My friend Nikki shared her story with me earlier this week and I told her I would be thrilled to share her remarkable story with my readers. Please take the time to read her story. Enjoy!
I don’t remember the exact “date” I asked Jesus into my heart. I have gone to Church since I was a little girl, and I found my Home Church at Mt.View nine years ago. My kids and I are actively involved in Church activities and functions.
In August of 2006 I had a dream that I was walking on the bottom of the ocean, Jesus was in front of me, and I was just following him. There was no color in my dream, everything was back and white. We were like the shadow puppets you see on kid’s shows. I woke up from that dream and had no CLUE what it meant, I had never had a dream about God before. I didn’t give it much thought, and just continued on with my busy life.
In September, I began to have a tiny bit of anxiety. Things like, worrying if I left my flat iron plugged in, if I remembered to lock the front door, if I remembered to SHUT the front door. Slowly I began my great spiral to a place I NEVER want to go again, nor do I want ANYONE else to visit.
By October, two months after my “Jesus dream”, I was standing at my bed folding laundry. I started thinking about retirement. I am a Childcare Provider, and my tax preparer makes it look like I make very little. So, I have no Social Security (like there will actually be any LEFT when I get to that age) and I pretty much had a panic attack. Everything went black and I heard a “squirt” noise (I later learned it was adrenaline) and for about 10 seconds I waited as my vision came back. I was very scared, I didn’t know what was happening to me.
A few weeks later, my hair started to fall out as I brushed it, I was sleepless, I would get up at 2 am and just think. The thinking would trigger worry and anxiety, so much that I was pacing the hall of my house. Pacing so much that I had holes in EVERY pair of socks I owned, and eventually it got so bad that my feet had bloody holes. I also had lost 30 pounds in two months. I weighed 123 pounds at 5’6…not pretty.
I was a member of a local gym for 2 years, and had struggled with weight issues (needing to lose) since I had my last child. My friend that worked out with me, also called me daily just to chat. I had talked about some of the things I was feeling, but I didn’t know what was going on, so I kept everything to myself for the most part. I remember going to the gym one night, and wearing a sweatshirt during my whole workout because I was freezing (from all the weight I lost). I don’t remember the circumstance that had me take off my sweatshirt, but when I did, my friend gasped and began crying at the sight of my weak, frail body.
During this time, I had stopped going to church but I was still taking my kids down for their activities. I was always told that I looked “great”…mind you, I was FREEZING so I wore sweatshirts. No one saw the real me, I hid it well.. Every time someone told me “you look fabulous”, “what are you doing to lose all the weight”, and “what diet are you on”, I cringed. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I didn’t want to talk about it, so I would just smile and say “I haven’t tried anything new”. One day I went to my mom’s house and she asked me if I was feeling ok, I didn’t want to hurt my mom…so I said “yes mom, I’m fine”.
Eventually, it got to the point where I was worrying so much that I couldn’t even sit still on the couch. I would bounce a leg, bite my nails, I couldn’t sit still. I had hand tremors, I had heart palpitations, and I was lethargic. I would talk to my husband about what I was worried about and he tried at first to reassure me that we would be ok, but I couldn’t stop worrying. I had no control over my thoughts.
Finally by the end of October, my husband didn’t know what to do with me and he was seriously ready to pack up my kids and move out. He threatened a couple of times. I took it seriously and tried REALLY hard just not to talk to him about my fears.(By the way, I hold NO harsh feelings toward my husband for that time, neither of us knew what was going on with me, and he had our babies in his best interest).At one point we were sitting on our bed and I was bawling , when he asked “Nikki, do you believe in God”? I sat there with a blank stare. I just thought nothing. I was lost. I felt like I belonged in an institution. It got to the point in my depression that I laid in bed one night and thought about getting in my car and driving off a cliff, so I could just be DONE without hurting anyone else. The ONLY thing at that point that kept me from following through was the thought of what it would do to my kids. That night, I went down to my church, parked in front of the white cross out front and just asked for all of this to be DONE.
A couple of days later, I was sitting in my living room, my husband was at work and the kids were in school and my phone rang. I answered the phone and it sounded like an elderly lady, but no one I knew. I have caller ID and it just came up “unknown number”. I said “Hello” and the caller on the other end said “I prayed over the phone book and God lead me to call you. Can I please pray for you”? (Do you have goose bumps? me too…although not at the time)
By the end of October, my doctor’s office called me to schedule my annual exam. I went into the exam room after being weighed and waited for her to come in. She came in, sat down and asked me how I was feeling………… I LOST it! I am PRETTY sure I used a whole box of tissues! She noticed my weight loss, sat there and let me just let it ALL out. I told her EVERYTHING, right down to the suicidal thoughts. She then made sure that I was safe by asking about guns being locked up and the key hidden from me. She hugged me for a long while and said she would help me get better. She gave me an office sample of Lexapro to take then and there, gave me a prescription for it and immediately sent me to the lab for blood work.
The next day she called and said I had Grave’s Disease (Hyperthyroidism) and that I needed to see an Endocrinologist. A week later, I was at the endocrinologist’s office with my mom there to take notes so I understood everything. I was given the choice of killing my thyroid with a radioactive drink or taking a pill every day with the hopes of it “fixing itself”. I chose the pills. After weekly blood draws to get the pill just right, 3 years of pill therapy, and getting off anti-depressant meds my thyroid finally decided to cooperate! I was taken off the pills, and have been off since….that was 4 years ago J
I have recently, in the last month, noticed my anxiety level creeping back up. So I went to the doctor and got on the anti-depressant, Celexa, for anxiety. It took a month for the Celexa to kick in, my doctor had to raise the dose, but I feel 95% better. I am still waking up at 3 am( and I’m trying to figure out if it’s related to my anxiety…or God wanting me to spend some more time with Him…I’m thinking the latter!)
After enduring EVERYTHING I have shared with you in my story, I have come to a couple conclusions. First, this all happened for a reason, I believe everything does. I believe God knew, even before he made me that this would happen. I believe that God gave me that dream and that God spoke to the woman that called me…to call me. To me, the “Jesus Dream” meant~ you are going to go the very bottom Nikki, and I just want you to trust me and follow me. I believe that there MANY people going through the same thing I did and I am to share my story with many in the hopes of helping someone.
And lastly…but MOST importantly, I believe that all of this happened, so I would draw closer and trust God. That didn’t happen right away in fact it didn’t happen until a month ago. And when it did…..WOW!!!!!! I’ve always wondered “How do you know, like REALLY know you are truly walking with the Lord”? …I know now! You just feel it, it’s hard to explain. I pray WAY more than ever before, I get up and before I turn on the TV or computer, I am in God’s word trying to soak it all up. Before, when I would try to read my bible, it really wouldn’t make sense…it does now! And the women in my Sunday school class told me the other day that I have “changed”, they can see it in me!!!!! PRAISE GOD!!! For ALL of this, PRAISE GOD!
I just want you to know that if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, even if you don’t feel “right” but you just can’t pin point it…GO TO THE DOCTOR!!!! I had to come to the realization that God DOES work through doctors as well. I went through the “If I was fully trusting in God, I wouldn’t have anxiety” phase, I got over it when a friend reminded me that God works through doctors. Three things I TRULY believe in:
1) Pray and read your bible EVERY day
1) Everything happens for a reason
2) LISTEN to your body
May all Glory be given to Him,