Apologies in advance that this is so long. I’m going through something very intense and I couldn’t just sum it up with just a few sentences. Even this long post doesn’t say everything I really feel like I need to say and ask. Maybe no one will be able to help but at least I wanted to give it a try.
I am writing this post out of desperation to see if there could be any word of comfort that could help me snap out of this. You see, around the time the corona virus shut everything down in my area, I started to experience an increase in anxiety. I’m sure I’m far from alone in that. The problem is, though, that my anxiety has escalated to absolutely unbearable levels. Every time I think it’s getting better, it suddenly gets worse again and I seem to hit a new low. At first I could be mostly myself for most of the day, with only a few hours in the evening of anxiety, but now I am tormented day and night. I do have a history of anxiety and depression, but the last year or more has been very happy for me. I was in a good place. I got married in April of 2019 and have spent a wonderful first year with my husband. We even traveled to Chile in February and had a second wonderful wedding with his family there. When we came back at the beginning of March, everything slammed shut and that marked the beginning of my downward spiral. Along with the corona situation, there is also a biochemical reason that we believe is at the root of this problem. It’s connected to a medication I was taking that I no longer am taking. Now I am working on treatment for that problem but honestly, I don’t feel like I’m every going to be ok ever again.
Most of the time I’m not thinking about the virus now. It started with panic attacks specifically about that. I still get anxiety about it sometimes, but mostly I just stay at home and I believe my risk of it is very low. At least I hope so. In any case, my fears graduated from that to all kinds of other fears about things going wrong with my body. Then I started to think a lot about death, wondering if I was going to die soon and thinking that even if it’s not soon, I don’t ever want to die and why does that have to happen, etc, etc. Then the worst thing happened. I started to be afraid that maybe I was not even going to go to heaven. I am a believer that Jesus Christ died and rose again, and that he died for my sin in order to give me eternal life. Still, I started getting all these fears that maybe there is something wrong. The idea of hell terrifies me. Even when I feel more or less reassured that I am saved and going to heaven, I feel an intense sense of panic that other people that I love might be going there. I have been spending a lot of time praying for them and I’m trying to leave it in God’s hands but it is so hard. I want to be a witness for Christ and hopefully He will use me to bring people to know Him, but first I really need to recover from this horrifying place I’m in.
Last night I woke up in an absolute panic, thinking I was in hell. I don’t know if I was dreaming or if it was just a panic attack that woke me up, but I was just shaking for a very long time after that and didn’t want to go back to sleep. I have all these thoughts that I know are irrational but feel very real to me, like “what if that means that’s where I’m going?”
I recently read the book Eternal Security by Charles Stanley. I found it very helpful and was feeling a lot better until I got to the chapter about the unpardonable sin. The funny thing is, that is where my whole salvation fears started several weeks ago. One day I had this thought that maybe I had committed this sin and that I was condemned and there was not a thing I or anyone else could do about it. I read some webpages about that sin and after a lot of convincing and thinking, I came to the tentative conclusion that I had not committed it, but I still kept struggling with my fears. As I said, I felt much better after I had read the first few chapters of Eternal Security, so when I came to the chapter about the unpardonable sin, I wasn’t too worried, especially since I thought I had dealt with that. But then as I got toward the end of the chapter, this thought came into my mind. It was not even a complete thought and definitely not something I thought on purpose, maybe it wasn’t even me who thought it. In any case, the thought included a swear word and the Holy Spirit and I started to be terrified that the unpardonable sin was not actually what I had come to learn it was (a complete and utter rejection of salvation through Christ alone), but maybe it was profanity against the Holy Spirit. I read those verses in the Bible and I understand from the context why the meaning must be what I have been reading about, but I can’t overcome this idea of what I think “blasphemy” is. And I’m so scared that I could have committed that sin unintentionally.
It’s interesting because I found this article where the person asking the question had a very similar experience to what I had:
The article helped somewhat, but I am still struggling with it. I think that’s probably why I woke up in that panic, last night.
I really want to resolve this and come back to a place where I feel secure in my salvation. I mean, I have always had the tendency to worry a bit about it once in a while, but not like this.
I try to take comfort in all the verses in the Bible that tell you that you are saved by faith in Christ alone, but as I read the Bible for comfort, I often also come across verses that I don’t know how to interpret and I’m scared that they mean that I shouldn’t feel so secure in my salvation. It seems like a huge contradiction. The unpardonable sin is one of them and there are more. In fact, I posted another topic on Connect, last night, because of one of them. If you are interested, it’s called “Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness”.
I am also haunted by things that happened way back in my past, even when I was a kid. For example, I was sick with a flu or something once, and I had this hallucination or something where the bed was shaking and I was seeing all these scary faces all around me. It kept happening. Was that a hallucination or something spiritual? I get scared that all these things might mean something terrible about my eternal destiny.
Reading Romans 8:31-38 helps a bit sometimes, but I am struggling a lot. Today, again, going to the Bible for comfort, I ended up reading this:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 18
Then I had this thought: does that mean that my fear itself could jeopardize my salvation? The part of me that is still capable of some rational thought doesn’t really think that, but these are the kinds of things I’m struggling with right now.
I’m sorry this is so long. I really appreciate it that you’ve read all the way to the end. Likely it is a lot to swallow and you really don’t know what to say. Still, thank you for caring.