First off, I want to start by saying that I am not writing this post because I’m looking for pity or because I want people to feel sorry for me. I just felt like sharing this story and to fully relay it involves disclosing a little bit of personal information. I am an extremely anxious and nervous person by nature. Over the past year, I’ve spent many days suffering with what I’m going to call panic attacks. I can’t sleep well, my heart races in a very unpleasant manner, I lose my appetite, feel sick to my stomach, and my mind is overcome many days with thoughts that cause me a lot of distress.Towards the beginning of 2013, I was plagued with thoughts of losing my soul. I’d sit at my desk at work in fear that at any moment the adversary was going to overtake me and I would no longer have hope. I’d lay in bed at night tossing and turning with my mind full of troubling thoughts, begging God to allow me to sleep. Thankfully, God helped me to overcome that. Later on in the year, a series of events took place that shook me up so bad that I’m still trying to recover completely. I don’t feel like it would be expedient to go into a lot of details here, but the gist of it is that I spend many many days doubting whether I was doing the right thing when it came to my relationship with Keith. Most people know that he’s been my best friend since he moved to Oklahoma and a few close friends can tell you that waaay before Keith and I started dating again that I said I would marry him someday. We’d prayed a lot about whether we should date or not because we both understood that our friendship was at stake if it didn’t work out. Even though he wasn’t in the faith yet, we both felt pretty confident that it was okay for us to start dating. Never once did I have a bit of doubt that Keith was the person I was supposed to be with. After almost a year of being so happy and content and thankful to have Keith as my boyfriend, I suddenly had to come to terms with the fact that that might not be what I was supposed to be doing after all. I cried. A lot. I yelled and screamed at God, asking Him why He’d let me stay with Keith for so long, asking Him why He allowed us both to feel like we were in the right place, asking HIm why He’d worked so many things out for us if we were just going to have to break up. The panic attacks came back. I fidgeted constantly because the physical movements kept me from really letting my mind have control. I spent my nights sobbing and praying to God. I’d wake up with my mind instantly going on the defensive and my heart pounding out of my chest. It was absolutely horrible and it seriously affected my relationship. How could it not? I was constantly depending on Keith to comfort me and talk me through things when I was having an extra rough day. And the fact that we might have to break up was always lingering in the back of our minds. Keith has always been the strong one and this was no exception. Even though he was worried, his feelings about us were unwavering. He was always there with sweet words for me, he was always there to remind me of things that God had done for us, and he was always, always praying for me. And that’s where the whole point of this post comes in. Prayer. When I first started having these panic attacks, I started praying a lot more. I’d go to the bathroom at work and pray any time I started to feel scared and worried. I also started asking for prayer more often. It’s hard to admit that you need prayer sometimes, even to your family and friends. It’s been especially hard for me to ask them to pray about this trial because it’s not a physical problem. I don’t have a headache, my body isn’t suffering in any way, it’s my mind. It’s hard to admit that. It makes me feel like I’m mentally unstable and that scares me to death. When I started worrying about my relationship with Keith, I prayed about it constantly. I asked my parents to pray, I asked Keith to ask his parents to pray. It seemed like my life was just one big prayer for a while. Gradually, I’ve been able to feel better. I still have rough days. I still have to go to my mom and pray that God will give her words to speak to me because I’ve had a really hard day. I still struggle with sleeping at night. But for the most part, I feel better. Keith and I have spent a lot of time examining ourselves and our relationship and we feel pretty confident that we’re in the right place. Through this trial I’ve seen just how important prayer is. I’ve learned that it’s such a powerful tool to combat the devil. Through this trial I’ve been able to come to a point in my life where I love to pray and where I rely so heavily on prayer to help me make it through the day. And maybe that’s been the point all along. Maybe God saw that I wasn’t relying on Him enough and allowed these things to come my way so that I’d learn to have a more prayerful mind and if that’s the case, then I thank God for this trial.