For as long as I can remember I’ve always struggled with serious separation anxiety.
I was never really sure why; no one significant in my life had ever died or abandoned me. So my family and I deemed it was irrational from a young age but I knew that this anxiety would follow me for the rest of my life.
I remember calling my parents several times from sleepovers asking them to pick me up (at like midnight, mind you hahah) because I’d panic that if I was not home they’d somehow be killed. Crazy I know, and definitely not healthy thinking for a 7 year old. Every time this would become an issue my dad would sit me down and remind me of Matthew 6:34,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
This, and several other verses he’d pull up about anxiety would calm me down in the moment but for some reason the words remained surface level.
This anxiety followed me like my shadow until a few months ago when I decided to step completely out of my comfort zone and move about 1000 miles away from home for college.
I knew my anxiety would try to hold me back and believe me, it put up a pretty good fight. The day I dropped my parents off at the airport was definitely one of the hardest days of my life. I was nauseous for an entire week and cried the entire time. I remember laying in bed the first night and thinking,
Wow I had all of these plans, I knew my major and I was so sure of who I wanted to be and what I was going to do after all of this and now I have absolutely no idea.
And I began to panic.
What if I made the wrong decision?
What if I’m just wasting my parents’ money?
What if I’m wasting my time?
What if I let everyone down by giving up?
What if everyone’s right and I end up going home mid-semester?
All of these thoughts flooded my mind but before they became too much I stopped myself and felt convicted.
I was so sure of the plans I had for my life, but what about God’s plans?
Sure, I don’t know what God has planned for me but I know for a fact that it’s going to be a thousand times better than what I had planned for me.
So I prayed,
God I have no idea what the heck I’m doing here or what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, but I’m stepping out in faith knowing that Your plans are far greater than mine and Your will is perfect, all I am is Yours, I’m done trying to be in control.
It’s no coincidence that my stepping out of my comfort zone of being at home with my family led to me stepping out of my comfort zone in my relationship with Jesus. After a week, my separation anxiety was gone completely.
I don’t know where you are in your life, or what battles you’re fighting mentally, but there are two things I want you to know:
1. You are loved and you are not alone.
There are so many people willing to help you through your struggle, and even more so there is a loving God who wants to heal you and comfort you.
2. Comfort zones were meant to be broken.
I heard it said once that your comfort zone is your coffin and that is one of the truest statements I’ve ever heard. You cannot truly grow, thrive, or live as long as you stick to the same old same old. God has called us to step out in faith, in knowing that He’s got our back. We will do extraordinary things. Once you let go of what’s holding you back you will be amazed at the things He will do in your life.
It may be awkward it may be painful and it might seem like the end of the world to you, but trust me, your life starts at the end of your comfort zone.