What I Can Do Now that I Couldn’t Have Done Eight Years Ago

It was around this time of year. I walked into work on a Monday morning, after battling the usual hustle of getting everything packed and ready, day-care drop off, searching for a parking space in the 5-story structure, only to scramble to the card reader on the 21st floor to mark my clock-in time. Then it hit.

I had the beginning pangs of an anxiety attack. A friend picked me up from work because I didn’t think I could drive. Fast forward one week and I have an appointment with a psychiatrist who was readily prescribing anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds (which, by the way, I fully support as part of a well-rounded treatment plan), and… I lost my speech.

No joke. I couldn’t talk. There was nothing medically wrong with my throat. It’s actually similar to the story of Zacharias and how he was unable to speak during Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The best way I can explain it is that I would have a lucid and logical thought in my mind, in which I can hear the words and mentally form the sentence. However, I literally couldn’t “get the words out.” My speech was stuttered and slow.

My daughter was still very young. It’s amazing how keen kids are. I would start a sentence and point, “Get muh-m-m-m..my….” Then she’d know how to fill in the blank. “Shoes. Okay,” she’d say and putter around to finish the task.

Eventually, I stopped the meds. I got my speech back, at best, enough of it to be able to get through a short sentence without stammering too much. Three months after that episode, I accepted Christ as my Savior.

I believe that the Lord took away my speech to get my attention.  Sometimes He will take away what we abuse, neglect or take for granted so that we can see Him clearly.

Those months were so difficult. I can remember waking myself up from sleep because I was screaming. I’d realize that my sister would be standing at the door, peeking in cautiously to see if I were okay, or I were really arguing with someone in the room.  I relate to the story of Jacob wrestling with God in the middle of the night.  The Lord was fighting for me, dealing with me, directing my attention to Him.

That was only a few months before I came to Christ, before the Bible was in my life, before my love for church, before I made the decision to ask Jesus into my heart and change my life.

Fast forward eight years later:

Last week, I shared a prepared lesson at a Bible study class for a ladies’ group at church. I was speaking, moving around, referencing Scripture and sharing God’s truth and joy about His love and grace. Eight years ago, if someone had told me, while I was trying to formulate words to ask for orange juice, that I would eventually be standing in a church classroom, expounding on the Word of God, then I probably would have given them my meds and patted them on the head to let them know THEY were the one who needed a reality check.

God’s reality is much more beautiful than my imagination.

I share this story to show you how far the Lord has taken me. You can get a sense of all the other heartbreaks, confusion and trauma from which He has delivered me.

I pray that you heed what the Lord has for you and not focus on what’s likely. We serve a great and powerful God that smashes the statistics of what’s possible. The Lord cannot craft the impossible because all is possible with Him.

I pray that you turn to Him, in high and low seasons, and allow Him to set your path.