With a new school year upon us comes a lot of emotions. There's excitement to see our friends, there's the pleasure of looking forward to using our new notebooks and pens (well maybe only for us stationary nerds), and there's a sense of fresh hope and newness that a new year always brings. However, there also can be a lot of anxiety and feelings of overwhelming stress that comes with the unknown and new beginnings.
I remember a year ago when I was beginning my college journey, and I was excited but I was also terrified. I had no idea what to expect and no clue what the next year of my life was going to look like. After a year, I can say I'm not quite as terrified and know a little bit more what to expect, but I still don't really know what this year is going to look like, and honestly I've been feeling really anxious.
There's a lot to get done in the last few days, and a lot of details to work out, and there's all these new classes and I'm living in a new place. And just like with any new year, all my fears seem to be coming right back and slapping me in the face. However, today I read this verse from Psalm 52: 8-9:
"But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God's unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people."
I hadn't ever read this verse before, and it might seem kind of random but it reminded me of what to do in the stress, anxiety, and fear.
Always Trust. "I will always trust in God's unfailing love." It doesn't say trust when I know what's going to happen, or I feel confident, or when life is going away. It says to always trust. Trust is hard, and it can be especially hard in this world that constantly lets us down. But how fantastic that we can trust in something that is unfailing?? Thousands of years ago when this verse was written, God's love was unfailing. And guess what-- it still is. If there was ever something to always trust in, it's the one thing that will never fail us-- God's love.
Praise Forever. "I will praise you forever." Often times in stress and anxiety it becomes so easy to focus on yourself. I know that when I have a lot going on all I can think about is myself, and all that I have going on. However, this verse reminds us to praise God. He is so good and so worthy of our adoration. Not only because he loves us unfailingly even when we constantly fail, but because of all the things he does for us. He breathes live into us daily, he provides people to encourage us, he provides obstacles and struggles to grow us, and he has promised us a life of eternal satisfaction with him. He is worthy of our praise. Forever.
Remember. "I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done." Often times the stress or anxiety of a new year comes from the unknown and uncertainty of the future. However, in those moments it is important to think about what we do know and remember the past. For me, I look back at all the new years I've faced before, and all the nerves and fears that I've had and think of how every. single. time. he has delivered and not once has he let me down. It is important to live in remembrance. The future is scary, and it can be very uncertain. But we can rest in an unfailing, certain God who has not once let us down, and is not about to start now.
A new year is full of emotions, and it's important to allow yourself to feel the emotions. Grieve the changes you need to. Remember the good times that happened. But also look forward to what's ahead. Maybe this will be a year of challenge, maybe it will be a year of transition, or maybe it will be the best year so far. Whatever happens, never forget our God who never changes and will be with us through all the highs and lows, as he has always done.