My biggest fear, like many other humans, is the fear of the unknown. Unoriginal, I know. But it absolutely terrifies me to walk into new situations, even the simplest ones.
I get a huge rush of anxiety when starting new jobs, going to new schools and traveling to new places. Although I’m a relatively social person (though people falsely mistake my quiet demeanor for shyness on a regular basis), sometimes, meeting new people can incite small bouts of anxiety too.
Both of the two times I’ve come to France, I seriously considered not going. Because of this fear. I considered cancelling this most recent move to France every single day leading up to it, on the plane ride over and even in the first couple of days I was here. I sat in my Airbnb on day two, searching madly for flights home.
Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for the chance to live in France again and to have the opportunity to spend my first year post-grad traveling and learning a language, but I was equally nervous and on edge. This trip may have been my second to France, but in many ways, it felt like my first because I had to do so many new things completely on my own. Opening a bank account, finding an apartment and teaching. I had never done any of these things in the U.S. before and the fact that I was doing them in a foreign language made them all the more terrifying.
But fears can only be conquered when we face them. Mountains only become less daunting when we climb them.
I can now say a month after arriving in France, I’ve conquered the majority of the fears that I came with. I’ve stood in front of a class of high school students. I’ve bumbled through apartment viewings and bank appointments. I’ve faced French bureaucracy (and that annoying American FATCA law) head on. I’ve met new friends and visited new places.
Slowly, God is helping me unpack some of my biggest fears and reassuring me that even in the unknown, He is with me. In roughly seven months, I’ll be facing more unknowns like where I’ll go after TAPIF ends, what I’ll do and how I’ll pay off those pesky student loans. But I’m not worried about those mountains because I know who holds my future in His hands.
So whatever mountains you’re facing, know that God can and will move them if you hand over control and let Him do His thing.