Do not fear.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Breathe in Jesus … inhale and exhale … “Je-sus,” her spiritual adviser, David, was leading Luz. “God will deliver you from stress and anxiety.”

“Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Roman 10:13

Luz had been in a downward spiral for over 30 years, negative thoughts breeding negative thoughts. Her fears had branched off into worries, stress and anxiety. She was in desperate need, neurotic, with obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts.

Healing began for her that day, with this simple, meditative technique. She relaxed and once again restored rhythmic breathing. Breathe in Je-sus.

She had prayed so long for healing. She needed delivery from distress and relief from the “near panic” bouts she experienced that were about to drive her crazy. Where in the past she had turned to medication, she now began to pray the Lord’s words so often that negative thoughts no longer had a place in her head.

Years later, she would say it was her “Peter” moment. Like the apostle when he stepped out of the boat, and taking his eyes off Jesus when he saw the storm, started to sink. Scripture tells us he was saved when he cried, “Jesus, save me!” Luz now recognized Jesus as her rescuer, saving her from perdition in her sea of abysmal confusion.

Luz had been so weighed down by angst, she hadn’t had time for God. Up until this moment, she was unaware of how much God wanted to be her intimate Lord, “Remain in me as I also remain in you.” John 15:4

Secular counselors had not helped, nor did self-help books. David’s advice was the catalyst, the beginning of a long journey of starting to know God – loving and trusting him. She learned that God is alive and present, loving her every moment if she would be still long enough to listen to him. “Behold, I am with you always…” Matthew 28:20

She met David at church. She was struck by how he called on the Holy Spirit for each guidance. She saw the Holy Spirit clear the debris that had caused her so much mental torment. Her journey toward God was slow. Month after month, year after year, Luz met with her spiritual adviser until God completely changed her. She gladly released misplaced “control” of things that were actually beyond her control. She put this control instead where it rightfully belonged, in God’s hands. “God is coming to your rescue ...” Isaiah 35:4

She confronted the evil of her fears, identified and released them. Fear had held her in chains for far too long.

It was a difficult journey, her cross to carry. But she saw that she had been thinking that she was God. These were “shackles of sin,” and she identified with Saul when scales “began to fall” from his eyes. “Amazing Grace” became her song; she had been so lost, she now was found; been so blind, she now could see.

Sleepless nights are no longer the norm. Luz places her sleep in God’s hands, asks him to wrap his loving arms around her, to hug big, like the Father with the prodigal son. She melts into bed, deeper and deeper into restful sleep. She also asks Mother Mary to wrap her in her loving mantle, the same mantle that she wrapped baby Jesus in. Mary rocks her, just like she rocked baby Jesus to sleep.

Occasional stress is relieved; she now knows to breathe in “Je-sus.” She has learned to rest in his love.

And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong … given him this perfect health…” Acts 3:16

 

Terice Richards is a Kingwood resident, a hospital chaplain and pastoral care minister. She is a parishioner at St. Martha Catholic Church. Email comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.