Bonnie Gray Christian Blog and Commentary

Why I had My First Panic Attach Two Days Ago

  • Bonnie Gray

    Bonnie Gray author photoBonnie Gray is a Soul Care Mentor and author of Sweet Like Jasmine and Whispers of Rest. As speaker and podcast host of Breathe: The Stress Less Podcast, Bonnie empowers thousands of lives to flourish…

  • Updated Feb 18, 2015

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I'm on the airplane now as you read. And I’m typing a letter to you.

I got up at 5am in this morning, called Uber taxi service to come pick me up, found out the car would arrive in 8 minutes and scrambled out of bed as quietly as I could, to not wake Eric up. I had just made it out into the hallway when the driver called me and my ringer woke up nine-year old Josh.

“Mom, I love you…” Josh mumbled groggily, stepping up close to me one eye closed, the other cracked open under the weight of sleep. “I’ll be praying for you…. to have a good trip…”

“I love you to, Sweetie. I’ll be thinking of you too.” I hugged him back to bed and got dressed in the dark and soon found myself on my way to San Francisco Airport.

The sun hasn’t woken up yet.

It looks like nighttime, but I remind myself it’s just early morning.

Isn’t that just like our journey through life?

There are times when it’s pitch dark, and we just feel like it’s night forever.

Nothing we can see tells us it’s anything but darkness. But, God has a plan – even when we are unaware. Because that darkness is just night before the morning.

I’m going to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International – with the audacious hope that you and I are going to be that Light to children unheard and unseen – stuck in the darkness of poverty.

Wait, before you stop reading and tuning out – because I know you’ve heard about about it agazillion times – the invitation to sponsor a child.  And maybe you already have a sponsored child.  

Wait.  Let me tell you why I first said NO to going on this trip. And why you are part of the reason I want to go now -- why? -- when my journey of healing is still fresh (my last panic attack was last March)?

My circle has been very small & safe during this time of healing my heart. And I'm still on the journey. 

My First Panic Attack Two Days Ago

And guess what I actually experienced my first panic attacks two days ago (first time since last March), as I was preparing for the trip with my boys Josh and Caleb.  After josh & caleb finished handcrafting their hearts for Wissen, our newly sponsored Compassion child, my chest started tightening, my throat started swelling up, my heart began to pound and I started feeling nauseated with difficulty breathing!

don't let this photo mislead you... I am 100% not crafty. i asked my art teacher friend
Merrianne to come help us with the idea & bring her supplies!

I saw my therapist Dr.P the next morning & found the reason is that I was SO happy to see my boys making something soul beautiful for Wissen & I was SO happy imagining him hanging it in his home (it's gonna be a heart-love-mobile I'll craft w/ Wissen when I see him!) -- that i suddenly had a flashback from my childhood -- when my heart was crushed because someone who should have loved me said something I loved doing was selfish & i was dumb to be so happy over nothing.

I'm sharing this moment because I think we are often afraid to try something new -- of stepping out to be vulnerable with our love because we are afraid of looking foolish or being disappointed. if you've felt prompted to come alongside a child to be God's voice of love by sponsoring a child but feel fear/anxiety over what that means, know that with Jesus will make something beautiful thru us and the Compassion children we will sponsor this week. 

He loves us both! I'm resting my heart & sadness in Jesus' embrace, so I can hold onto His hand & walk into the Dominican Republic - to embrace those he loves! Let's tell the children there -- Jesús te ama!

I’m going to write about the children struggling in the darkness of poverty – without a voice and without anyone to hear them.

Because I believe – deepy in my heart -- that you and I are going to change that.

Because there just can’t be any other reason I would be invite to go – right now – at this time in my journey of healing from childhood trauma.

Why I First Said NO

Sweet kindreds, when I was invited by Compassion a few months ago to go on the #CompassionBloggers Trip, I already had plans for our #soulrestbookclub.

I called Bri McKoy (who's heading the trip) back to hear about the trip -- for me to go **in the future**.

I was going to say no.

But as we talked, it occurred to me, maybe this IS the perfect time for me to go -- because God must want to invite EACH OF YOU to consider sponsoring a child with me -- THAT'S why God invited me right now! Why not go 4 years ago, or next year, when I'm not so fresh on the journey?

I believe it is because YOU are all here with me going through the journey of #spiritualwhitespace.

As we love the little girl in each of us, God wants us to love other little boys and girls by sponsoring them with Compassion.

{eric & I have been sponsoring Compassion kids but didn't feel prompted to sponsor another child until this trip. a *special needs child* this time.}

Be God's Love Letter to a little boy or girl. #everystorymatters 

Sponsor a new child with Compassion using my link & you get an exclusive Lisa Leonard Designs made just for this trip!!

** Who can you invite into this unscripted journey? **

Please share this post with a friend!  Let's respond to this amazing #unscriptedcompassion journey together! 

Typos & Grace, Please :)

I'll be live blogging everyday, along with Holley Gerth, Lisa Leonard & Ruth Living Well Spending Less .  I've never live blogged before, so please forgive my typos/grammar mistakes as I free write.  Thanks for your grace!

[Today's Daily Croissant I'm Meditating On]

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:1,7

[My prayer requests today]

please pray for me as your heart feels prompted. i'd really appreciate it!

* pray for Eric. He's going to take care of Josh & Caleb for 9 days straight. Even when Eric's been on biz trips, the longest has been 5 days - and it's even tough for me to be mom those stretches.  I'm not worried about the boys (Eric's a great Dad) - I'm more worried for Eric. lol. Pray God sustains Eric with peace & everyone stays healthy. The kids are off next week for Winter Break, so I booked them in soccer camp & some playdates. That should help.. still.

* pray for the children we will be meeting. and the Compassion workers. and the families we'll be meeting. that i will encourage them by listening to their stories & allow God's healing light to touch them. simply by being present.

* pray for my safety.

* pray for my courage & for my heart to be present, even with any anxiety that will arise. may i be willing to receive his healing & write boldly however Jesus wants.

* pray for all the other bloggers going. that our hearts will all be open to receive this experience.

* pray for Holy Spirit to touch everyone He's calling to be a voice & Light to the children in their dark days of poverty.

yay! $.79 hotwheels @target PTL! shopping for goodies for @compassion child Wissen & his 5 siblings when i meet them in the Dominican Republic.. shopping for toothbrushes, toothpaste, pot holders, towels & other goodies to bring {coffee for the mom & dad!} i hope they feel loved by Jesus! 


{Today's post is part of Bonnie Gray's Online Spiritual Whitespace {Face}Book Club. It's free!  You can join anytime by simply liking Bonnie's Facebook Page.  Order a copy of her book and grab a journal!  Find out more & read about it here}



By Bonnie Gray. Bonnie is the soulful author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest, which has garnered starred review praise from Publisher’s Weekly, named as the Top 6 notable new religion authors.  Bonnie blogs at Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith in the daily grindShe writes for DaySpring (in)courage, Revelant Magazine, spotlighted by Christianity Today and Catalyst Leadership.  After graduating from UCLA, Bonnie served as a missionary, ministry entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. She lives in California with her husband, Eric, and their two sons.

For inspiration to create space in your life to breathe, order a copy of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest.  This memoir-driven guidebook for rest will nurture your heart to draw closer to God. 

"Whitespace is soul grace. Bonnie Gray ushers weary women into the real possibility." - Ann Voskamp, NY Times bestsellng author of One Thousand Gifts

"If you want to hear Jesus speak more tenderly to your soul than ever befrore, this is the book for you." - Lysa TerKeurst, NY Times bestselling author of Unglued

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