I graduated with my Bachelor’s on December 19th, got married on January 3rd, moved 1800 miles from KY to CO on January 6th, and started graduate school on January 26th.
People thought we were crazy.
Questions like, “Oh my word, how did you plan a wedding and pack to move at the same time?” and “Wow, aren’t you just exhausted?” came at us like flying darts. Everyone wanted to know why we had gotten married so quickly – 2 ½ month engagement, people – and why we were moving far from everyone we knew.
Okay, maybe we were a little crazy. But I was growing like mad in my skills to stick to a plan, have a purpose, make my way happen without a hitch, and operate in my perfectionist there’s-no-problem-here manner.
Until I couldn’t anymore.
My first semester in graduate school really was incredible. I was growing and learning and challenging myself in ways I had never done before. I was turning into a real live counselor, not just a girl who wanted to be a counselor. I was reading and researching and making new friends. I was excited.
And at the same time I was struggling with loneliness and battling feelings of unworthiness. I was newly married and not good at setting aside my expectations and plans and schedules. I was missing friends and family, our KY people – all while trying to enter into life with CO people.
And if I’m being honest…
This is still where my heavy heart resides.
No, I am not unhappy. No, I do not wish to be anywhere besides where God has placed me now. Yes, I love marriage and my husband is my best friend and he makes me deep belly-laugh when my soul needs nothing else. Yes, being a wife is awesome, having new friends is wonderful, and learning new things is exciting.
But there’s this place inside of me that is struggling to just BE. I am anxious, I am lonely, and I am questioning my identity for the first time in my life.
And so, taking a break seemed like the direction God was pointing.
I’m taking a break to learn how to be, rather than continue to do.
I’m taking a break to focus on my marriage. You know, time to laugh those deep-belly laughs more often.
I’m taking a break to study God’s true identity so that I can understand my identity.
I’m taking a break to enjoy life – to go for walks & experiment in the kitchen & write long journal entries.
I’m taking a break to understand my anxiety, this deep-seated fear that won’t leave me alone.
I am taking a break to allow my body time to heal. I have Celiac disease, yes, but I also have this thing my husband and I call “stress-induced pain” – which never seems to want to leave me alone & has caused chronic sickness this semester.
God is the giver of all good gifts, and I believe that this break is from Him. I never would have come to this place on own – with my perfectionism & planning & scheduling & selfish purposes.
But when God breaks into your life in mighty ways, there is nothing better to do than respond. Nothing will still – not my anxiety, or my loneliness, or my struggles with worth – without surrender to the Father.
So I said I would talk a bit about my journey with anxiety. I would love to have a list of answers for you. (Well, I do, but they aren’t my words.)
I will start by saying that my anxiety isn’t gone. And I’ve come to the realization that it may never be gone.
I’m the girl who falls asleep thinking about the car accident that never happened. I’m the wife that warns her husband to sip his soup carefully because “there might be a chicken bone in there & you cannot choke because I need you.” I’m also the girl that checks behind the shower curtain and texts my mom if I get “the feeling” and reads over papers six times before submitting.
I guess there isn’t really a process to write about, because I still struggle with anxiety like I did when I was an eight-year-old girl. The difference is where I run. I used to run to people & rules & plans. I used to try to keep my life predictable and perfect.
Now I run to Jesus & the Word. I am not perfect at this, because there any many moments when I want to run to people & plans first. But I am training my mind to run to the Lord.
Want to know what difference this has made? Outwardly, I would say nothing yet. My husband still receives a ridiculous number of texts throughout the day just to “check in.” Inwardly though, this has changed my whole perception of worth & planning, true comfort and ultimate grace.
God loves my anxious and over-planned self, and He provides the sweetest comfort and the sweetest grace. So I guess I would say this….
If you’re struggling with anxiety or issues of self-worth, run first to Jesus. Pray first. Find your fighter verse first. No, I cannot promise that your life will be perfect or your plan will work out. But that’s the whole point of this story.
Sometimes God has you experience things only to draw you closer to Him. Sometimes moving across the country is more about Jesus and less about graduate school. Sometimes marriage is more about learning sacrifice than being in love. Sometimes feeling lonely is more about God’s ability to comfort as a Father and less about feeling like you have no friends.Sometimes God has you experience things ONLY to draw you closer to Him. Click To Tweet
All the time, life is more about Jesus and less about me.
This story is just a lot of words from a girl who wants to send that message loud and clear. All of life is more about Jesus and less about me.
Did you miss day 1 of When God Interrupts for Something Greater? Find it here. It’s the first part in this two-part story.