Friday, October 29, 2010

Down in the Depths of my Heart

I've been so grateful for all the encouraging messages since I last posted.  What a wonderful place "blog land" really is, filled with incredible people who truly know how to reach out in friendship and caring to one another.   You really bless me!

So, some have been wondering how my journey is coming along.  On the weight loss front, things are going slowly but good.  I've been continuing every day with my walking and enjoying it tremendously.  Had a few weeks where I hit a big plateau but finally lost another 3 lbs this week so that's good.   And my faith journey is becoming a real adventure too.  I'm amazed at how God is helping me to learn new things all the time and providing me with wonderful friends for comfort and prayer support along the way.

Do you remember that old Sunday School song "Down in My Heart?"

(If you want the lyrics for the whole song you can find them here in this children's song book:  All the Child)

Lately, the words of one of the verses has come to mean something special to me.  It's a bit of a tongue twister and if you know the song, you'll know that this is one of the hardest verses to sing, especially because as kids we used to try to sing it as fast as we possibly could without making a mistake on the words:

I've got the wonderful love of my Blessed Redeemer right down in the depths of my heart,
Down in the depths of my heart (where?)
Down in the depths of my heart (where?)
I've got the wonderful love of my Blessed Redeemer right down in the depths of my heart,
Down in the depths of my heart to stay!

And I'm so happy, so very happy,
I've got the love of Jesus in my heart, 
Down in my heart,
And I'm so happy, so very happy,
I've got the love of Jesus in my heart!

So WHY has this song become so meaningful to me now?  Well, I've been waking up with panic attacks lately in the middle of the night.  I'm not sure what's causing it but I've been waking up with my heart pounding and feeling horribly frozen in fear.  One of my friends suggested that maybe I should get tested for sleep apnea because it's possible that this is why it's happening.  My sister thinks it might be just a hormonal thing.  But whatever is causing it, I don't like it!  I wake up frozen in fear and so afraid that I'm scared to even turn over and reach out to my husband for comfort!  It doesn't last long .... just a moment or so, but it seems like a life-time to me.  

I've tried to "pray" my way out of the attacks and since I'm a very visual person, I have been trying to picture my way out of my panic.  So I have been searching my Bible for various "images" that will help me to picture my way out of the situation.  For instance, I thought about that lovely verse in the Proverbs that says that the name of the Lord is a STRONG TOWER, that the righteous can run into and find safety (Proverbs 18:10).   The only problem I have with this image is that when I'm frozen in fear, it doesn't seem possible for me to run anywhere even if it is to a strong safe tower!   I end up frozen in fear with this frightening picture of a little girl fleeing through the darkness, trying desperately to reach a safe haven.

So I talked to God and asked Him to give me the perfect visual to help me through the fear.  I know He doesn't want me to be afraid, after all, His word says that "God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).  That's exactly what I want - power, love and a sound mind!   So I prayed that He would help me .... and a couple of days later, this is the Scripture I read:

We know that we live in him and he in us, 
because he has given us of his Spirit. 
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son 
to be the Savior of the world. 
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, 
God lives in him and he in God. 
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:13-16

Yes, I've read these verses many times before, but suddenly I was struck anew with the fact that I don't have to go, run, walk, or flee anywhere to find God!   He, by His great mercy, has chosen to live inside of me!  He's right there in my heart with me through my most difficult moments!  I am not alone.  And that God who lives in me, is a God of LOVE!  So even though I feel like my whole being is flooded with fear, a big part of me is actually taken up by the unconditional, unmatchable, unchanging LOVE OF GOD! 

So for now, I am singing that little children's hymn over and over again in my mind, reminding myself that I really do have the "wonderful love of my Blessed Redeemer right down in the depths of my heart!"  And I'm continuing to feel incredibly humble and blessed that God answers my prayers when I seek Him.  He doesn't tell me to "buck up and get a stiff upper lip and get on with my life" ... instead, He has great compassion on me and addresses my fears directly by helping me to find the perfect Scripture that brings me comfort.

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.  
Søren Kierkegaard


  1. I love how the right answer comes so long as we continue searching.

  2. This post reminded me of the nightmares I used to get as a child. Hope your panic attacks end soon!

  3. I so appreciated reading this post, Ro.
    What you shared about your journey is so encouraging.

    Loved singing that song again Down in my Heart which I used to teach my own children and also to the Sunday School kids when they were small.

    The opportunities for growth are with us all daay long.




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