I am, by nature, a nervous person. I worry about everything, over-prepare, and overthink just about everything. I don’t feel comfortable doing things unless I am almost 100% certain that nothing can go wrong and I know exactly what to expect. I do no like stepping outside of my comfort zone, I do not like experiencing new things on my own, I am not the most adventurous person you will ever meet.
When I read Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs, it reminded me that I was not alone in my journey to be brave. God is always and has always been with me. This book helped me through one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. College.
I have never lived away from my family for more than a week or so. I absolutely do not handle change well. And I was about to change everything about my life. I would not have my friends, my family, or familiar surroundings to comfort me. But Downs reminded me through her book that “[w]hen God tells you to be brave, he will make it work. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be easy. But it will be your story and your best story.” And God was definitely telling me to be brave.
Before college, I was perfectly content to live life in my tiny comfort zone. I was all for taking the easy way out. And the easy way out of college for me was to go to school just minutes away from where I grew up. But senior year, I realized that allowing myself to live within the confines of my comfort zone was doing me no favors, both in the short term and the long term. I felt God telling me to be courageous, to trust Him. So I did.
Although I’m still only a couple hours from my home, the first day of classes at school might as well have been held in Australia. I ended my first official day of college sobbing first to my sister, and then to my mom on the phone. I was lonely, I was scared, and I wanted to come home. Immediately. I didn’t think I was ready for this step, I didn’t think I was strong enough to live on my own in a completely different state where I only had vague acquaintances. I didn’t feel like I was brave enough.
College was the scariest thing I could imagine myself doing, and quite honestly, I didn’t think I was going to survive it. But here I am, almost finished with my freshman year of college, surrounded by my beautiful friends, filled to the brim with happiness. God pushed me to be brave. He pushed me to a place I wasn’t comfortable because it was the best possible thing for me.
Always remember “[i]f you will go where you’ve never gone before, you will see God like you’ve never seen him before.”