Has anyone besides me ever felt stuck? If you have felt stuck, has it ever pushed you to the point of panic?
I have an issue where this can occur physically in me. It is technically called a phobia.
I have claustrophobia! I did not develop it later in life, I knew from a very young age I had it.
I actually knew that I suffered from claustrophobia before I could even put a name to it, let alone a definition. I simply knew that I lost my ever loving mind when someone pulled the covers over my head!
When my sister’s would be playing and do this to me, I would develop SuperHero strength and kick them off the bed with one thrust of my foot and free myself from the covers in a rage of anxiety and fear!
I had an abnormal reaction to being in an enclosed or narrow place. That is the exact definition of a phobia by the way!
After my sister’s ran from the room screaming that I had “erupted,” I found out that my Dad suffered from the same phobia. My Dad being my Dad, and believing that you must be in control of yourself at all times, decided to teach me how to control my phobia.
He would tell me to relax and breath deeply and think about a favorite place or activity. Then he would place his very large, very strong hand over my face holding me down so I could not move.
Now, before you run and file a ‘child abuse suit’ against my Dad, I knew that he was doing this to help me. He suffered from the same gripping fear and knew what it felt like. He also knew that maintaining my self-control and focusing on what I could control, AKA: Me, and not on what I could not control, AKA: what was happening to me, I could learn to not fly into a panic and instead of feeling hopeless and stuck, I could have hope in my ability to calm myself through it.
I want to be clear here, this did not cure me! A real phobia, is a real phobia. It is something that by definition is “ABNORMAL!” It is not logical and it does not make sense to anyone not inflicted with it. As a child I made sure not to hide in tight closed spaces when playing ‘hide and seek.’ I never crawled to the end of my sleeping bag at sleepovers, and let’s just say, my sister’s knew never to play the ‘pull the sheets over Lisa’s head game!’
But as an adult, my phobia reared it’s ugly head when I was taking my children to ‘Breakfast with Santa Claus.’ This was one of my favorite traditions we shared as a family. Macy’s department store put on a yearly ‘Breakfast with Santa Claus’ in their downtown store.
My Mom always gave the grandkids their special Christmas outfits early so they could wear them to the breakfast. We had been out of the country for awhile on the Mission Field, and I was so excited to be home and taking my children to this family tradition!
We pulled into the large multi-level parking garage and entered the elevator marked ‘Macy’s!’ We pushed the button and the doors closed. The elevator moved slowly and then we felt an abrupt jerk! The elevator had come to a stop, but the doors were not opening.
I had my children with me, I needed to maintain self-control! I breathed deeply, told them we would be fine, and looked frantically for the BIG RED EMERGENCY button!
I pushed it, NOTHING! I pushed it again, NOTHING! I pushed it again and again and again, Still NOTHING!
Panic began to set in! I grabbed for the phone in the elevator but no one picked up! The store was not open yet. They were opening early for the Breakfast with Santa Claus, and in case you are thinking what I’m thinking right now, there was no need to fear about lack of cell phone coverage, we didn’t have cell phones yet!
My phobia at this point was in full swing. The Big Red Button wasn’t working! The emergency phone wasn’t working! The store was not opening for hours and we were STUCK! I felt completely HOPELESS and had no way out.
I began to breath. To practice the self-control my Dad had taught me years ago. As I did, oxygen returned to my brain, I could think more clearly, and I knew what to do.
PRAY! Ask God to take my HOPELESS situation and restore HOPE to it.
I did, and He did! We still do not know how the door got opened, but it opened!
There is no logical answer for it. The big red button went unanswered, the phone rang and rang and rang with no one on the other end of it, and the store remained closed. However, our elevator door opened after twenty long, excruciating minutes.
God restored our HOPE after we trusted in His trustworthiness!
Friend, whether you have a phobia like I do or not, we all get STUCK! Getting STUCK makes us feel HOPELESS.
Why am I in this situation again? Why can I not seem to change this situation? Why do I feel tossed about by this situation to the point of sheer HOPELESSNESS?
The answer is, because we are listening to the lie of the enemy and not to the Truth of Jesus!
Lie # 12 – I am hopeless, I can never change.
Truth # 12 – With God’s help I can change. I serve the God of HOPE!
“And this HOPE will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.“ Romans 5:5
“This Hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:19
Bottom line…We must detox the lie of the enemy that we are HOPELESS!
If we belong to Jesus, He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are filled with HOPE!
Paul writes in the book of Romans that our God is the SOURCE of HOPE! If we “take a deep breath,” maintain our self-control and detox the lie of the enemy and trust in Him, we will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit!
“I pray that God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
I am hope filled when I am filled with the Spirit of God!
We all get stuck sometimes and panic can set in quickly. It is what we do at that moment that matters. Do we allow the LIE of the enemy to take root and render us frozen in panic and fear? I AM HOPELESS?
Or, do we breath deeply, speak a prayer, detox the lie, and allow the power of God’s Holy Spirit to fill us with confident HOPE?
The choice is mine, and the choice is yours!
Speak Truth Love