Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)
TITLE: From Outbreak to Healing
By Kristi Ketz
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I am a 38-year-old mom with good-enough skin but I suffer from outbreaks. Not the kind of outbreaks I did at 14-years-old. The outbreaks I experience have shifted from the physical outbreak of acne as a teenager to the behavioral outbreak of my late teen years and early 20s to the internal outbreak of panic that I have suffered since becoming a mom at 34. The definitions of “outbreak” capture my internal experience when my never-stopping scanner of the health and wellbeing of my children alerts me to a potential problem. Once the scanner is set off, all systems shut down except the panic system, which causes increased adrenaline, increased heart rate, feelings of numbness and heaviness, overwhelming fear, and a feeling of impending doom. One of the things that shuts down is my ability to think rationally. I can no longer hear what my rational mind is trying to tell me.
The most important thing that is shut down during an outbreak is the place in myself where the Holy Spirit resides. It is the place where I know that all is well just as did the mother in 2 Kings 4:26 when her child had died. It is the place where I know that He will work all things together for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). It is the place where I know that He has plans for me and they are plans to prosper me and not to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11). The outbreak hijacks my mind and my body and takes me captive. While captive I cannot hear the Holy Spirit.
There are often warning signs, or symptoms shall we say, leading up to an outbreak such as decreased sleep, sickness in a family member, reading about something tragic, feeling distance from my husband, old conflicts with my family of origin, or any other number of events that occur while living on this earth before Christ’s return. Preventative measures could be taken when these first symptoms appear and oftentimes I'm so focused on the stress of the warning sign or symptom that I neglect the best medicine. I neglect the only sure magic pill. I don't do as David did and focus on the greatness of my God, instead I focus on my giants which are usually related to fear. I don’t take the advice of the Master Physician and fear not and therefore I am subject to outbreaks.
My outbreaks do not need clinical research or millions of dollars in funding to find a cure. I am blessed to have a disease that has a cure. The cure is readily available and there is no co-pay. This should be a no-brainer. However, the problem is that the treatment is sometimes painful. I must let go of my perceived control of the situation and trust in God's goodness and in His plans for me as well as my loved ones. I must give Him full authority in my life and in the lives of my girls. Can I trust that He loves us enough? It’s hard. But, that is the medicine I must swallow. It is only then that He can give me His peace. My outbreaks cannot coexist with His Peace.
I am not yet cured but am undergoing treatment. There are still traces of disease in my mind, body, and soul. I still suffer from outbreaks. I still cling to perceived control or at least the belief that things must be a certain way for me to be OK. Like many medical treatments, this treatment will have to kill some things but unlike modern medicine nothing good will be killed in this treatment. This is a perfect treatment where the disease is killed and the healthy parts are strengthened. This process of treatment is a continual letting go and taking each potential threat and starving it from my constant focus and attention and then taking the empty space and feeding it with God’s Word and Truth. I don’t know how long this treatment will last only the Master Physician knows but I hope to be a good patient and to do my part to eradicate any further outbreaks.
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