One of my favorite books as a kid was Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume.
It was all about growing up, being a girl, and talking to God daily about anything and everything. I think it taught me a lot about God just being my friend and being someone I can talk to every day. That’s a really condensed down, quick snapshot of who God is, but it holds a lot of truth.
College has quickly made me cling to that truth. The ever-lasting presence of God is something that gets me through me challenging weeks. And one of the most challenging weeks is: finals. I will especially hold tight to the Lord as finals week approaches. I feel like I’m at the end of the rope. I can’t take another day of class, eating terrible food, living in this old, disgusting dorm room. I’m tired of being considerate of other people. I’m tired of waking up early and staying up late. I’m tired of people bombarding me with stuff while I’m trying to walk to class. I’m tired of walking everywhere. I’m tired of missing the bus, or walking to the parking garage for my car. I’m tired of thinking. I’m ready to take these finals, and get the heck out of here.
All that negativity can be pretty overwhelming. It’s tearing me down, and not helping me accomplish anything. It isn’t making studying for finals any easier. I easily get wrapped up in all the craziness, and when I’m weak and tired, that’s when I’m the most vulnerable. I can quickly lose sight of God and all that he has done for me. I forget why I’m even at college pursuing an education. It’s easy to become single-minded and narrow-focused, and that’s dangerous.
Remember that ever-present God? Yeah, he didn’t go anywhere. It was me. It was me that looked away and acted like I didn’t seen him. It was me that quit listening to his voice and instead filled my mind with my professors reminding me of upcoming due dates. It was me that put school first and Him second. So here I am now remembering my old favorite book and saying “Are you there, God? It’s me, Mary.” And He is so kind to answer and help me change my perspective.
So if you are like me and running full speed ahead into finals week, stop. Take a deep breath. Talk to God. Remember what matters in your life, and why you are in college in the first place. Remember that your grades don’t define you if you don’t allow them to. You are more valuable than your degree. Study hard, because you do owe God your best, but allow him to take care of the rest. “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways he will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. Most of the time I’ve heard people use that verse as an understanding about life. I think that understanding includes your knowledge of the material you are studying, too. You cannot do it by yourself. Don’t lean on yourself, lean on God. He wants to help you. Worrying is not going to get you anywhere. Luke 12: 25 says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Worrying is not going to give you more study time. Instead, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. So now, turn to God, thankful for your opportunity to learn! Make your request of those A’s on your finals known to him, and allow him to give you peace. His plan is still perfect no matter the grade you get. Don’t get so wrapped up and forget to include him in every aspect of your life. Talk to him about every little thing; it will make you feel better.
And maybe you are reading this and are not in college. Look back at that verse; It says, “in every situation.” So whatever stage of life you are in, whatever your “finals week” is, whatever is making you so weary, give it up. You may be tired of your job. You may be going through some really big trials. You may be tired of waiting or tired of the stage you are at in life. You may not like where God has you. Even still, talk to Him. You have 24-hour access to reach out whenever, even if, especially if, you haven’t done so in a while. Worry will not help, and your perspective won’t change by continuing with the negativity. He will take care of you.