Friday, July 6, 2012

Chapter 21

The Dawn

After a few months of sleeping too much, I began to feel like I should look for another job or career.  I was incredibly nervous about it but I let some of my friends know that I was looking for part time work and that I would be teaching private piano lessons in my home during my job search.  A few friends from church had their own businesses and hired me to do extra office work for them, to set up a computer and billing system in a diner, to fill in for vacationing employees.  I also spread the word about teaching the music lessons.  In March the following year, Mario and I hosted the first music recital with six students performing.  Little did I know then that I had found my niche where I would blessed beyond belief and where I would heal emotionally and physically.  As years passed I did not find full time employment, instead preferring to work for tiny, local companies in need of office help for short periods of time.  The music business grew as word spread that I was teaching beginner to intermediate piano, voice and violin lessons.  I became enamored with the business and adored each one of my students.  I love to see someone take what I’ve taught them and become successful at it.  By early 2011 I was blessed and honored to teach over 30 students each week and host an annual recital with over 100 attendees.

While the business was growing, I met several Christian people who were instrumental in bringing God’s freedom from fear to my heart.  Each time I felt nervous or sick, I would grab a list of Scriptures that I had made and repeat them over and over to myself.  Sometimes I called my parents or my grandmother for extra prayer support too.  Mario always made himself available to pray with me, speaking in calming tones so that I could learn to control the reactions I was having to the misfiring chemicals in my brain.  One day I was visiting friends who worked at the largest church in town and ended up in one minister’s office.  I shared my journey with him and from across the room he stretched his hand out toward me and began to pray.  It was not an earth-shattering or ear-splitting prayer.  It was not a long prayer.  It was sincere, heartfelt and Scripture based.  Since that day, over four years ago I have never had another debilitating panic attack.

Of course that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had to make choices when the chemicals get all swirled around inside my brain, but since that prayer I have found it easier to know when I should take some medicine, when I should take a day off, when I should make a call to someone else, and when I just need to repeat my Scriptures.  Whenever an I.B.S. symptom strikes, I am no longer terrified that I’m going to be embarrassed in public or that I won’t reach help in time to avoid another illness like what I’d had in India.  It still is a great struggle for me at times but I no longer believe that I’m a spiritual failure or unworthy to minister to others because I know in my heart of hearts that God’s word never fails and He has sacrificed His life so that I can be free.  It is my privilege and honor to share this lesson with other Christians who were raised in the church as I was.  Letting you know that you are not disappointing God when you fall in your trials and make bad choices; that you are not failing irreparably when your faith is too weak to stand there all by yourself fighting a battle that seems endless.  That Jesus’ blood was shed so that His grace would cover us at all times.

I find that sharing my story releases others from fear of failure and brings to light battles being fought privately that should be shared with others who can help.  If you are not a Christian, you too can have a personal relationship with Jesus and can receive His redemptive love in your life.  I pray that all of you would receive Jesus’ immeasurable grace as you read my story and know that I am redeemed and loved by a mighty King who freed me from the bondage of fear.  You can receive that too.  I am still on my journey and a week is not complete without another of my mishaps but I know that I am a miracle of God’s love and provision.  Thank You, Jesus.