“In hope we are saved, yet hope is not hope if its object is seen.” Romans 8:24
I was reading part of a Richard Rohr book tonight (Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality), and I came upon this verse, written by Paul.
I do not know if God points out His Words to us when we need them or if we just cling to them more when we need them, but lately I have needed them.
I believe that it is through honesty and sharing that we heal, so I will admit, once again, another of my struggles.
I have been dealing with anxiety attacks for the last couple of months. The most frustrating part of this issue is that I am often unaware of the cause or trigger. I can be sitting in silence studying or rounding on patients with a team of doctors, and I begin to feel it welling up inside of me. Then I feel nausea, and my heart beats fast, and I am terrified of what is happening, but I am not sure of why it’s happening or where it came from. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. The more I struggle to fight it off or analyze its origins, the more it overtakes me. The more I am determined to push it away, the more it eats into my day.
I got a medical work up done, and I was somewhat disappointed and rather embarrassed (but still somewhat relieved) to find no health problems are causing these episodes. They are all created by my mind, a physical manifestation of stress. I am working on this, learning to let go rather than cling to these episodes. I am attempting to accept the anxiety and allow it to pass, which actually worked for me today.
All of this is related to the passage I was reading because I have no idea why I am anxious or why I am having anxiety attacks. I find myself going back to my most constant question in life: “Why, God?” I do not think God is giving me panic attacks, but I do think there is a clear opportunity presenting itself here-an opportunity to grow in hope and faith. I want to take advantage of this opportunity rather than sulking back in fear and pride and pretending that this part of my life never happened. I want to conquer my anxiety attacks not just for me but for my future patients. And in the process of learning to do this, I want to trust in God and lean on God for support.
Richard Rohr writes about the story of Noah’s ark:
God puts all the natural animosities, all the opposites together, and holds them together in one place..holding things unreconciled, leaving them partly unresolved and without perfect closure or explanation.
As uncomfortable as anxiety attacks are, I suppose I can find meaning in them. How often in my life have I actually had to sit still with something that is difficult to bear? Now is my chance to do so, holding onto hope all the while.