I’d already hit my alarm for the second time and was staring at the ceiling debating whether to go ahead and get up or doze for little longer. I was just dozing off back into dream world when my phone rang. I jumped and grabbed the phone but didn’t recognize the number. I figured it might be a church friend or maybe the doctor’s office…wait, on a Saturday? Who knows! I put on my most convincing “I’ve been awake for hours” voice and said a cheerful “Hello?”
“Yes, this is Kyle from Kyle & Sons Moving Company! I understand you’re moving in a few months?”
I sighed and responded:
“No, I was just curious about prices, and the website wouldn’t let me see them without giving my email and phone number. I won’t be moving for at least another year.”
“Oh, yeah, that is a while away. Well, let us know when you need our services. My sons and I would be glad to help!”
“Yeah, thanks so much” I said as I ended the call. I put the phone back and laid back down and realized what a worrier I’d been the night before when I’d browsed Google for moving company rates. Why was I looking that stuff up now when it would be at least 6 or 7 months before I’d need to even begin to start figuring all of that mess out? I’m not leaving Indiana or anything, I’d just be potentially changing residences as grad students often do.
“No stress. You must absolutely avoid stress.”
Those words said rather emphatically by the doc echoed in my mind as I went to the kitchen to start my morning coffee brew. Stress has been a constant for me ever since I’ve been in grad school, well, ever since I’ve been college really. I remember staring at the doc as he said that with a look of “Uh, come again?” I said something about being a grad student and before I could even finish my sentence, he stopped me and said “This will happen again if you get stressed. No stress. You must absolutely avoid stress.” Actually, we still don’t know what happened though we’ve ruled some things out. More tests and no stress is our motto right now. So, I’ll just try to think of the kind lady with the interesting hairdo I saw in the Louvre whom David painted. Relax! No stress….Interesting couch though I’d be afraid of falling off of it.
However, much as Madame Récamier looks quite at ease despite the not so comfortable looking “couch”, I’m a long term planner… as if one couldn’t tell. I like my ducks in a row, and I like to know the steps of what’s ahead. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily especially when it comes to homework and teaching, but instead of being a stress reliever, it tends to be a stress inducer. I can’t possibly know how everything will work out a year from now, not even a week from now. Yet, I stress and go through a string of “What ifs.” I seem to have to learn this lesson over and over. Now, I have a physical reminder of when it’s getting too stressful. I feel weaker and have less energy for the next day if I worry and stress too much the day before.
It’s really a trust issue. I say that I trust in the Lord, that I give my life to Him. Yet, that trusting isn’t a big, bold thing one says only once after first being converted. It’s daily. I have to daily take up my cross and follow Him. I have to daily say that I’m going to trust Him. I have to daily give Him my life. Trusting Him is as important in the big decisions and circumstances as it is in the smaller daily trials and decisions one goes through. These questions and worries I face, they’re little tests of if I’m going to trust Him as I go through the day. The phone call this morning felt like a reminder from the Lord that I was taking on too much and not trusting Him. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not at all condoning laziness or not doing what one should and can do in a situation while all the while trusting. Trusting God should be a motivator and a comfort, not an excuse to do nothing.
How can I read verses like this and then turn around and stress about upcoming decisions? All too easily when I let being human take over being a child of the King.
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. ~Psalms 18:1-2
I can’t guarantee completely avoiding stress in the upcoming days because it’s pretty well impossible to get through a day without there being some sort of stress even outside of anxiety. However, at least I can do what I can to avoid those situations and worrying attacks that seem to especially cause those times of stress and remember in Whom I trust.