Friday. The day everyone looks forward after a long work week. It’s the end of the stress and the beginning of the weekend. We all have different reasons to be stressed out at work but we must remember that through enough faith, we will have the grace to overcome anything thrown our way. I work with kids and to be more specific, I work with middle school students. The age group from 11 years old to 14 years old. If there is anyone else that works with this age group or is parents to one, then you know it ain’t easy. Attitudes are flying around left and right, there is still immaturity to deal with, and emotions are from one end of the spectrum to the other. It can be extremely overwhelming to anyone. I’ve had to keep an open mind to be able to understand each and every single one of my 130 kids. Every day I am responsible for each of those kids and on average my stress levels are through the roof. I leave work and I feel like I want to take a vacation for the next year or two. It’s rough, and while I don’t have it all down packed, I am learning to get through my days as gracefully as possible. I am trusting that my faith is going to give me grace.
Oh the stressssss! It’s agonizing…..
Stress, our number one killer. It can take on many different forms in our lives. From our work, to our families, friends, kids, our partners, bad circumstances, you name it. There is never a day where stress doesn’t appear in our lives. Even on those days “off”, you are probably still thinking of the million of things you must get back too after your vacation. It is always there buzzing around like a mosquito waiting to strike. Once it does strike, we are left with an unbearable itch and we can never truly ignore it. We scratch at it, try to put some anti-itch cream on it, but the truth is that the better option is to just not touch it. It takes some very strong will power to not scratch a mosquito bite. How can you ignore it right? It makes you feel extremely uncomfortable and in the end we get so overwhelmed with that bite. Right now you’re probably asking yourself, “what is this girl talking about? How does stress and a mosquito bite even correlate to each other?”. Okay, so just like mosquito bites, our stress does have ointment and that ointment is Jesus. When we scratch our bites, we irritate them and potentially make ourselves bleed which leads to a scar in the future. You’ve probably heard your mommas say over and over again “don’t touch it!” and you tell your mom, “mom it’s terrible. I have too. I need it to stop!”. And so, you end up making it worse. Like I said earlier, it takes will power. It takes will power to allow Jesus to handle our stress. Why can’t we simply have the willpower to pray to Him and tell Him that He is in control of the situation? It makes us uncomfortable that we can’t find a solution right away and in having that mindset we make it worse.
”Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light”Matthew 11:28-30
He tells us to go to him with our worries, with what is overwhelming us and that He will take care of them. We are always going to have stress throughout our lives, just as we are always going to get bites from mosquitoes. It’s inevitable. Instead of looking for a way for stress to stop, we need to look for a better way on how we view it and handle it.
A humble attitude? Where can I find one?
I love sharing my personal experience that have guided me to seek out Jesus. I believe it’s important to write/talk about them with others because I’m not a robot just reciting something I learned from a textbook. So here is what happened to me. Yesterday…I snapped…and I am not happy about it in the slightest. I was hungry, tired, annoyed, etc. I lost my patients over something that I should’ve been able to handle more humbly. I was on the phone with my boyfriend and the signal was terrible, instead of understanding and being patient, I got annoyed that he wasn’t listening to me and gave him attitude. I believed he wasn’t listening but it was the signals fault, not his. I felt terrible about it later but in the moment I just felt overwhelmed beyond means. I hadn’t told him that I had had a stressful day and was starving. Poor him right? Not even an hour after that happened, my mom called me and asked about dinner arrangements and I just didn’t want anything to do with it. I wanted to be alone and just handle my attitude by cooling off. So instead of talking to her, I dismissed the conversation by being dry. My poor mom right? Both victims of my stress. Both victims of me thinking I could handle it on my own. I knew what was wrong but I couldn’t find a way to get over this overwhelming feeling I was having. (Here is the correlation of the mosquito bites. It just wasn’t going away) Lately whenever I’ve been faced with a difficult situation in my life, I have turned to devotionals. I mentioned in my previous post that I personally feel like a newbie Christian, so I can’t exactly pull out verses from my head for every predicament I find myself in. Devotionals are amazing in my opinion. There is literally one for any situation in life. Every feeling, every emotion, can be covered if we look for one.
Stress can be a good thing? What…..
Yes, stress can actually be a good thing. Our brains see stress as a threat that can be damaging to us. With this view point we can keep ourselves from danger, motivate ourselves to make better decisions, and help us to make necessary changes for our own good. Stressed because you aren’t getting enough sleep? Minimize the amount of things you do before going to bed. I have a long list of things I read before going to bed and I don’t allow myself to go to bed before reading my devotionals or reading the Bible. And while all those things are important and great, God does want us to rest. He doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed, worried, or anxious. Try viewing stress as a danger indicator telling us to make healthier decision. Upon reading my devotional and asking God to help me, here are three things I gathered:
1). Don’t let stress run your life
Allow it to guide you instead. Make better decisions for your health. Both mental health or physical health. Sleep more, take out toxic people from your life, find a healthier way to go about your circumstance. Don’t let it simply cloud your judgement. God can clarify your stress if you ask him.
2). Release Control
Just like a mosquito bite, leave it alone. Don’t overthink it, don’t get overwhelmed. Just breathe and let God take ahold of your stress. I promise you won’t regret it!
3). Ask for wisdom
It’s important to always see every scenario in a positive manner. How can stress teach you something? Maybe it’s how to handle a situation better. Or maybe it’s to learn to trust God more. At the end of the day, stop trying to handle everything on your own. Just as I tried to do yesterday and epically failed at it. Take hold of the one that wants to take hold of your burdens.
”But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask”
By faith, I will have grace!