It is easy to get caught up in the stress of college life. With finals week quickly approaching, upcoming tests, rehearsals and a show that is soon to open in the theatre department, and whatever else on our plates that we don’t mention to people, it is simple to focus on all the anxiety and stressors that arise from student life. However, there is always a verse from the New Testament that somehow manages to keep me calm, 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all of your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
As a person that deals with anxiety, this verse has always had a special place in my heart because of how simple and straight forward it is. This little passage is telling us to give up all our troubles, stressors, anxieties, everything! Worrying does nothing good for us. Personally I know I get more stressed when I think about how stressed I am or will be. It is easy to not get overwhelmed with assignments, especially for those of us who are in involved in extra-curricular activities. But we do not need to worry about any of those things because God takes all our troubles.
There is something amazingly comforting that we have a God that is willing to take away every negative piece of our lives and put them onto his shoulders. He wants to see us do our best in the life he has given us. However, there is a question that can come along with the idea of giving our problems to God, how do we give him our worries? This is a topic that has come up in my D-Group a lot because most of our go-to answer is to call our moms, instead of going to God first with something that is troubling our hearts.
Personally, I take time at night before I get into bed and journal to talk God about all things good and bad from the day I just went through. It gives me a sense of calmness and reassurance no matter how the day went. Even though our Lord knows what is troubling our hearts, minds and souls he still wants us to tell him what is giving us anxiety and stress in our busy day to day lives. This is something else that the Bible tells in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
I always feel like a bit of a hypocrite because before coming to Northwestern, I never really had a ton of faith in journaling or in the power of praying or talking to God about what was going on in my life. However, if there is one thing that I take away from my years of private education is we are in the hands of a God who loves and cares for us and who will continue to do so throughout our life. He loves us so much that he is willing to take away all of our pain so we can have a full and prosperous life that we get to love. Stress and anxiety can feel like an extremely heavy burden that most of us think we have to carry by ourselves, but if we remember that God cares for us, that burden is lifted.