There’s a joke that some people make when others say they’re stressed: “Well, ya know, stressed backwards is desserts so go ahead and get you some dessert.”
I think it’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.
When I get stressed, I see every single little thing on my plate on one massive two-dimensional plane, like it all has to be done at the same time. I start having massive anxiety, my mental energy decreases, and all I want to do is take a nap.
Yeah, pretty much just like that.
And that’s been my life lately. Transitioning from a full-time career back to full-time schooling, moving to a different city, and losing my source of income hasn’t been a walk in the park, by any means at all. And, what makes it even harder is that I chose this. I wasn’t forced to leave my job. I wasn’t let go or fired. I resigned. All of my own volition.
I could’ve easily stayed here at Next Level and had a stable job, stable income, and no change at all. But, complacency is not what God wants for our lives, and I have honestly become complacent in my position.
If you’re stressed as a result of finances, job situations, or other circumstances, you are not alone. But I do urge you to remember these few things, which I have to consistently remind myself of daily:
1. God is sovereign and has full control of your situation. Jesus says during one of His sermons, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” And that’s just a snapshot of the entire moment He took to talk about anxiety; go and read Matthew 7:25-34 to get the full picture.
2. You don’t have to tackle everything you’re facing at once; take it one step at a time. Your tasks are not on a two-dimensional plane; they’re on a three-dimensional one. There’s a timeline built into what must be done in what order, so take advantage of that truth. Priority planning is your friend in this instance, so order your tasks from most important to least important, and start with the most important one.
3. Don’t get caught in tunnel vision. You may be facing some pretty big things in your life, but never forget that you aren’t the only one in this fight. Relationships are too important to ignore, so don’t ever neglect your friends. You really can’t do life alone, so don’t even try to live as an island in the vast sea of life.
Hey, and if all else does fail, a piece of red velvet cake or ice cream never really hurts to distract you from what’s going on.