12.7.11

A cliff.

And semester two starts...


I enjoyed going home to Auckland for the holidays. I enjoyed relaxing. I enjoyed God, I wondered at His love and I sat at His feet. And now I am back in Wellington (back...home?). The familiar tightening of my chest and knotting of my stomach as I look at my university timetable next to the pile of readings on my desk envelops me.
I've always thought I was a very chill person. I've always been academically adequate; challenged enough at school and during my Certificate of Theology, but always on top of my game and getting high marks. Now Law school, a different story. Constant competition, constant challenges, constant expectations, readings, deadlines and it never stops. 


So with the freight-train of university abruptly smacking in to me, I Google 'stress' and hello, 542,000,000 results! A plethora of information, the abundance within a modern world. Stress...defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension, common somatic (physical) symptoms often reported include sleep disturbances, muscle tension, gastrointestinal disturbances, and fatigue. Behavioral symptoms include anxiety, changes in eating habits, loss of energy, mood changes...etc. And what causes stress? Helpguide.org suggests that stress can be caused by;


  •  Major life changes (check, hello Wellington!)
  • Work (yup)
  • Relationship difficulties (life is full of them)
  • Children and family (not yet...)
  • Financial problems (poor student syndrome)
  • Being too busy (I am studying a double-degree in Law and Development Studies after all...)
  • Perfectionism (imperfect, as human as I'll ever be)
  • Lack of assertiveness (nah...)
  • Inability to accept uncertainty (Jesus took care of that)
  • Unrealistic expectations (once again...I take Law)
  • Negative self-talk (as every girl does...)


In the last 6 months I have moved out of home, to a different city, I have started university, I have been uprooted from my home, emotionally exhausted, intellectually ragged...I have cried more in the last semester than I have in the last 10 years combined. I have been lost, I have been broken over and over. I have questioned my God, my purpose, my existence. I have probably questioned my sanity and I have most certainly had higher-than-normal stress levels.


But the truth is, every single person in the world is going to experience at least 10 out of those 12 causes at some point in their life. Who doesn't work, who doesn't experience relationships and heartbreak? Who doesn't ever find themselves in the middle of change and fear the worst? Who has never doubted themselves, doubted their competency, wished they could be better? That is what life is - hard and difficult and unexpected and painful. Our society is a cotton-wool society; we grow up knowing more about vaccinations than we do about what to do to treat a common cold, and we want to shield ourselves and our children from anything that could hurt or challenge them. We worry. I worry. But we cannot avoid it.


And then I turn to Matthew 6, and Jesus tells me,"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Jesus knows that life is hard. He knows that trouble affects us every day...He knows us, he knows our own personal troubles. He breaks for us. He broke for us. But I'm pretty sure, at some point, He also told us to harden up and get on with life. Stop worrying about everything, about stress, about ourselves, and start worrying about Him. About those who can't rest in the knowledge that He has them. About those who don't have the privilege and spare time to label the hardness of life as 'stress.'


I don't want my blog to seem as if I am just whinging about my troubles...there are quite a few posts in which I question myself, and life. Maybe it is tiring to read? The truth is, I write these words in an attempt to process the beauty and the pain evident in this crazy little world. I write in an attempt to reconcile the loving, just and Holy God I know and adore with the painful and broken world I see and weep for. I feel as if I am on the edge of a cliff, about to jump off and soar in to a thrilling new discovery, a realisation of something bigger than I've ever known before.


God is good, here and now. But there is abundant good to come, abundant love to be had.

2 comments:

  1. MAN. This whole worrying issue has been so prevalent in my life lately, and this morning God hooked me up with some Matthew 6!! And now at the end of the day God hooks me up with some Matthew 6. Awesome!!

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  2. Another comment: My mom shared Matthew 6 with me today too. So much Matthew 6!!

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