Vertigo, Panic, and Feelings of Insanity

Let me start by saying  – “My mind can be a scary place sometimes.”

I’m not sure why but over the past few weeks I’ve been hit with sudden bouts of dizziness. The first time it hit I was at work. One minute I was typing away at my desk and the next I was holding on for dear life as the whole room seemed to spin out of control.  The swirling passed after a few minutes but since that day it keeps happening several times a day. According to all the doctors I’ve been to so far the dizziness is vertigo but I say its scary! My symptoms range from a little off balance feeling to having the whole room spinning.  I never know when it may happen, so normal life things like going to work or just going to the store have been hard to do.  So far, each bad episode has passed after a few minutes, but my fear is – what happens if it doesn’t? Can this ever start and not stop?!

Add to the vertigo that I caught some sort of illness last week and had a fever the second half the week and then add last Saturday afternoon. Saturday,  I was sitting on my couch watching TV when a sudden wave of fear gripped me out of nowhere.  I had nothing to fear yet I felt as if sudden doom was happening.  I have had panic attacks before, but nothing like this, this was the mother of all panic attacks and for the rest of that day and all night I felt like I was stuck in a sea of fear.  The worst was the night…every time I would doze off would wake up with the most awful fear gripping me with my heart pounding so hard it felt as if it were going to explode.  Sunday morning it was not only fear but now I was exhausted from no sleep and also an anger feeling was gripping me. I am not sure what that was all about because I am not usually an angry person. By then I was feeling as if I may be going crazy and wondering if maybe I may have a brain tumor or something.

I told my husband that I wasn’t going to church but then at the same time I  knew I needed to go.  I didn’t want to but I did.  Back and forth and back and forth I struggled with that but eventually found myself in the car on my way to church.  In the car, I felt so terrible I was panicky, had stomach issues, and the weird anger… I even told my husband that if someone asked me how I was that morning instead of my usual ‘I am good’ response, I was just gonna say, “I am terrible!”  That is so not me.  Really.

So we get to church and seriously getting in the door was hard, this probably will sound horrible for me to say, but everyone is just so happy at church, and to be honest I think I just wanted all of those smiling people to ignore me for the day. But of course they didn’t and of course, I didn’t tell anyone about my fear/anger/crazy/whatever-was-wrong-with-me problem. And thankfully I was nice.  We went in and sat down and a friend came to chat and before you knew it I was even laughing over some silly story she told. The laughter felt really good, but it was short lived because just as the service started, I felt that familiar dizziness.  By the second song, I was in the bathroom putting cold towels on my face while holding on to the walls waiting for the dizziness to pass. I finally made it back into the sanctuary by the sermon but now the panic was back and it was gripping me so bad.  I felt as if I was suffocating, drowning right there in the back row of the church service and nobody knew.

I wanted church to be over right then so I could leave and I almost did leave, but I didn’t and thank God I didn’t because the sermon series we are in at church right now is titled ‘The Armor of God’ and the message this week was ‘Helmet of Salvation.’

Imagine that!? The sermon was about the Helmet of Salvation when the place that’s been under fire all week for me is my mind and now my pastor was talking about guarding our minds against enemy attacks!

I felt myself clinging to the scripture as we read it.  Familiar words that I have prayed a lot over the past few months actually –

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20

After the message everyone stood up to pray, I wanted to stand but I couldn’t, I felt like I was teetering on the edge of a cliff with fear and dizziness so I stayed down in my seat for the prayer. I don’t really remember the words that were prayed, but one part I do remember is the pastor pausing for us fill in the stuff we needed to let go of and God’s voice in my head saying, “You’ve gotta let it go, I’ve got this, trust in my love. All you have to do is let go, I promise I will catch you.”

I did and just as He promised He caught me.

My Pastor had no idea what was going on in my life when he prepared his message this week but I know without a doubt God knew!

My armor was back in place.

I’d like to say that for the rest of the day I was well, but I wasn’t.  I actually went home and laid down for most of the day, but no matter what happened all day if that panicky feeling came along, I’d lean in more to God remembering that I had to use his armor to protect my mind and my day was pretty peaceful.

I went to bed last night and had a really good night of rest for the first time in a long time and so far today I feel refreshed and I am thankful.

As far as my health goes – I’ve been to 3 different doctors so far and have an appointment with an ear specialist on Oct. 4 and today I am seeing my endocrinologist. So far no one knows what is bringing on the vertigo, and I also suspect the panic may go hand in hand with that. I hope someone finds something easily fixable.  No matter what happens though my prayer today is this…

Father, Today I place life in your hands realizing I can’t do this alone. You’ve brought me through so much and you have never left me to face anything alone. Your peace has carried me to where I am today, and now to the start of this new day. Without you I couldn’t make it, please don’t ever let me stray away from that knowledge of your power and how I need to make sure I am tapped into you to stand firm against enemy attacks. Thank you for everything you do, but most of all Thank you for loving me.  Amen

Thank you for reading and make today a great day!

Terri

Check out this video by Jeremy Camp – Same Power

 

Finding Treasure

When I got home from work the other day my husband informed me that he had knocked my jewelry box over while vacuuming.

The first thought that went through my head was that I wanted to choke him. But the look on his face as he pointed to the pile of jewelry on his dresser while breaking the news caused a second thought to go through my head… It was just a jewelry box and I needed to let it go.

I must admit that even though I decided to try let it go and not say anything mean to him there was still a part of me that was really angry with him for not being more careful!

And once I opened the drawers and saw that everything else inside the box was now jumbled up mess the idea of keeping my mouth shut became even harder!

Now, this is where things begin to get interesting….

As I began the task of matching pairs of earrings together and untangling necklaces I realized that I have collected quite a lot of jewelry over my 53 years of life. I began finding things I had forgotten I had or that were gifts from different people in my life.

Suddenly instead of cleaning up a mess I was on a journey down memory lane and a pile of dumped jewelry had somehow become a pile of treasure, and I was having fun!

Later that day I told my husband that when he had first told me he’d dumped my jewelry box I was really upset with him, but that now I had changed my mind and instead I was thankful that he had dumped it 🙂

Pick Up Your Mat and Walk

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,“Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:1-8

I used to be a different person. I used to feel like crap every morning because I used to drink alcohol every night. I remember when God placed it in my heart that I needed to change. He could have immediately taken the crave for alcohol away…but he didn’t. First I had to want to stop. I had to make up my mind to stop and then say, ‘I’m done living like this.” And then I had to be the one to take the first step toward recovery. Once I made the decision that I was going to stop that was the moment he began helping me stop.

He stood beside me constantly during the struggle to quit but I still had to be the one to consciously make the choice to quit every single day. Over time I’ve lost the crave to drink but I still to this day have to be aware of that decision because there are still times in my life that alcohol is placed before me and a glass of wine or a margarita still look quite tasty to me but I do know that quick moment of taste across my lips is just not worth it and will never taste as good as I feel now.


Over the past 6 years I’ve had 5 knee surgeries for torn meniscus and arthritis.  I have asked God hundreds of times to cure me. I have placed my hands on my knees and said, “God, please take this pain away and cure me.”

I truly believe he could have instantly cured me, but he still didn’t do it.

I also knew that I could have had knee replacement surgery but I didn’t want to do that.

The surgery seemed really scary and I also knew it would take months before I would get well. I was also afraid of the pain so many people had warned me about. But in the meantime what I didn’t realize is that the pain I would end up in from not having the surgery would be probably just as bad or worse.

Over time I began finding that standing was becoming harder and I couldn’t go to the grocery store or ball games or anything that required a lot of walking without being in excruciating pain. And my balance was gradually going away too.

While I was sitting around being afraid of the surgery the things I worried would happen from the surgery were happening to me anyway!

A few months ago I had a terrible fall in which I landed on my face. That was the day that I finally made the decision to have the surgery.

Knee number 1 was replaced September 19.

It’s been 4 weeks today since the surgery and I woke up this morning realizing that I may finally be over the worst part of it. As expected the past 4 weeks have been really hard and required a whole lot of work on my part. Over the past 4 weeks, I have learned a lot about suffering (I’ll save that for another blog) and I have also learned what it’s like to humble myself and let others take care of me…. I don’t really do that very well.

The biggest thing I have learned is that even though I am the one who makes the decisions about my life sometimes I don’t always choose the right ones. One in particular, was not choosing to have this surgery sooner!

Just like the drinking I had to be the one to make the decision that I truly wanted to get well.

Yes God could have cured me instantly but he didn’t. Instead, he left part of it up to me to decide. Did I want to walk? Yes I did and to do that I was going to have to take the initiative to get up take the first step. I had to put away my worries and say yes to the surgery.  And then I had to put in the hard work it would take to get well. Yes God still was the one to do the healing and He was also the one who guided the surgeon’s hands. He was the one who was beside me when I stood up the first time for rehab. He was the one sitting beside me each night when I cried in pain. He was the one pushing me through the exercises and giving me the strength to keep going as I got stronger each day.

Now I am glad God didn’t give me the quick cure I prayed for.

God had a better plan, He gave me new knee but I had to be the one to make the decision to get up and go and get it and now I am stronger because of that.

Now that I have started to see the benefit of my new knee I realize that this wasn’t just about knees. This was about so much more.

There were lessons in trust, trusting that God had this all in his hands if I would just let go and give it to him.

I learned a lot about God’s power and how he gives that power to us to use when we call on him. He is the one who has been pushing me through the physical therapy and His strength is sometimes the only strength I have to just get up in the morning…but I will never ever be able to use it if I don’t make any effort of my own. I can’t just be sitting around waiting when there are things I could be doing, things I know now that God wants me to do.  God can do anything and yes He can move mountains, but something I have realized in all of this is that the mountain that may need moving is sometimes my own attitude.

Live It Well

music monday1

Today’s music Monday song is “Live it Well” by Switchfoot.

I love this song because it speaks so much about attitude and how our attitude can actually determine how well we live our lives.

There are days when it may seem as if there are only small glimmers of light peeking out of the dark, but on those days when we really make a conscious effort to focus on those glimmers then we are always sure to find the good.

We can also be one of those glimmers to someone else.

When we are living life well and sharing God’s love with others then we will see him even more.

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert

Music Monday ~ Ever Be

 

music monday1I seem to be at a loss for words to write today but I do have a song I’ve been singing all weekend that I’d like to share with you.

“Faithful you have been, faithful you will be”

What song have you been singing lately?

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert

A Song in My Heart

psalm 98:4-6I hear you calling softly,
a mix with melody.
Love notes of peace,
say, “my child come to me.”

Your voice,
afloat on sweet whispers of Lyrical art.
Beautiful solo,
a song of tranquility to my heart.

In Your arms I lay my burden,
tomorrow’s worry lost.
Rescue in harmonious tempo,
my life was found when you paid the cost.

Beautiful, forever love of my life,
My everything.
Sweet words of your love song,
in my heart will forever sing.


 

It’s been a really long time since I’ve shared a poem here.  The other day I was reading another blog that I enjoy which is filled with some of the most beautiful poems I’ve ever read and it made me realize I never share my own poems anymore. I’m not really sure when I quit sharing them but now I see that somewhere along the line of writing this blog I quit sharing my most favorite thing to write which is poetry.

I guess maybe I started sharing only what I thought people would rather read when the truth is I really have no idea what people really like reading or how many people actually read what I write anyway.

What I do know for sure is there is one person who reads everything I write and that person is God. When I first started this blog the whole reason I started it was for Him and I think its time to get back to sharing the me that He created me to be.  It’s not that I haven’t been me, with my other posts, its just that I’ve been holding back on sharing what I feel most passionate about writing the most, which is poetry.

I may not be a fancy poet or even have a clue about how poems are supposed to be written, but I love writing whatever kind of poem that it it is that I write, and I am pretty sure that is what you may be seeing a lot more of from me in the future.

If poetry isn’t for you then I guess you’re reading the wrong blog today. And that is perfectly okay 🙂

Oh, and while I am at it, I also love music and I love taking pictures…. sooooooooo…. below is a video I put together of pictures I have taken.  They are pictures of some of the beautiful gifts God always gives to me on a daily basis.  I put them along with one of my very favorite songs which I think goes well with the poem.

I hope you enjoy You Are so Good to Me by Third Day, with pictures by Me 🙂

Have a blessed day,

Terri Siebert

My Week in Pictures

Whew it seems like my life has been crazy busy lately and it also seems like time is just flying by faster and faster the older I get.

As I go through each day I usually try to write down or take pictures of some of the blessings I come across so I will have reminders of all the wonderful gifts I have received from God. This evening I was going through my phone and I was amazed at all of the pictures and notes I had written down in only a week.

Here are just a handful of the awesome gifts I received this week.

This first picture is from last Saturday which was the 4th of July, we had our little grandsons Mason & Gavin at our house and to make a long story short fireworks were not their idea of a fun time so they watched from a safe distance inside the house with grandma. I just love these sweet boys so much ❤20150704_204932

The next day was Sunday. I arrived at church and found these waiting for me  🙂 20150705_112645-1On Monday I worked at the Compassion Mobile Experience. This is pretty cool and a lot of fun to work at and visit.  Visitors of the experience get to go on an interactive tour through the life of a past Compassion child who is all grown up now.  As the child tells their story through an iPod and headset the visitor gets to travel along through rooms that look, feel, and smell just like the child’s life as they grew up. As visitors move through the child’s journey they get to see how the child’s life changed from one of poverty to hope after they came into Compassion’s program.

20150706_144732 20150706_141807 20150706_141835 20150706_14190820150706_142102

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Packets of children waiting for sponsors

153 children were sponsored at the Mobile Experience this weekend and these are the prayers their new sponsors left for them.20150706_185450 (1)If the Compassion Mobile Experience ever comes to your town be sure to take the time to walk through it, you will be glad you did.

Monday night on my way home I saw this awesome sunset!20150706_191927Tuesday night the rain came down extra hard20150701_221039

and Bart was bored.20150705_181009

Wednesday I found this gem 🙂Screenshot_2015-07-10-21-27-47

Thursday Bart was still bored ❤20150706_204607

This morning (Friday) I was blessed to be at church as our youth left for a mission trip to Oklahoma.20150710_100201I just loved seeing their excitement!

Tonight my husband and I went on a date and we had really good conversation and some really great food… I don’t have any pictures of date night but its still fresh in my mind.

If you are interested, I try to post blessings on my gifts page (tab at the top of this blog) from time to time.

Writing down and taking pictures of blessings is something I do because if I am ever having a bad day I always know I can go to my journal or my pictures and see thousands of reminders as to God’s awesomeness and love that he gives me on a daily basis. When we really look for them we will usually find God’s gifts are always there just waiting to be opened.

I would say over all this was a pretty good week 🙂

I hope you also have a wonderful and blessed weekend and week and don’t forget to stop along the way and open all the gifts that God has left for you,

T

P.S. If you were interested in visiting the mobile experience here is a link to a list of cities it will be coming to in the near future –Compassion Mobile Experience