Her pupils dilate. She whips her head side to side, searching for the impending danger.
Her chest heaves with each shallow, rapid breath.
Her heart suddenly feels too heavy for her body.
“I need more air. I can’t breathe.” She told herself.
She pushes her chair back, looks around at all of the blurred faces, clutches her chest, and jogs out of the conference room.
As her heart pounds, she begins to wheeze.
“Almost there. Just keep moving.”
She reaches for the handle of the exit door, slams her body weight against it, and almost falls to the ground.
She catches herself as she falls to her knees then sits on the warm grass.
She takes a few deep breaths.
She slowly leans over and lays on her side, feeling the warmth of the sun tickle her skin, and the tension in her muscles release.
“It’s over. Nothing is happening. Everything is ok.” She comforts herself.
She rubs her hand against the blades of grass and inhales the scent of the nearby dogwood trees.
“It’s ok. I’m ok.”
Embarrassed, she quickly rises, runs her fingers through her hair, and marches back in the building to finish her meeting.
Imagine if this episode happened once every few months.
Imagine if it happened once a month. Once a week.
How about every day?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, defines anxiety with panic attacks as follows:
Wow. Anxiety can make you feel like you’re dying.
People underestimate anxiety.
But it’s real. It’s scary. And it interferes with life.
Here’s another fact about anxiety: It doesn’t mean you’re weak.
Let me say that again. Just because you’re suffering from anxiety, doesn’t mean you’re weak.
And just because you suffer from anxiety, doesn’t mean you’re less of a Christian.
Anxiety is not a reflection of you as a person. It’s not a reflection of your strength as a parent. And it’s not a reflection on your faith as a Christian.
It is a medical condition that needs to be properly treated with counseling, proper nutrition, exercise, and/or with medication.
Instead of running out of conference rooms and waiting for the panic to subside, seek help.
God made you in His image. Perfect in his eyes.
So if you have anxiety, seek help and know that God doesn’t see you any different than the moment he created you.