Stressing about stress

I’m in my senior year of college as a math major.  We’re only a month into this semester and it’s brutal.  One class in particular.  My teacher flies through as much as humanly possible in 2 hours then assigns us proofs that took mathmeticians YEARS to solve.  “But it should be fairly easy,” he says.  Oh, yeah.  Pfff.  No problem.  I come up with that stuff in my sleep! … ? …. Oh gosh.  I’m gonna fail.

I’m gonna fail.  I’m gonna fail.  I’m gonna fail.  That’s all I can ever think when I sit down in that class, sit down to do my homework, or even THINK about doing anything for that class.

I’m gonna disappoint my mom,  I’ll disappoint Ethan, I’ll disappoint my dad, what a waste of money, blah blah blah.

The worst part is, I feel like I am wasting my time being in school in the first place.  God has put a fire in my heart to help people.  Especially the homeless, children, and young moms.  If I had it my way, my full time job would be as a volunteer.  But that’s just not how the world works.

But that’s the problem: that’s not how the WORLD works.  That’s not what my mom and dad want for me.  That’s not what society wants for me.  That’s not something any of my non-believing or fan-of-Jesus friends or family would ever understand.  “It’s not practical!” “Grow up.” “Yeah, right. Like that would ever work.” “You can’t live off of nothing.” “You’d be constantly struggling with money.” “Get real.” “Be realistic.” “Stop kidding yourself.” “Come on, you don’t really want to do that forever.” … Those words would normally be very hurtful and very discouraging, but God is starting to strengthen my heart.  He’s starting to make his path for me known.  He’s giving me a new spine, so to speak, that’s re-inforced by what the Spirit is leading me to do.

That message from my previous post about being a follower of Jesus, not just a fan, had a profound impact on me.  I struggle the most with disappointing my mom.  When I told her I was considering ministry, she told me it wasn’t a practical form of income.  It wasn’t stable enough.  It wasn’t a way to provide for my daughter.  While I do agree with those things, if God is calling me to do it, I should listen.  That’s the difference between being a fan and being a follower.  I didn’t though.  I was too doubtful and too afraid of what she would think and how she would react.  I don’t know what I missed out on, but I hope that chance comes again at some point.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

I never understood that quote from the Bible until that message explained it – ‘If you aren’t willing to turn your back on your parents, your spouse, your children, your life as you know it, even putting your life in danger at times… you can’t be My disciple.’  If I’m not willing to burn bridges I might miss God’s purpose for me.  I might miss the very reason He’s created me… That’s why if ministry is put on my path, I WILL NOT miss it again.  I can’t.

Another amazing thing that happened – God spoke to me today through His word.  Here’s how it happened.

My best friend is not a leader with a single parents group.  She called me and asked me if I’d like to help her out and take over the spiritual posts (she knows I’ve got a heart for ministry).  I was so psyched, and accepted immediately.

Today is my first day to post!  So I googled “Bible quotes about being a mom.”  Psalm 127:3 came up, which is this:

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.

But I wanted to read what was before and after that to see if there’s more, so then I read Psalm 127: 3-5:

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
    He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

This really made me happy, because I knew it would make Ethan and all the other single dads that would read my post happy.  Then I just happened to read the beginning of the psalm, and I wept.  Psalm 127: 1-2 says this:

Unless the Lord builds a house,
    the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
    guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard
    from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
    for God gives rest to his loved ones.

It is, to a T, exactly the feelings that have been overwhelming me lately.  I am overwhelmed with the sense that I am wasting my time worrying about school, and maybe even being IN school.  Does that mean I’ll drop out, no.  However, it does mean that I will not allow school to be a priority over helping others.  People – God’s children – are so so so so much more important than grades.  Than a degree, really.  Today, I put my academic success in God’s hands, I trust Him to provide the necessities for me and my family, and I promise to obey this fire He’s put in my heart to serve others, no matter what the cost.

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3 thoughts on “Stressing about stress

  1. mrsolstice01 says:

    Bravo! I am sincerely impressed. Math has NEVER been my strong point in life. In fact, it’s my weak link, so I am very impressed by your resolve.

    I pray for your continued guidance. 🙂

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