Good old stress. Every college student knows it all too well, especially with finals right around the corner (along with about 10 papers/projects we haven't done yet). I worry about basically everything. I worry myself sick at times. I worry if I'll get stuff done in time. I worry if I'm even doing it right, even though I've already written about a thousand papers. I worry about if I'll get into graduate school. I worry about what graduate schools to apply to. I worry about when I'll meet my future husband. You get the picture. You may have even felt some anxiety just by reading it.
In recent weeks, my anxiety has spiked at different points. It always goes away, but there have been at least three times in the past couple of weeks where I have actually cried because of the stress. Most of the time it's because I tend to complicate things that are fairly simple. I'm kind of an obnoxious person so everything I do is kind of obnoxious. I over-analyze and over-think just about everything. I would be lying if I said that I didn't want this semester to end. I am actually 100 percent desiring for this semester to end. I'm ready to forget all the emotionally trying times this semester has brought me through.
Anyway, in all of my human disaster, I started realizing something. It all started one Sunday when I woke up at 3:30 in the morning. I have insomnia as well, so there will be weeks at a time where I might get an hour or two of sleep per night. That particular morning, I made a promise that if I didn't fall back asleep, I would go on the roof of one of the dorm buildings and watch the sunrise, which is one of my favorite parts of creation. Needless to say, I did not fall back asleep. So, as quietly as I could, I grabbed my snuggie and my phone and made my way to the roof around 5:45. I put on some worship music and just sat there under the stars. Within the next hour, the sun slowly started to rise. I started to see birds flying around and I was reminded of Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" I laughed to myself as I found myself wishing I was a bird so I didn't have to worry. It was then that I felt God speak to my heart. He told me that I don't have to be a bird not to worry. I can be me and not worry. He also brought back to my mind Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
You see, when you realize that God is your Father and that you are His child, you begin to actually know that you will be cared for. Do you ever doubt that your parents will show up or not house you? Probably not. They are your parents. Taking care of you is, more or less, their job. If that's the case, then why do I doubt that God, my Heavenly Father, will not be faithful to His promises that He has made towards me. If I'm truly His child, why do I have to worry? I don't. I choose to worry. And that, my friends, came as a shock to me. I'm choosing to worry? Why would I choose something that is so unhealthy? I choose to worry when I forget who my Father is. I choose to worry when I forget who I am in Christ. I choose to worry when I forget that all of His promises are true and He is faithful to complete them.
When God brought that to my attention, it was the most freeing thing to ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to cause His peace to guard my heart and mind. Do I still struggle to not worry about everything? Heck yes. But surrender is a daily thing. I will not get it perfect the first time. I will learn day-by-day to let it all go and let Christ take full control. After all, He purchased an abundant life for me, not a worry-filled life. So the next time you find yourself filled with worry, I encourage you to remind yourself of who God is and who you are in Him. I encourage you, as the semester comes to a close and the summer begins, to choose to believe what God has promised He will complete. Until then, occupy yourself with the Kingdom work that's right in front of you.