This year, I’ve been more stressed than ever before. I wasn’t anticipating the increased difficulty of junior year classes, the time-consuming eboard responsibilities for TCNJ’s Filipino Students Association, the countless hours dedicated to choreographing and leading Tinikling (a Filipino dance team), the time devoted to my on-campus office job, days lost to academic club meetings and career-enhancing conferences, multiple Delta Zeta sorority events, and the time set aside for my marketing internship. I have over 18 sticky notes pasted across my computer screen and I write out an hour-by-hour schedule for each day to ensure I accomplish everything by its due date. However, I didn’t anticipate how all my responsibilities and extracurriculars combined with working out regularly and maintaining an active social life would take away my ability to breathe.
I’ve never had trouble sleeping, but over the last few weeks I’ve tossed and turned every night, trying to relax, but too stressed to fall asleep. Nighttime is when all the ghosts come out to play. They haunt me with a torrential flood of upcoming due dates, reminding me of how inadequate I feel to accomplish everything successfully.
I’m writing this because today, a dear friend challenged me. We were having dinner and I told him about the overwhelming stress that swallowed me since the beginning of the semester. In response, he asked me a very simple question.
“Where is your faith?”
Amidst all the turmoil and anxiety I’ve experienced lately, I’ve also been challenged to pursue God more. In my weakest moments, I am constantly reminded of how desperately I need his strength. However, in letting my stress take over, I ignored God and his love. The reason I was so stressed is because all my faith was in myself, and I knew I wasn’t capable of accomplishing everything on my own.
When my friend asked that question, I started to cry. It was the first time I let myself cry in awhile. Every other time I felt like I was about to break down, I swallowed the tears and told myself to stop wasting time that could be used more productively. However, that question struck my heart, pushing past the anxiety, fear, and inadequacy, and dissipating them all in the face of God’s perfect strength.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
I’m still stressed. I’m still imperfect. However, for the first time in awhile, I feel like I can breathe.