It's happened twice now. That huge dark cloud that suddenly presents itself- it hangs there above you and furiously envelopes you. It sucks you in like a cyclone and sends you spiraling out of control. That panic- the all-encompassing fear that no amount of reason or logic can send away. It's painful and distracting. It's annoying and leaves you with a great sense of guilt.

The most recent occurrence happened Saturday evening. My husband and I planned an entire night out to celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary. We made arrangements for the baby to have a sleepover with his grandma, reservations for dinner and a lock-down of cell phones. I had been craving this quality time with Craig and the opportunity to sleep in. About 40 minutes into our adventure I started to feel my brain going in all kinds of suspicious places. Thoughts of: "what if something happens to us- no one will know what to do with Ryan." "We don't have any plans prepared- do we even know what we want?" "Mom is sick, will she be able to communicate to other family- will they say she is too sick to take care of Ryan?"...

Since the diagnosis of mom's ALS and the birth of Ryan- all kinds of fears have crept in on me. They come as quiet whispers in the shower and loud thumps of tragedy in my sleep. It's a constant tug-of-war...that fear and I... it pulls me in and I pull back fiercely demanding that it lets me go. On Saturday, my strength was gone and instead of pulling harder I let that fear drag me deep into its black hole. I cried in the car as the panic stole every breath I had. As my heart pounded louder and louder I gave in. My husband patiently listened to me, reminded me of every promise we have been given and that though it seems impossible and scary right now, everything will in some way or another be OK. We called and checked in on Ryan and found that he was sleeping soundly in the arms of his grandma- a reminder that there is an unseen blanket of peace and comfort always surrounding us- even in our fear.

To say that we all cope differently is an understatement. Maybe instead of a panic attack- you hide and close yourself off from the world. Or, maybe you turn to comfort in the form of a bottle or sarcasm. Maybe, you are angry or sad and cope with endless amounts of sleep... whatever your form of "coping" looks like each mechanism begs to remind us that we aren't in control. How great to know that we don't have to be in control. The nuances of this world are always going to bring about a situation that require us to "cope". With the right amount of support, forgiveness, and prayer we can turn those harsh unhealthy mechanisms into healthy positive forms of grace.

I'm a work in progress and I struggle all the same with this horrible disease that has stolen so many aspects of my mom. But, today- I walk in the peace and comfort of Hope even in the midst of panic.


  1. My form is to control what I can. When my dad died, I took over EVERYTHING, funeral, going through his things, taking care of my mom and brothers, even though I was a wife and new mother with a barely 2 month old baby. Yikes!

  2. Lots of us live in a fear of some kind. When I realize that the enemy wants me to live there I remind myself that God does not want me to live there. I speak live to the words of the Lord. Yes it sometimes is a hard thing to do. But we have to relax in what Jesus provides for us. You are doing great and being transparent is letting the beautiful light of the Holy Spirit shine thru.

  3. Tara,

    First of all, that is a beautiful picture:) I just wanted to encourage you today. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7 When fear knocks on your door, let Jesus answer it:) ~ Judy

  4. Tara, what an honest post! thanks for sharing.. I think that becoming a mother comes with a crazy amount of anxiety in itself not to mention the other things in your life! hang in there!


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