On Stepping Outside Comfort Zones

Recently, my husband has begun stretching his boundaries. What a wonderful experience for him as he is able to try new things, learn what he can and cannot do, and begin finding things he really enjoys that do not bring harm to his fragile brain or our family’s well-structured, neuro-atypical affirming lifestyle.

Unfortunately, I am freaking out.

OK, clearly I am being too extreme. But it is hard for me to watch my husband try new things. I think this is a common refrain on this blog. So many of us have children (or spouses) who are stretching their wings, trying new things…and we need to sit back and watch, letting God control whether they succeed or fail.

There are huge consequences should my husband stretch himself too far. He puts himself at risk for seizures, thus causing more brain damage. He puts our family at risk for tension and instability. I need to grow comfortable with these consequences. Otherwise, I am putting my husband in a box, limiting what he can do and potentially limiting his happiness and satisfaction with his life.

I don’t want to limit my husband. I don’t want to temper his enthusiasm. With God’s help (and the help of a phenomenal therapist), Ben is trying to be wise in how and when he extends himself. He is seeking to grow in his enjoyment of life and his ability to find success in new activities despite his neurological challenges.

In this case, I am the problem. I am letting the difficulties of the past cloud my hope for the future.

I need prayer. I need to remember that nothing that happens is outside of God’s plan for me. Or my husband. Or our family.

I need to accept difficulties and failures with grace. Thankfully, we have yet to experience any disruptions or difficulties due to my husband spreading his wings. But I fear. And I need to remember that God is in control, not me. I need to realize that any challenges that arise are God-ordained and I can handle them.

Recently, I found a quote regarding stress that sums up how I feel:  “Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” How thankful I am that I have spiritual resources to help me deal with my fear, my worry, and my stress. How thankful I am that God promises never to leave us or forsake us.

I need to cling to these reminders in this time of stepping outside of our comfort zone. How thankful I am that God is bigger than my own comfort!!

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