Testimony Day is upon us! I’m so excited to introduce to you all Maddi, who is the new owner of Opaline Hue!
Opaline Hue brings durability and comfort to city style. Their garments are made with sustainable and cozy materials to bring the kind of fit and feel you need for a busy day. The designs are timeless, so the clothes can stay with you forever. Andddd everything at Opaline Hue will be made by people who were paid and treated well.
To celebrate the launch of her new business, Maddie decided that she wanted to share more about her story of heartbreak and healing from the Lord. Check out this amazing testimony of God’s goodness and grace. I know you’ll be blessed as much as I was!
Dec 11, 2011
People say God is in control and I say yes, He is. I think He’s big and He’s powerful and He can do whatever He wants. And He chose not to save my dad. He can do that anytime He wants to anyone else I love. So knowing God is in control does not comfort me but angers me.
I wrote this 8 months after losing my dad to brain cancer. I was 19 years old, a sophomore in college. As a life without my father began to settle in, confusion about the seeming contradiction of God’s power in our suffering began to sink deeply into my heart. The wound in my heart screamed, “Lord HOW can I trust you?” But I didn’t go to Him or ask Him. Instead, I protected myself from Him.
I wrote this journal entry unaware of where this protection would take me – years terrorized by death and obsessed with health and illness. And, because of the betrayal I felt from God, I made a silent vow that I would care for myself because no one else could be trusted. Unaware, I steadily built a wall between my heart and Jesus.
In the same way, we don’t have to remember to breathe, I grew up thinking little of life’s predictability. Yes, I was (and still am) born into economic and social privilege. And because of this privilege (in my own experience), when I accepted Jesus into my heart, my worldview adopted Jesus and not the other way around. I, like some young Christians, had faith consistent with a passion for sound doctrine mixed with over spiritualized guesses on my calling or who my husband might be. Much like the ease of breathing, I did not dwell on sorrow beyond the typical.
Over two years of my father battling cancer I did not consider he would die. That sentence is laughable to me now. Did it not cross my mind that he might die? No. I believed he would beat it. I knew God could heal him (and still believe He could have). And very crucial to my faith at the time: I thought He would.
The Beginning of Anxiety
The hammer of death shattered what I had once seen as a given. I analyzed each breath for fear if I forgot to breathe, I would die. My body was a petri dish for cancer, every bump and twitch was a disease. I knew it wasn’t rational, but I could not possibly trust logic or probability. Could I?
My dad was diagnosed with a rare cancer that no one had survived at the time. Out of the blue, a healthy man had a seizure, and another one. Madness. It did not matter who said I needed to calm down, I could not live my life this way, or it’s probably not cancer. None of them could promise me I wasn’t dying.
That’s all I wanted – some control; someone to give me some control in a world that I really used to like, but now felt so very unsafe in. Like my silent vow, like my protection, I chose to take what felt very much like control. Anxiety made me feel in control. Thus, I continued down the dark and misleading path of self-reliance.
God created our bodies brilliantly. In my obsession, my body began to exhibit the same symptoms I deeply feared. These symptoms triggered me more. I experienced some of the darkest weeks of my life in terror, weeping constantly, feeling utterly alone. I cannot really describe those weeks because (praise Jesus) I can’t grasp that state of mind I was in anymore.
In my personal experience of anxiety, there were two obstacles keeping me from peace. The first, belief. The second, habit.
The Root of Anxiety
In losing my dad I adopted a belief that God was not to be trusted. This belief became a habit in my life. For example, relying on myself for direction in all emotional situations, and no part of scripture sinking into my heart due to my mistrust. In rescuing me from this terror God transformed my belief, thus giving me the power to change my habits.
During a women’s group and in the presence of other believing women, I felt God ask me to trust Him. I responded in my head with a composed smile, telling Him of course I did! And I felt an even deeper pull to really, actually open my heart to God again.
My reaction was almost visceral.
I started to weep with anger and told the women, I would give Him allegiance but I would not give Him my heart. He took my dad. I had a childlike tantrum rage in me. When I calmed down, I made a decision. Though I was angry and felt betrayed, I would open my heart to God and allow myself to be vulnerable with Him again. The women prayed over me, and nothing really changed.
But I did feel a little more naked,
and a little less in control than I did before.
I wasn’t sure if I liked it.
Healing from Anxiety
During this time, I was in counseling. The Lord provided a woman who walked with me gently through this desperate time. There were moments she prayed over me in such a powerful way that I wept. Knowing she asked the Lord for rescue on my behalf.
I worked very hard with her to face moments in my past and create healthy habits in the present. I also worked with her to start a medication to help with the spiraling. I controlled my coffee intake, started sleeping 8 hours every night, and changed my diet to include more nutrition. These all worked together to bring about big change in my life.
One Thursday, I forgot my lunch at work. I thought I would have to order something when it occurred to me that I could fast and beg for God’s intervention. I had never really understood the effects of spiritual fasting before – when I did it, I just felt hungry.
That Thursday felt different because I was desperate.
Though I had gained back some stability, I was still constantly overcome with anxiety and still felt under its control. That day I fasted and begged God to rescue me. The next day, like in some sort of movie, I woke up feeling light and fresh. I went to counseling, then to work. I felt hope. I did not realize until that evening that I had been rescued. I just knew, in a simple sort of way.
Since that day I have never again been overcome with anxiety.
I praise God for the stability of my mind and the peace in my heart. He has restored my trust in Him, and I have seen his faithfulness. I no longer fear suffering in an unhealthy way, but I have confidence in the plans God has for us, His people. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I know the end of the story is eternity. The difference now is I will trust God in how He gets us there.
MY GOD! God is so faithful! I wanna leave you with a verse that Maddi said was applicable to her story. It’s Psalm 16:8-9:
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.
If you can relate to this testimony, I hope you know that I am praying over you. I pray that God gives you a peace that surpasses all understanding, a peace that guards your hearts and minds. If you’re looking for a practical way to fight your anxiety, I encourage you to speak God’s Word over your life. If you need help in this area, then I encourage you to sign up for #TheConfessionsProejct below. <3
Hanha is the founder behind Transparency Blog, and she is super passionate about encouraging women to find their identity and belonging in Christ! A few fun facts? She’s addicted to Grey’s Anatomy, has a special place in her heart for Chick-fila-A, and podcasts are her present obsession. In her spare time, she daydreams about places she can travel and loves connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!