but his spirit lived on through, is the same cross we must use to kill out our fleshly desires to, so our spirit man can be renewed daily.

I pray I’ve said something to help you, and I pray that you can see how even the simplest of things like a salt driven anxiety attack, work for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

Change is hard. But we must press on!

Changes I intend on making this year: Less social media, with my new job coming in the next week or so, I won’t have as much time as I always have had to kick back and look at everyone’s lives, more bible time, more church interactions, staying active with the woman’s group at church, pressing in and pressing on towards Jesus, exercising, losing weight (mental, and physical) eating healthy (no more salty fries ❤ ), praying harder, believing more.

This is the year of my promises. I know God is going to perform them all one by one. But the greatest promise comes at the end of my days, that is when I gain that promise of everlasting life, for picking up my cross and following Jesus Daily! — Won’t you do the same. Look around you, see him in it all. It may take you awhile, and it may hurt you to have to see he’s there, he’s never left you, he wants you to trust when you can’t see, he wants you to accept when it’s not what you want, and he wants you to have faith as a grain of mustard seed.

God bless all of you and each of you!

❤ Christie.

All the bitter weary ways, the endless striving day-by-day. You barely have the strength to pray in the valley low. And how hard your fight has been, how deep the pain within, wounds that no one else has seen, hurts to much to show. And all the doubt you’re standing in between, and all the weight that brings you to your knees. He knows, every hurt and every sting, He has walked the suffering, he knows. Let your burdens come undone, lift your eyes up to the one who knows. He knows. –Jeremy Camp

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