A Closer Relationship with the Lord

In the spring of 2017, I desired a closer relationship with the Lord. In my prayer time one morning, I told Jesus that I wanted to be as close to him as I could be before I saw Him face to face in eternity. Little did I know how God would answer that prayer in dramatic ways!  Several weeks later, lightning struck my house. It blew off my porch light and fried my garage door opener, along with several other electrical things.

Featured in a Magazine                                            Beyond Myself Book Cover by Author Anita Katherine Dennis

Several months earlier, I had written about my book to the editor of the LWML Quarterly, published by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML.) As a Lutheran who had done lay missionary work, I thought the women might be interested in my story, Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief. I heard nothing for quite a while, when out of the blue, the editor emailed me that I would be featured in the next magazine with my photo on the cover! Such exciting news! I was on Cloud Nine.

Attending the Convention?

A member of my church said she wanted to start an LWML group at our church. I agreed to support her. We attended the district convention together and had lots of fun. The LWML was holding a national convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June, 2017, and I figured it would be a great opportunity to make lots of connections to further promote interest in my book.

Anxiety Strikes

In the process, I discovered I never understood something I had suffered from for years –  anxiety disorder. Being unable to control my comfort level made me anxious.  As I kept thinking about the 8-hour flight there and the 9-hour flight back – and the fact that I would have to stay at the convention center the entire day, my heart started pounding at times and I felt panicky. I went to my heart doctor and after some tests, he gave me a health excuse not to make the trip.

A Christian Counselor

I asked my pastor for a referral to a counselor and he paired me up with a young woman intern. At our first meeting, I wondered why she stood at the door looking at me sideways. I found out she had macular degeneration and could only see me with her peripheral vision. Immediately, I knew she faced challenges since childhood. My admiration for her grew by leaps and bounds when I learned she was married, the mother of a toddler, and had done missionary work in South Korea.

Diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder

We explored my symptoms and I was officially diagnosed with anxiety disorder. It’s hereditary. My mother had it; my son has it; and my grandson has followed suite. The next step was to figure out how to handle it. My counselor recommended some secular books, but used a Christian approach. We happily shared our faith.

Keeping my Focus on the Lord                                                           

When fear came upon me, I focused my attention on the Lord and trusted Him, asking Him to calm and teach me. She was incredibly helpful.  Little did I suspect how dealing with anxiety disorder would be sorely tested…