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I had spent the past few weeks huddled under my blankets after my very first anxiety attack. My kids had been working on a puzzle and wanted my help, and as I sat at our worn wooden table staring at the mixed up faces of Aladdin and Jasmine my heart started to race and my skin got clammy. I stumbled from the table, suddenly terrified. What’s wrong with me? I thought. Why can’t I even do a simple puzzle with my kids? I was alone in our house with my two small children and I didn’t understand what was going on with me.
Shortly after we arrived in country I was talking with another missionary who shared a story about how one of her friends dealt with the challenges of life in a third world country. She said, “my friend told me, ‘I just take one day at a time. I keep my bags packed, and I keep telling myself I’ll leave tomorrow.'” That’s one piece of advice I’ve never been able to apply to my own life–living day by day. I’ve always been a dreamer, and I love to think about the future, but for the first time in my life all my thoughts about the future were frightening and bleak. I imagined all of my days stretching out before me as I languished in this black hole of depression and anxiety, and I was scared.
On one of our first few nights in India we had checked into a guest house in Gurgaon. Surveying the room I looked at the bed and, turning to my husband, said, “Does it look like the covers are moving?” Looking closer we realized that hundreds of ants were residing on the sheets and dozens of dead ones had been caught in the pillowcases. That night I didn’t sleep and I put “Worth it All” by Rita Springer on a continuous loop on my ipod and prayed. I prayed for God to use us in a country with needs so vast that it was completely overwhelming, and now, just a few months later, I found myself overwhelmed by the thought of even getting out of bed….