September 16, 2012


Jackie: You seem stressed.
Me: Do I? I feel terrible frazzled. I can't stop thinking.

This is not the only conversation like this I've had recently. This semester, so far, has been significantly different than my previous four, and for quite a few reasons ranging from Jackson being gone to the type of classes I'm taking to my priorities to my goals. Lots has changed.

I am enjoying college a lot this year, and I cannot even pinpoint a specific reason why. I've had a lot of chances to interact with my closest friends which is always recharging. I am an introvert through and through, but being with my very dearest friends is always a welcome pastime.

This biggest difference this year is the form that my stress takes. I am not stressed in the way of freshman year, being unable to wake up with being scared, or unable to keep my eyes open in class because of lack of sleep. It's not the same as last year, which brought a lot of academic stress as well as dissonance between my commitments, desires, and priorities. No, this year is different. I have managed to successfully start giving my worries to God which has been a huge help. It helps me have a better perspective on life: I am alive and I have a roof over my head.  Nothing else actually matters at all if you think about it. Graduating would be nice, having money to buy a new dress would be nice, taking on a leadership position in my various groups would be nice, finishing a problem set on time would be nice... But none of these things have a whole lot of life importance. I've mentioned "big time stuff" before, and being able to hand my worries over to God and focus on Him more has helped me with that. The problem, then, is my asking, "Well, then why am I here?"  I struggle a lot with this. I struggle with striving to be a good person while also balancing school work and my job, without which, I couldn't be here in the first place.

I figured out the best way to describe what I am wrestling with right now: paralysis. Even the smallest decisions - "Do I need an umbrella?" - result in an exorbitant amount of thought and consideration. Expand that to large decisions like "Should I run for president of KD?" or "How should I approach studying for this prelim?" and I sometimes can sit there and ponder without a foreseeable stopping point. Unfortunately, my coping mechanism is that I sometimes just don't acknowledge something that needs to be addressed, hoping that by not thinking about it, it will simply solve itself or go away. This isn't true. I may have learned to curb my fretting (to an extent), but now I spend way to much thinking and wondering. I have moved from worrying about the outcome of a decision or something I can't control, and now I constantly preseverate over decisions still unmade.  I am constantly struggling with: "Is this the decision I am supposed to make? Will this help me become a better person? Will this help others?" I am sure those are valid things to worry about... sometimes. The problem is that it has percolated throughout my life and leaves me paralyzed even in the simplest of situations.

I have a feeling that I would not be quite as bad with this if I had a better idea of what my goals are. I am working on that. God and I are trying to figure it out. I'm just so bad at being patient, and waiting for a decision to be made clear. We talked about patience and waiting this week at Navs and it struck a chord. For now, I need to calm my heart and await an anticipated answer. I need to be open and enjoy life. I need to simply let it happen.

Exodus 14:14 "The LORD will fight for you. You need only be still." 

September 4, 2012

Psalm 77:17

For some people it's in church, for others on a hike, others out on a sail boat. As for me, I feel closest to God when it rains. LIFE is falling from the sky. Everything is drenched and beautiful. It's a second chance - washing away grime and subduing heat. Maybe it's some subconscious connection to baptism? Maybe it's because it is life giving? Maybe the little girl in me just feels at home when it rains? Regardless, I'm sitting on my porch, grinning ear to ear, watching the rain and the lightening, and feeling so incredibly blessed, loved, and protected.