It’s hard to believe that Ryan and I are leaving for Rwanda in exactly two weeks! Life has been so busy lately that we have barely had time to think about this trip. Planning and preparing for Spring FX has taken up so much of my time and mental capacity over the past few weeks, and in that sense, it is a relief to finally have it behind me. Now I can actually refocus a little bit and start getting ready to travel!
Visas, flights, vaccinations, up-to-date travel documents, and packing! There is so much to think about! And not to mention the fact that we will have to somehow manage to get ahead at work so that we can disappear for three weeks!
And then… there’s the anxiety. Yeah, that. It’s true that I have made some amazing progress over the past few months in regards to learning how to deal with my anxiety through the ins and outs of my daily life. But let’s face it. There is nothing about travelling to Rwanda that resembles my daily life. The flights, the jetlag, the health risks, the cultural differences… all of these are “out of the ordinary” factors that will affect my anxiety levels, and I need to be prepared for that.
Today I spent a large portion of my day mulling over what type of antimalarial medication I should choose. I have travelled to nine different African nations in my lifetime, spread out across three separate trips totalling a span of around three months. In that time, I have managed to avoid ever contracting malaria, and I would like to keep it that way (though Ryan has not been quite as lucky)!
Unfortunately, for those of us who have battled mental illness, there are some implications to consider when it comes to choosing the right antimalarial drugs. While I have never really given this much consideration in the past, it has been one of the factors (among others) at the forefront of my mind lately as I make this decision. I do not want to take anything that could slow down my progress or produce symptoms like depression, anxiety, or paranoia… because seriously… I am quite capable of producing those symptoms on my own and I don’t need any extra help!
Anyway, we are working with a really wonderful travel health nurse and I think we pretty much have all of this sorted out, so the point of this rant is not to concern anyone (I’m talking to you, mom). Instead, all I’m trying to do here is point out the factors that have been causing some stress for me lately, so that I can now take a moment to remind myself that it’s all good.
And it is. It is all good. It’s going to be all good. I needn’t let irrational fear consume me when it comes to any aspect of the upcoming trip (including my snake phobia!!!). Because at the end of the day, I believe that my life—and I mean every part of it—is in God’s hands.
Proverbs 19:21 says, “A person may have many plans in their heart. But the Lord’s purpose wins out in the end.” So certainly, I should be cautious and prudent when planning and preparing for this trip, or any endeavor that I embark on in life. But at the end of the day, I need to remember that it is God’s plans, over mine, that will prevail in the end.
Knowing this gives me such a soft and gentle sense of peace in my heart. It puts my mind at ease and gives me the strength I need to believe, once again, that I can do this. I can conquer this trip! And whatever happens, I can rest assured knowing that my loving God has my back.
Do you experience trip anxiety? What helps you get through it?