It was 4 o’clock in the morning. I was curled up in a fetal position, clinging to Alex as tears streamed down my face and I desperately asked him, “Will life ever be good again?”
By all accounts, life was good. Our marriage was well, business was good, and a baby was on the way. But that day 2 months ago, darkness was a very physical presence that pressed heavily on all sides as fear & hopelessness threatened to overwhelm me. Where just hours before life had seemed so full of light and possibility, my vision was suddenly clouded with only despair and the dark lie that life was not good. I couldn’t breathe. “Help me, I’m drowning,” I managed to choke out to Alex.
There was no logical explanation for it. I had a nervous breakdown that ended with me being hospitalised for 5 days. What started out as a bad case of food poisoning had triggered deep fears from past trauma I didn’t know I had buried deep within me, and I spiralled into a nervous breakdown that was marked by recurring waves of panic. It was a form of PTSD where my brain was trapped in a constant state of panic, fear, and dread as I re-lived the trauma as if it was happening in the present over and over again. I was beyond exhausted but could not fall asleep for days because of the adrenaline coursing through my body. This led to hospitalisation where I spent days drifting in and out of sleep with help from sedatives prescribed by the psychiatrist.
I felt like the world had become a scary place and life was too hard to manage. I couldn’t manage small talk; the simplest conversations overwhelmed me. Just the thought of eating the next meal was too overwhelming and would trigger another bout of panic.
During that time and in the days following my discharge, I felt like God had allowed a shield to be lifted and I could see so much darkness where previously there was sunshine. I could feel darkness like a physical presence, not quite allowed to touch me but waiting so close to overpower me. Some nights, I clung to Alex in fear and despair, “Will I ever feel happy again?” I finally understood what it meant that fear brings torment – I was living in such torment.
Over the weeks that followed as I prayed and longed for healing, Papa began to lovingly show Alex & I that He was not going to do an instant overnight healing like He sometimes does. Instead, He was going to climb into the darkness with us and light us up from within to overpower it.
The Lion of Judah
One particularly difficult night a few weeks after I was discharged from the hospital, God gently asked me to be honest with Him about my feelings. He wasn’t interested in spiritually correct sentiment. He didn’t want an emotionally shut-down relationship with me. He saw me hiding behind fig leaves and called me into heart-to-heart. “Tell me how you really feel,” He tenderly said. “Until you let Me into the deep places in your heart, you will not be able to feel safe again.”
As a dam broke and tears streamed uncontrollably down my face, I told Him, “I feel abandoned by You. Where were you when I was breaking down under that cloud of fear? Where were you in that hospital room? I felt so alone and abandoned. How can I ever feel safe again?”
He sat with me while I felt the pain, loneliness, and rejection of the last few months welling up into a giant accusation against God. Yet as I launched a diatribe against Him, I felt His giant cloud of love coming around me and wrapping me completely. There was no anger or judgment, only compassion and infinite patience.
He held me within His arms of love until my soul became quiet. How He longs for heart-to-heart with us His children! And yet we haven’t even begun to touch God until our souls have been “quieted like a weaned child” (Psalm 131: 2). He patiently waits for us to quiet our souls and yield our flesh to His love, so that we can finally touch Him spirit to spirit & heart to heart. In the words of C.S. Lewis, how can we see God face to face until we have faces?
Then He asked me, “Would you like to see where I was… AM… in the dark times?”
I saw myself back in that cold hospital room on the first night of my breakdown. I’d had to be put under observation for a few hours and Alex had not been allowed in the room with me. I saw myself laying alone with the clinical beeping of the machine I was hooked up to, my whole body shaking and muscles stiff with terror. Those few hours were one of the scariest and most lonely I had ever been in my life.
Papa held me close as I faced this scene – one I had hoped to forget – once more.
As we stood there, He turned to me and declared, “I never left you, not for one second.”
I looked again and saw the Lion of Judah walking with me down that bleak hospital corridor. He was so big and my head only came up to His shoulders. He was a bright light, a warm presence in that cold hospital. I saw Him staying close beside me, His Lion’s body shielding me so that the demons of fear could only hiss and reach for me but could not come near.
As we continued to watch, Papa showed me that in those hours that I had been left alone with my overwhelming panic in that cold room, the Lion of Judah had stationed Himself right beside my bed. I saw the dark forces gathered around me, but even more brightly I saw that He had planted Himself firmly beside me. I saw the resolute determination in His eyes that nothing would get past Him. He would growl at any enemy that wanted to hurt me and they would flee. He was my protector and guardian.
I then saw something like a large screen before me, and scenes from the months leading up to the nervous breakdown began to play across the screen. Every moment of pain, loneliness, fear, and trauma had been recorded. As I watched, I saw the Lion of Judah in every scene. There He was, holding me up when I was too weak to walk, pouring strength into me when I had none.
Papa said to me, “I never left you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I was your shield and protection from dangers even you didn’t know of because I never allowed them to come close to you. In the times you felt alone and abandoned, you had only to turn away from yourself and toward Me and you would’ve seen Me so close. I am always with you and I AM your Help.”
His love and comfort flowed over me as I repented for taking in fear and anxiety that had never been mine to receive. I received His forgiveness for turning away from Him and looking to myself & my circumstances, opening the door for fear to cloud my vision with its vicious lies.
From then on, every time the terror and anxiety loomed threateningly over me, His gentle yet firm voice called out from within me, “Look. I, the Lion of Judah, am right here with you. You are safe,” and I would see Him with me.
The Lion of Judah is so much bigger then me. His body alone can shield me from any enemy coming at me. At the growl of His voice, enemies tremble and dare not come close. Beneath His strong steady gaze, all enemies scatter and flee.
The Process of Healing
Where Alex & I had begun with begging God to deliver us from the torment, He showed us that He was going to use what the enemy meant for evil and do marvellous things through it.
True to His word, the past couple of months have been some of the hardest yet most wonderful we have experienced in our lives so far. As God allowed my breakdown to reveal deep wounds and fears, He walked Alex & I through healing and freedom from strongholds. He’s been taking us through layers of healing from past memories and trauma.
Papa showed me in a vision that my neural pathways were lit up with fear, and He was going to chase fear down those pathways and out of me. He showed me that as I yielded to Him daily, He was flooding my neural pathways with His peace, joy, and truth. He was healing my eyes to see again as He sees – with hope.
He is teaching us to trust and yield to His Lordship in the process of healing. Over the past 2 months, the waves of panic have lessened greatly in frequency and intensity. Now, they rarely come at all. When they do come, they’re easier to silence when I hear the Lion of Judah’s voice to look to Him and yield to (trust!) His Lordship over my life.
I believe that God did not choose to instantly heal me because He wants to do a deep, thorough healing of spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and body. I believe He wants to heal past trauma, triggers, and mental strongholds so their power over His children will be broken once and for all.
As I yield to Him in my healing process, I have never felt so defenceless and weak, yet have felt the Lion of Judah’s presence and love so much. I have never felt more that I just need to hide behind Him. He is with me and fights for me.
Some Resources That Helped Me
As I shared snippets of my nervous breakdown, I heard from many who have been facing battles of a similar nature. I wanted to compile a list of resources that helped me recover, and hope that it may help someone else too.
If you are facing the dark night of the soul, take heart that you are part of a company that God is raising up. I believe He is raising up a people free from fear amidst a pandemic of fear that’s covering the world. He is bringing us into the dark places within us so that He can heal, set us free, and retrieve all that the enemy has stolen. He is bringing treasure out of darkness.
We do not walk alone. Even in the valley of the shadow, the Lion of Judah walks with you, leads you, protects you, fights for you. He is trustworthy and we can yield to Him even in our painful memories and trauma. He will heal us and break us free from their power once and for all.
1. Worship songs
“Because she loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue her;
I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name.
She will call on me, and I will answer her;
I will be with her in trouble,
I will deliver her and honor her.
With long life I will satisfy her
and show her my salvation.”
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.”
3. Peace Challenge
I strongly recommend listening to the below teachings by Dennis & Jen Clark. They have helped me so much, and I truly believe the message they have is one for this new decade of what God is doing.
- Peace Challenge
- Healing Toxic Emotions
- If you want to go even deeper. Alex & I are doing modules 1-4 that are included in this monthly paid subscription.
4. Gut Health
Besides spiritual and emotional healing, God has also showed us the wisdom in physical health. In particular, we learned that gut health is so important to overall physical health as well as emotional health. In fact, the gut is also known as the second brain.
- Why Good Health Begins In Your Gut. Jordan Rubin is a messianic Jew and a Christian. He researches from a scientific and biblical perspective.
- SBO probiotics. Soil Based Organism (SBO) strengthen and heal our gut. When our digestive system is well it restores and brings balance to our whole body, boosts immunity, and even regulates our moods.