Within an instant, I found myself trapped beneath the ice. Moments, minutes, of panic set in as I struggled to breathe and find my footing. In the panic, all you can do is bang on the thing that has you trapped, your only thought is getting out…being able to breathe again. Your physical survival instinct fights against you logical instinct. Your mind knows there has to be a way out, since you found a way in, but your body, your heart just wants to fight, to bang on the ice until you break through it.

Eventually, one of them has to win out. If you can just steal away a moment and think, you will survive; you will breathe again.

But, how.

Eventually I found the small hole, that small glimmer of hope. The opening that would bring me back to where I needed to be. And, with kicking and leveraging, and probably alot of screaming I found myself, laying on top the the ice completely out of breath. Exhausted. Still afraid, but safe.

I didn’t exactly fall through the ice, but that moment of panic and anxiety was real. And it was scary, because it was so new to me. Until this past year, I’ve been a relatively calm person. I can normally look at a crisis and can handle it with a certain even keel.

But, now I find myself in a new stage of life; an important stage. I’m in a stage of purpose and desire, that is both exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. And, last week when something threatened that, panic set in. I found myself unable to breathe, sick at my stomache, and unable to think clearly. All of these things being a new sensation, just magnified that feeling, causing me to drift further and further under the ice.

Once I recovered, over dinner and gelato with Amanda, we began talking it through, all the feelings of fear and doubt and the thoughts of “what could happen.” The realization that one small step in the wrong direction could hinder this mission we have somehow found ourselves in, is scary.

Even in that fear I can quote all those things I’m suppose to know like…

“It’s not about you. It’s so much bigger than one person.”

“You’ll be fine. You are doing everything that is expected of you.”

And of course…

“God is sovereign. This is his mission and he will do what he needs to do.”

So, if I know those things why the fear, the panic, and the doubt? For hours, Amanda tolerated me processing this out loud, moving quickly from one topic to next. My mind and my heart was having a hard time connecting. But, when it did the realization was not what I expected.

You see, what it all came down to was love. Somehow, I have learned to love something and someone that I haven’t even met yet. Right now, it is just a hope and a dream. I know that there are people out there just waiting for us to show up and I love them.

That’s what the fear is about. I’m afraid of something interfering.

That’s where the panic is coming from. From the question of “what if this doesn’t happen?”

And, the doubt, well that’s stemming from the “why me?”

So, I sat there verbally thinking about this concept of how can I possibly love something to the point of fear, the point of panic, and the point of doubting myself when it’s not even here yet. It is simply a vision, a possibility, a maybe.

In those chaotic thoughts, there was a simple pause and that still, small voice I often ignore said, “you are starting to understand the way I love. Remember when you were a vision, a possibility I still loved you.”

And with that the fear is gone (almost), the panic is gone (almost), and doubting myself is gone (almost). They are being slowly replaced with peace, understanding, and most importantly Love.


Panicked Beneath the Ice

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