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“Breathe in Jesus … inhale and exhale … Je-sus,” her spiritual advisor, David, was leading Luz. “God will deliver you from stress and anxiety.” “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 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.
She had prayed so long for healing. She needed delivery from distress, 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, took his eyes off Jesus and started to sink. He was saved when he cried, “Jesus, save me!” She knew Jesus had rescued her, saved her from perdition in her sea of abysmal confusion.
Luz had been so weighted 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, neither had self-help books. David’s advice was the catalyst, the beginning of a long journey of knowing God, loving and trusting him. She learned that God is alive and present, loving her every moment if she would be still and listen. “Behold, I am with you always…” (Matthew 28:20).
She had met David at church and the Holy Spirit was his guide, especially during counseling sessions. He was thus able to help Luz 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 advisor until God completely changed her way of thinking. She gladly released misplaced “control” of things that were actually beyond her control and put it 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. They had held her in chains for far too long.
It was a difficult journey, her cross to carry. But she saw that her “thinking that she was God” were “shackles of sin.” She felt like Saul when scales “began to fall” from his eyes. “Amazing Grace” was her song; where she had been so lost, she now was found, where she had been blind, she now could see.
Sleepless nights are no longer the norm. She 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 her mattress, deeper and deeper into restful sleep. She also asks Mother Mary to wrap her in a mantle, the mantle that she wrapped Baby Jesus in, and asks her to rock her to sleep as Mary rocked Baby Jesus.
Occasional stress is relieved and dissipates as she breathes “Je-sus.” She can now finally, entirely, 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).



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Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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.