Stop and think about that quote on adventure. If you were to look back at your life, would this sum up how you lived?
When I left my teaching career due to my mental illness, I had no idea what was going to happen next. I did some research over the summer on careers and that fall I was enrolling in a paralegal studies program at the University of Louisville. It seemed ironic that I went from a Masters in K-12 Administration to an Associate’s degree in paralegal studies. I wondered how the adventures of a Master’s degree would compare to an Associates. I soon found out just how much of an adventure I would be on as a result of my career switch.
A Bump in the Road
When I began classes that fall, my body was riddled with anxiety. Every night on the way to class, with a white-knuckle grip, I would drive to campus full of fear. I prayed a lot during that time. I prayed for the anxiety to melt away. Sometimes God chose to take away the anxiety. Sometimes he would hold my hand while my stomach twisted and turned.
I had generalized anxiety disorder, so anything would set off my anxiety: driving at night, talking to other students, answering questions in class, asking questions in class and talking with my lawyer-professors. My husband and I were in a near fatal car accident which was a big trigger for the fear and anxiety I experienced during this time. It was very difficult for me to get behind the wheel and drive a few minutes to the grocery store or a few miles on the interstates.
The adventure was not shaking out to be as fun and exciting as I thought it would be. Over the next two years of my paralegal studies, God showed me just how much of an adventure I could have with Him.
A Simple Prayer Request
I kept praying about the anxiety particularly while driving. God was always there for me to ride out the anxiety and comfort me. Half-way through my studies, I signed up for a Bible study on prayer. One night at the beginning of the prayer study, the leader asked us to put a prayer request on an index card. The leadership team was going to collect the index cards and pray over the requests through the duration of the Bible study. I hesitated at first to write anything and then I wrote “I have bipolar and also a lot of anxiety. I was recently in a near-fatal car accident. Fear and anxiety make it extremely difficult to drive. I am a prisoner in my own car.”
I did not add my name to the index card. I left if on the table and I walked out of the room putting the entire experience out of my mind.
Over the next few weeks, I noticed something amazing — my anxiety while driving my car was gone! No longer did I shrink in fear approaching an entrance or exit ramp. I could drive the speed limit again instead of driving below it. I could even change lanes!
When I saw the decline in my anxiety, I knew what happened: the prayer request was answered. Adding the leadership team from that prayer study lifted up more voices to our God on my behalf. I always believed in the power of prayer and had seen prayers answered all my life. I just never thought the anxiety would lose its grip on me.
Losing my anxiety and fear of driving was a huge thing in my life. I was becoming a shell of myself under the weight and pressure of the anxiety. Now, I still get anxious from time to time. Currently, I am getting anxious going to work. I know that prayer helps and prayer gets me closer to the Creator God. I know I will continue on this adventure with God at my side.
Do you have an adventure story to share? I would love to hear about it. Email me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.