It was about 2 a.m., January 5, 2011, when I suddenly awoke from a deep sleep. My heart was beating rapidly and my chest pounding. I struggled to breath. Thinking I must be having a heart attack, my husband called 911. Not ready to die at the young age of 48, I succumbed to the not-so-thrilling ambulance ride to the hospital. Tests were run, after which the doctor declared my heart was fine. I was suffering from anxiety.
I was on overload from just having come through a busy holiday schedule. Not having a real Christmas break, I was back in school teaching full time, serving as our church's worship leader, being mama to teenage daughters, a pastor’s wife, and having our daughter and her family of four living with us for a couple of months. This episode of panic was only one of many, but launched me into a season of questioning my faith; Was I really God's child? I was fearful of losing my salvation and furthermore began seeking the Lord like no other time in my life.
I found myself needing to be in the His presence. I craved it, yearned for it, and sought it with my entire being.
Waking in the night (abnormal for me) or in the early-morning hours, I would make my way to my reading chair with my Bible, the book, Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner, and my journal. It was on these daily occasions where God’s Word would come to life and I would record the specific and precious whispers of His never-ending love for me.
From this journal, I would like to share with you, this week and in the next four blogposts, how God restored me through His Word. I share, not for my own glory (no glory here!) but for three reasons: 1) to be obedient to the Lord; 2) to give God glory for His grace and mercy in my life; and 3) to give hope to any woman who is possibly going through a similar trial.
January 11, 2011 5:00 A.M.
“As I wrestle with the anxiety that seems to have slipped upon me, God once again has proven Himself faithful through His Word. Restless, I turn to God this morning. Rising from my bed, I seek comfort through His Word, (turning) to Isaiah 43:18 and following. I had read this passage earlier, but had failed to write it down. Now, God reminds me of what He has already spoken.
‘Forget not the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals, and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim My praise.’ Isaiah 42:18-21..."
The relevance of this passage to me was the fact that I was struggling with a mismanaged life; one that was out of balance physically, spiritually, socially, and emotionally. I was on overload. Yet, God was giving me the opportunity to see Him, experience Him, and to know Him like never before. He was doing “a new thing" in me.
Are you stressed out, worn out, and desiring a slower-paced year than last? Are you ready to put some things behind you? While a new year does not change our circumstances, it can and should be a time to reflect on how we have managed God's directives for our lives. A new year gives us the opportunity to allow God to do "a new thing" in each of us.
Meet me here next Monday, as I continue sharing my story (which is really His story).
Vicki Miller and her husband, Don, have been in full-time ministry, together, for more than 33 years. They have four daughters, three sons-in-law, and three grandsons who keep their lives full of joy and laughter. Having been a pastor's wife to the same congregation for more than 25 years, Vicki now enjoys ministering alongside her husband as they serve their district's ministers and their spouses. Traveling is a shared interest between them. Encouraging ministry wives in their unique role and their walk with Jesus is a passion of Vicki's. After serving Jesus most of her life, she says, "I am still amazed at the grace and goodness of God and I pray that I never get over it." For fun, she likes to read and work on DIY projects, but especially loves spending time with family and friends.
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NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS?
Don't forget this one: