What it’s Like When I Panic

“What is wrong with you?” my wife asked.

I was cranky, snippy, and easily annoyed – by her, by my daughters, by the universe. I knew why, but I didn’t want to talk about it.

“I’m fine,” I snapped back.

I wasn’t fine. I was panicking inside.

My wife and I have some big decisions to make in the coming months, and that afternoon, I started imagining everything that could go wrong.

The more I let my imagination run wild, the more my life felt out of control. So I found myself trying to get control over everything in the room – my toddlers, my wife, the counter space, the air conditioning – you name it.

In the midst of all this, it began thundering and lightning outside. This provoked my three-year-old daughter, Daniela, to begin screaming like someone was throwing grenades into our home.

I tried to reason with her, and my wife tried to comfort her, but it wasn’t working. Every time it thundered, Daniela had a meltdown – and at one point, she got so scared that she started aimlessly running through the house bawling.

Finally, we gave her a bath to calm her down, and it worked – for her. I was still anxious about the decisions we had to make in the coming year.

During Daniela’s goodnight prayers, I brought up Daniela’s thunderstorm freakout.

“Father,” I prayed, “please help Daniela trust me when it’s storming. Help her understand that I’m always close by, and that she doesn’t have to be afraid of anything. Please help her believe me next time it thunders and I tell her it’s going to be okay.”

Suddenly, I paused and realized something: that was God’s prayer for me.

My daughter was a picture of my faithlessness, a picture of my inability to trust my Heavenly Dad, who was saying, “Calm down, son. You’re safe with Me. I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I took a deep breath, and sitting there in the dark next to my little girl’s bed, I prayed, “Father, would You please help me believe next time I hear the thunder?”

A few days later, we had another thunderstorm.

This time, Daniela was nervous when it thundered, but overall she did okay – as long as I was close enough that she could run to me when she heard the rumble.

I’m doing my best to follow her lead.

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  1. So good, Josh.


  2. I know exactly what you are writing about!


  3. This was such a good post! Thank you for the excellent reminder.


  4. I feel that way sometimes, in light of ny husband's Cancer. Then I run to my Heavenly Father, clinging to His legs in the same way our young daughter clings to me when she's upset. It's amazing how we can learn from those who have little life experience, book knowledge or expertise – our young kids are teaching us more than we are teaching them, sometimes. You are an excellent writer and inspire me to keep running to God, even when the storms hit so close to home. Thanks!


  5. Well said and just what I needed to hear today. Thank you


  6. Very good post on Faith


  7. Thank you for this post. My wife and I really needed it during our time of thunderstorms! God bless you Josh!


  8. Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I appreciate them.


  9. Wow! Our childen sure do hold up a mirror to us parents, with their behavior, to reflect our attitudes and spirit. This post made me think of my almost 6yr old and my almost 3yr old daughters asking me ot help with things around the house. Sometimes their "help" is not always convenient or gets the job done in the manner that I would like, yet they are so excited to help! I then think of how God really doesn't need our "help" to get big things done, but he allows us to help anyways as it helps us to grow in him to be more like him and especially when it comes to how we interact with others, so much of the extra things we do to deny ourselves whether its genuinely listening to someone, or giving advice to help another person navigate as self-controlled, gentle and honest as possible to resolve conflice and misunderstandings… Thank for sharing your thoughts and reflections with us!


  10. That was wonderful. I needed to be reminded of God always being near.Thank you.


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