It is one of the most exciting times of the year! No, it is not your birthday, and it is not Christmas, but it IS that time when some of us girls start this weird obsessive behavior stemming from a love of cool weather, sweaters, anything orange, and everything pumpkin! It is autumn! While all this is thrilling, it also means that, for those of us with school, it is also a stressful time as we are in full swing of classes, papers, and tests. Loads of work and deadlines are before us. This causes a lot of stress! Even all the little deadlines can be intimidating and put us in a state of constantly being anxious. Just think about the name DEADline. Even the name can stress us out. There are also many other things in life that can cause us stress- including friends and family.
How do you know if you are stressed? The definition of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Our bodies can actually be an alarm or put us on alert to what is going on with us! At some point in time we have probably all experienced sudden neck or head pain or felt sick to our stomach during a particularly tense time in life. That is our body’s way of letting us know that we are dealing with stress. Sometimes our friends can be our warning that we are dealing with stress by letting us know that our mood has changed. Yep, mood changes can definitely stimulate from stress. However, when we feel our mood changing, and we know that stress is coming on, it is essential to remember…
1. Do not spend so much time worrying about the little things!
God must have been serious about not wanting us to spend so much time worrying about the little things because it is mentioned several times in the Bible. When someone repeats themselves, they mean what they are saying! When my brothers try to take my pumpkin spice latte, and I tell them seven times to leave it alone, I am not joking! In the same way, if God keeps telling us not to worry, He really means… DO NOT WORRY!
When we are in the thick of it all, it is easy to be consumed by the little things. It is easy to worry about every little thing we do. Matthew 6:25-34 reads, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, not about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds on 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? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Luke 12:25 also adds, “And which of you be being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Now, this is easy to hear; however, it is incredibly difficult to apply when we are in the middle of a very worrisome situation. We know it does not do us any good, yet we cannot seem to get out of that state. Instead, we let these things consume us, and often they are just small things. So, what can we do? We can…
2. Keep our focus
When we become so overwhelmed by the little things, it is easy to lose our focus. The best way to bring our focus back in line with God’s instruction for our life is to pick up His Word and see what He has to say about it. Proverbs 3:5-6 has the instruction, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Simply put, we do not need to worry because God has our back! He has us in His hands, and when we become so overwhelmed, we can go to His Word to calm our souls.
Just like autumn is a great physical season, we can have tension-filled seasons in life. In Ecclesiastes we can read about how there is a time and season for everything. Sometimes that can be a stressful season. While we are in the midst of an overwhelming, consuming, and all-around stressful time, it is important to take a step back and notice that, in the long-term, those small things are not something to waste worry on and that God is on our side.
By Michala Wells
Michala Wells is a 16-year-old high school junior from Spring Hill, TN. She has also lived in Florida and Alabama. She enjoys reading, Disney, traveling with her family, decorating for different seasons and holidays, and making crafts with her circuit machine. She plans to attend Freed-Hardeman University in the upcoming future.