Jesus gives purpose to my life
“Your father is dead.” This was all I heard.
I was only 17 years old.
One night, home alone with my older brother and sister, our phone rang at 03:00 am. I was the first to wake up, so I answered. After this message, I fainted on the spot.
My brother found me the next morning lying on the floor, the telephone buzzing. When I woke, the shock of the nighttime message returned immediately. I had to share the news with my siblings.
The image of identifying my father’s naked body in the hospital morgue remains burned into my memory. For the first time I realized what it meant to feel completely vulnerable, for everything to be totally out of my control. The fact that his death was caused by a medical mistake in the hospital made this feeling of vulnerability even stronger.
The traumatic loss of my father made me want to be in control of everything all the time – at home and at work. This was the only way I could protect myself from another trauma.
After years of living and working under pressure, I had my first panic attack. On the outside, I pushed through the fear, hiding the symptoms from everyone but my immediate family. On the inside, I was terrified, paralyzed with fear.
Over a period of three years I suffered from panic attacks in various situations; the worst was while driving, when all I wanted to do was get out of the car as fast as possible.
Just a few months before my father’s death, I had made the decision to trust God in a more personal way and to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. I had asked God to help me believe in Him and to make my life meaningful.The sudden loss of a parent now put that decision to the test.
Without an earthly dad in my life, God stepped in as my Heavenly Father and helped me work through the grief.
When the panic attacks started, God was by my side to help me break down the overwhelming need to control everything all the time. Instead of trusting in my own ability to keep things in line, I consciously put my trust in God, handing over my burden of control little by little until the attacks stopped. This process took three years.
Today I know that I cannot control everything in my life or the lives of those close to me. Sometimes I still fall into that trap, but I have learned to turn things over to God, and I enjoy moments of great peace as a result. I am convinced that God is in control.
If you know my feelings, or you have the same struggles, please contact me. I will tell you more about how God changed my life.