“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
As long as I can remember I have been an anxious person. A person who was filled with worry. When I look at something, I can picture the worst thing happening in my head. My neck hurts, I must have meningitis–never mind that I had worked out in a weight lifting class yesterday that used muscles I didn’t know I had–I am definitely dying. This is how my brain seems to work. I read an internet meme the other day that said, “I’m Irish, we don’t do this ‘Keep Calm’ thing.” I laughed out loud because I am Irish, and my worries must be hereditary.
I had thought moving away to the south would rid me of panic but after I had children, my anxiety exploded astronomically. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety after the birth of my first son. I had so much anxiety I thought I would die. I would literally stand over his bed multiple times in the night to make sure he was still breathing. I was exhausted. I felt crazy. I advised my doctor, and thankfully she was proactive and able to help me. I followed the best of the day’s medical advice–all of it–and it worked for me, to a degree. I went to counseling. I did the breathing techniques. Eat right, exercise, take medicine, I did all of these things. My anxiety became manageable. My frequent panic attacks became more controllable. Within a years time, I became my normal self. My “normal” self was one that worried all the time, but if I ate right, exercised, and got eight hours of sleep (which was hard with a little one) I was no longer totally debilitated by my fears and anxiety. I could function. I thought, this is as good as it gets. I started praying more, but as I said in my previous post, I would mostly plead. God was listening and He provided me with help to alleviate some of that fear. One of my biggest anxieties was that I would get into an accident while driving with my children. Before driving, I would close my eyes, plead with God, and before I knew it, in my head would pop the picture of four angels on the four corners of my car, touching it, flying next to my car as I drove. This enabled me to drive. I loved thinking they were actually there, that sometimes in our hours of greatest need God provides extra supernatural help for us. I do think our God is this good.
After Veronica’s murder, I began to pray differently. I was having a conversation with God. He became my friend. The thing that overcame me the most, over and over, was the message, “Do you trust me or not?” My answer used to be “no, not really.” I mean, I had faith, I believed in God, but I didn’t trust that I would be taken care of. I didn’t trust because of the suffering I had endured. God persisted, “Do you trust me, or not?” I began to see that even with all my sufferings, my life was so blessed. I looked back on times in my life, and I realized that although I was suffering, there was a sequence of events that took place, that clearly showed He was walking with me. I remember asking the Lord at the time to be with me at the time of my suffering, and in reflection I see that He was. In my postpartum depression and anxiety, He had provided me with a mother and two sisters who, though they did not live in the state, relentlessly called to make sure I was okay. They would tag-team me. One would give practical advice, “put the baby in the stroller and go for a walk,” while the other would talk to me about how God was holding me in the palm of His hand. My mother and father came down, and my mom drove me to the doctor. God was in my midst. I know too that my brother was praying for me. God had placed me in this family–He was there in my midst acting through them.
I remember one day in 2011, still in the throws of my grieving, I had to take catechist classes from the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation. I arrived at the church in town for the classes. I sat all day and soaked it all in. As we were wrapping up, the Sister told the class we were going to take a few moments to go to the adoration chapel. This particular church had a chapel that was built in 1871. It is one of those small historic chapels with great old stained glass windows. I remember closing my eyes, and telling God my heart hurts so much. I just want to know that you are there. In that moment, I opened my eyes and looked up. I was staring at the stained glass window, and there in the design was the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In that moment time seemed to stop. The Sacred Heart beats with the fire of love for me, I thought. The crown of thorns wrapped around the heart shows that Jesus bore my pain in His heart. His blood dripping from the heart, secured the forgiveness of my sins. This heart would transform me and purify me. God DOES love me!! It was no longer just a picture. It was a message for me personally. I had to stay in the chapel a few extra minutes as the tears flowed from my eyes. I went home and wrote a letter to the Sister thanking her for the classes.
I cannot tell you that I no longer have any anxiety. I think when you have an ingrained behavior, it is a journey to transform it. It doesn’t just happen instantaneously. I will say, that over time, when I pray, and Jesus asks me, “Do you trust me, or not,” my answer has transformed. It went from, “no, not really,” to “I am trying, maybe I do,” and on some days, the answer is a flat-out, “yes!” I experienced about a three-week period where it was totally “yes,” and those three weeks were the most peaceful of my life. One of my close friends (also named Susan) told me that God gives you that glimpse of peace, the total trust, so you know what heaven is like, but you don’t necessarily get to keep it. The comfort is in knowing He is there and He is true. I continue to pray and build my relationship with the Lord. This blog is a result of me answering, “yes,” to Him. I hope my “yes” to this can bring joy and happiness and the letting go of fear to someone else out there.
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote
the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a
few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is
wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I
have really loved browsing your weblog posts. After all I
will be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!
Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say
that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I
hope you write once more soon!
Thanks to my father who informed me concerning this website, this website is genuinely awesome.
Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot
me an email.
I have considered it. I want to make sure you are commenting on Veil of Veronica, I sometimes seem to get comments from others that don’t seem like they are meant for my blog. I would love to read your blog sometime.
Ive been meaning to read this and just never got a chance. Its an issue that Im very interested in, I just started reading and Im glad I did. Youre a great blogger, one of the best that Ive seen. This blog definitely has some information on topic that I just wasnt aware of. Thanks for bringing this stuff to light.
Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better!
Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with
almost all vital infos. I would like to look extra posts like this .
Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your
articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all. However imagine
if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this website could undeniably be one of the greatest in its field.
Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!
Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed
reading it, you will be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and
will often come back in the future. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice
Pingback: The Healing of My Soul | Veil of Veronica
Twenty years ago I went through at least twelve deaths of relatives and friends who were an intricate part of my life; with each funeral I almost would hold my breath not to smell the flowers and felt a panic when each Mass was celebrated; I would hear the organ play hear I am Lord and the tears would roll.I was doing His will but did I really trust that He was in charge no matter what happened.My son’s principal gave me a beautiful Sacred Heart Badge to keep , It looked like an older one with Jesus holding His Heart in His Hand extending outward toward me.Around the edges it was crocheted with red threads and under the clear covering was a tiny Miraculous medal.I wore it everyday close to my heart in a little satin pouch.Whenever I felt panicked or frightened I would look at His Heart and say the words Cease The Sacred Heart Of Jesus Is With Me. The Power of His Heart and Love for me was my consolation over and over!
Absolutely wonderful having understood and experienced the fear and anxiety myself, your words are so beautiful. Thank you
so happy to help,God Bless
Pingback: Anxiety and a Saint’s vision for Grace | Veil of Veronica
Pingback: Little Girl Get Up | Veil of Veronica