I recently went through a traumatic experience when the town I live in had an EF 4 tornado hit it. This tornado went right over our house; I felt the wind of it inside of our home as I heard the eerieness of the train-like sound outside. We were very blessed with the fact that it only took off 95% of the siding, broke the window in my office, and came very close to taking the door and frame off from the office as well. My family and I know that it was the grace of God that kept us safe and that our house is still standing. The fence is not.
I have never been in a tornado before, and the feeling it left me with did not sit well. It left me with fear and anxiety that I couldn’t seem to shake. All who know me know that I don’t let fear control me, and I have never been anxious. These are two things that I struggle with. Wanting to be in control and not having things control me.
This fear was different than anything I ever dealt with before. It went to my very core and was attached to anxiety. I would jump at any noises from outside, especially when it was lose siding hitting the house from the wind (thankfully, we got that taken off). We live by a train track, so hearing a train was expected, but now it would wake me up, and I couldn’t get a good night's sleep.
I would get angry because I let this control me, and no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t shake it. I asked for prayer. I called and talked with my sister, who was gracious and reminded me that I went through a traumatic situation and needed to give it time. The problem was I didn’t want to give it time; I wanted it gone. I hated feeling this way.
During a weekly prayer meeting, I asked for peace over this issue and for a good night's sleep, no restlessness! God granted me a deep sleep where I didn’t wake up feeling as though I hadn’t slept at all for once.
That morning, I sat in my front room going through some verses I had written down on cards when one caught my attention.
Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will also help you. I will also uphold you with my righteous hand.
I then read Psalms 145:18-19, which reminds me that the Lord is near me, especially when I call on Him in truth. Then there was Isaiah 41:13, reminding me that He is holding on to me and tells me not to fear for He will get me through. I was reminded in Philippians 4:6 says that I shouldn’t be anxious about anything but to present it to the Lord. Then John 16:33 told me that in Him I have peace.
It was then that I heard God whispering to me, give it over to me, stop trying to do it all by yourself (my specialty). I bowed my head and prayed, giving it all to God. Binding up that which was controlling me, the fear and anxiety. I claimed the peace that only comes in Christ and His word. Immediately, I was filled with the peace that passes all understanding in Christ Jesus. The fear and the anxiety were gone.
It has been about three weeks since I have done this, and we have had tornado watches, and thunderstorms and my fear and anxiety have not come back. When we rest in Jesus and let go of whatever is tearing us up inside, we will experience the peace of Jesus Christ. My Heavenly Father reminded me that I can’t hold on to these things, and I don’t have the ability to take these things away, But He does. All I have to do is let go and let God.