But me? I will hope. Always. I will add to all your praise.
My mouth will repeat your righteous acts and your saving deeds all day long.
I don’t even know how many of those there are!
I will dwell on your mighty acts, my Lord.
Lord, I will help others remember nothing but your righteous deeds.Psalm 71:14-16, Common English Bible
As I laid prostrate on the floor of my dorm room, tears rolling down my face, gasping for breath, my heart racing in my chest, the only thing I could think to do was pray, “Lord, help me, please. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” I laid there for over ten hours crying out for the Lord as I experienced my first ever panic attack.
Hold up. What does a panic attack have to do with hope? It led me to a meeting with a psychologist on campus and I was soon diagnosed with depression and extreme anxiety which was now causing severe panic attacks. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed and I struggled to handle life. Yet, in every conversation with counselors and doctors, there was a running theme: hope.
I remember the day I was asked, “Are you sure you have never contemplated taking your own life?” I responded without hesitation, “No! I have too much to live for!” I realized at that moment that even in the depths of fear and anxiety, I still had incredible HOPE in my relationship with Jesus. I took great comfort in knowing He knows my pain and my fears. He was and is more than enough to get me through the darkest moments.
As I learned more about my diagnosis and realized the stigma around mental health challenges, I leaned into my faith even more. I believed the Lord would use this experience for good. For my good and for the good of those I would later encounter. I speak life into the dark places and let people know they are not alone in their struggle.
Today, when my anxiety rises, I lean into Jesus and I meditate on His faithfulness through worship songs: “I will be content in every circumstance. You are Jireh, You are enough.”
Psalm 71:14-16 puts it this way: “But me? I will hope. Always. I will add to all your praise. My mouth will repeat your righteous acts and your saving deeds all day long. I don’t even know how many of those there are! I will dwell on your mighty acts, my Lord. Lord, I will help others remember nothing but your righteous deeds.”
Lord, thank you for all of the times you deliver me – in big and little ways. Thank you that I can have hope in all circumstances. Give me the words to speak life to others by sharing your faithfulness in my life. Amen.
Kari Schneider lives in Dickinson, ND
I’m a 40 year old cat mom from Arizona who travels the country supporting teachers and leaders who are teaching students to read—I really appreciate TSA Pre-Check!—while also trying to dig my car out of the snow.