I start school today. I had a very nice and relaxing weekend. I forced myself to stay on the couch, take a day off, and not do anything productive. It was glorious. I did this because I know that the next four months will be stuffed to the brim with productivity, lack of sleep, and little time for resting.
Yesterday after church I went to my parents house to hang out with my family, and savor some leisurely reading time by the fire. (This is my favorite past-time.)
When I got home, I began preparations for the semester ahead. This included dusting, vacuuming and organizing my room. It may sound strange that this is what I did on my last night of freedom. However, I know myself. I will do much better entering this season if I am somewhat organized and put together – at least on the first day; it’s not bound to last long. You see, it is things like dusting that I simply do not have time for during the semester. There are some things – like a little bit of dust – that simply do not take as much precedence as assignments with due dates or working to make a living.
As I cleaned and organized, I of coarse pondered. Every time a new semester comes around, a very strong sense of dread rises up within me. Along with dread, that old familiar fear makes threats as well. Not really fear about school itself; it is more an anxiety about how I will make it through the next 4 months of life…
- I really, really don’t want to be in school for 2 ½ more years.
- I don’t think I am gonna make it.
- What if my classes are really hard and I fail one of them?
- I hope I get good teachers; they can make or break a class.
- How am I going to work enough to pay my bills, while simultaneously giving enough attention and effort to my school work so that I get good grades, so that I get financial aide, so that I can pay for college? (Well hello, run-on sentence.)
- I don’t know how I am going to have enough time to just write. 3 English classes and an on-line history class?! I will be up to my ears writing papers and reading 12 text books.
- I need to make sure I make time for ministry.
- I am going to miss my friends.
- UGH I am going to miss reading for fun.
- How am I going to get enough sleep?
I literally looked at my stack of texts books that I have to read this semester and thought: WHAT WAS I THINKING BEING AN ENGLISH MAJOR??? (This pic includes only 10 of the 12 I will be reading)
I recognized my need for some Truth.
So by the light of a candle, and to the sound of worship music, I got on my knees and surrendered this semester.
I was really honest (I am a big proponent for honesty). I told God I didn’t really want to go back to school this semester. I told Him I still don’t see the point and purpose of this glorious degree when I just want to be a stay-at-home mom.
I told Him a lot of things.
Then He told me some things. He told me that He would be by my side. He would be the shoulder to cry on. The hand to hold. The Word of strength and encouragement. The refuge in the storm. The rest from chaos. The refreshment in exhaustion. The strength to carry on. He would be anything and everything I needed. He told me He would be with me through every class; that He would help me with every paper. He said He would be near me every step of the way.
So it is with grace, that I approach this semester. Not with much joy, and not with a whole lot of excitement. (He told me He was okay with that.) Rather, I approach this semester with an expectation that every need I have will be met by Abba Father. I approach this semester with the belief and conviction, that though I may be tired, challenged, even over-whelmed, I am going to be just fine.