The biggest reason that I shouldn’t be surprised by my very lack of ‘stick-to-it-ness’ is because of everything that I have been working through in this past little while (read: especially in the last year or so). Ever since the fall of 2007 I have on and off suffered from panic attacks. I do not know what exactly caused these attacks but they have been a part of my life since shortly after I graduated from high school. When I was attending Providence from September 2008-April 2010 the panic attacks subsided and were not very severe. When they did happen I could always figure out what I thought was the ‘why’ and I somehow managed to work through it pretty effortlessly. In the fall of 2010 I transferred schools so I could finish my degree and become a social worker. This was going well until the panic attacks ‘came back’ (they had never completely stopped – just lessened). This past year at school (fall of 2011) the panic attacks got really bad and that is when I decided that maybe transferring back to Prov would help since I had very few – and always manageable – attacks while I was there. Once at Prov I realized that the panic attacks weren’t going away but I tried to push through and finish the semester so I could get my BA.
This, however, did not happen and at the beginning of March I dropped out of school and decided that I definitely needed some time off to make sure I stayed healthy. This was a really hard decision for me and something that was even harder to talk to my parents about because I hadn’t told them anything about the panic attacks that had been affecting me for nearly 5 years.
My parents were not happy (to say the least) that I hadn’t come to them about this sooner but thankfully they supported my decisions about school and moved me home at the end of the month (after my job in Winnipeg ended due to the store closing). I then spent the next month at home helping my mom out when needed and trying to get back to a place where I did not suffer from these panic attacks.
Within that month I came to realize that perhaps a huge reason why the panic attacks were so few and far between when I was at Prov the first time is because of the great support team I surrounded myself with. I lived in dorm and was in constant fellowship with my friends at Prov and we spent time not only having fun together but also spurring each other on in our faith. While I was at Booth (and when I was at Prov this past winter) I didn’t have that as much because I didn’t live in dorm. I also wasn’t able to connect with my group of friends back home because most weekends were spent on my own in Winnipeg doing homework. I had cut myself off from fellowship and any support team that I had access to before this.
I have since been able to reconnect with my support system back home and am so glad because the panic attacks have (for the most part) subsided and I am able to live my life. I’m still not 100% sure about when I am going to finish school (and yes – it is a question of when not if) but I do know that as long as I take care of myself that I will be able to achieve my goal of becoming a social worker. I still do not know what the cause of these panic attacks are, and I don’t know if I will ever truly know, but what I do know is that they do not have to run my life.
In the past 3 months I have spent a lot of time in the Word and time in prayer and fellowship with my Saviour and I think that has really helped me to get past the panic attacks and gain a focus for my life again. I still feel that God is leading me to the social work field but I no longer feel this need to get there as quickly as possible no matter what the consequences are. Also, along with the call to the social work field I feel as though God is calling me into mission work. And, yes, I realize that my entire life is mission work as I live my life among people who do not know Jesus as their Saviour, but I feel like the work that He has set out for me is a little bit more directed than just living my life according to my faith in Him and the Word that He gave. Presently, I am able to live this call to the mission field out as the secretary at camp and I know that once camp is over God will lead me to where I am supposed to be next within His mission.
So, for anyone who reads this blog, if you think of me while you are praying to God, pray for me and for direction for once summer is over and also that the panic attacks will stop. Like I said before they have mostly subsided but I still have one now and again and it scares me to pieces.