Torturous Preparation

Inevitably, I missed class the next day. My mental health took priority over my classes. My mom arranged a meeting with our pastor. She and Dad went along. I do not remember much about that meeting. As time would tell, whatever was said, didn’t help much. The next morning I attempted to help my mother at work. I got out of bed, and into the shower. Suddenly, a wave of fear took over me yet again. The way I describe these episodes is that an electric impulse of fear charges from the brain. It travels down the back of the head, then through the shoulders and out each arm.

I do not remember if I finished my shower or not. All remember is crying and telling my mom that I could not get ready. I crashed on her bed and curled into a ball. I asked her to read me something from the Bible. She read Psalm 23.

By this time, concern for my brother’s salvation was only a portion of my fears. I worried for mine as well. How did I know I was truly saved? What if following Jesus proved to be the wrong path? Was Allah ready to strike me down and send me to Hell? What if this Jihad was the true Apocalypse designed to rid the earth of Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus? Jesus was not coming to get us, instead the Muslims were saved and we were all damned!

My mother called our pastor. He suggested I see a doctor who could help with the medical reasons behind the anxiety. He understood that some people needed medication. He experienced his own tragedy a few years prior and as a result, took medication. My mother and grandmother accompanied me to the doctor. My grandmother also understood – since she swallowed a daily dose of Zoloft ever since my grandfather’s death six years before. And her grandson’s death certainly did not help the situation.

The doctor and nurse listened as I told about my cousin’s death and other tragic accidents that happened within my circle. I explained my fears without trying to hold back tears. The doctor prescribed Zoloft which provided me with hope that I would get better. My mother, grandmother and I went on an outing to the shopping mall, then to lunch. I could not eat.

By the time we arrived home, another wave of panic came over me. I asked my mother if she would call our pastor to come over. When he got there, I could barely sit up. He asked me what was wrong.

“I’m about to pass out.” I said.

“What are you thinking about?” He asked.

“Hell,” I responded breathlessly.

“Are you still afraid you might go there?”

“Well, I can’t stand the thought of ANYONE going there,” I said in a helpless voice.

“You know what I think? I think God is preparing you for the ministry.”

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