One topic that's been on my mind this week is worry. I've struggled with anxiety ~social anxiety mostly~ since I was about 10 years old. I have good days and bad days, sometimes even weeks go by without it interfering with my life, but of course it's always there underneath. My move to New York has forced me to do a lot of things outside of my comfort zone. Simple things like introducing myself to a stranger, getting coffee with someone I don't know very well, grabbing drinks with an acquaintance, etc, takes a bigger tole on me than it should. There were times (and still are) in my life in which I would create an excuse for not being able to do something or cancel last minute because my fear was too overwhelming. It's quite easy to isolate yourself in a big city and that is something I have tried my hardest to avoid. While in Paris this summer, my pal Ellen and I got "oui" tattoos. Besides it being the cutest, it's a simple reminder to say yes to things we may not ordinarily say yes to. For Ellen, it was saying yes to come to Paris with me. For myself, it's saying yes to everyday opportunities that I may otherwise turn down - such as agreeing to get coffee with someone, meeting up with an aquantance just to make a new friend, going to bible study even when your safety net can't make it (lookin' at you, Meredith). It may appear trivial, but these are small victories. Sadly, I'm no Wonder Woman, and I have bad days. I'll still make an excuse for getting out of a social event every now and then, and I'm disappointed in myself for a time, but I know I'm going to keep trying.
I have a ~theory~ and it's that Jesus knows all of this about me, and as such, places people in my life that open the door to meeting others. My group of 7 closest friends in St. Augustine, in one way or another, can all be traced back to a friendship with just one person. Here in New York, I already knew Meredith, my old housemate and bestie, and it's through her connections that I've become a part of the women's bible study at church and am getting to know those awesome ladies.
My conclusion about worry is that it's pointless. It has a function in that it keeps us alive for self preservation and what not, but constant worry is ultimately unnecessary. I spend all my time planning, preparing, and obsessing about an outcome, but in the end, the Lord always, always provides. My transition to New York life has been incredibly easy and I know it's all because of Jesus. Of course life won't be so easy forever, but I know who I'm going to rely on when the hard times come.
"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." - Proverbs 16:9