I have been fed my share of unfortunate events. I have experienced having loved ones taken away from me. My dreams for career choices were crushed. I have yet to get that six-pack I want (my fault). I have felt like I was drowning in bad decisions from my academics to my personal life. I felt helpless and sometimes alone. I am not depressed and I am not sitting around waiting on someone to come along and make it all better. I realize that I have made choices – sometimes good and sometimes bad. I realize that because of my choices, I will have to accept the consequences – both good and bad. But most of all, I realize that I am not alone.
This Valentine’s day, I woke up and carried on with my normal Saturday routine because this day wasn’t special to me this year. This was concluded because I had other things to take care of and mostly, because I’m single. Because of the absolutely wonderful atmosphere that Valentine’s day provides, I was pleasantly reminded through social media and observation that today is the day that we show our significant others just how much we care about them. I am single so I don’t have to think about that. Instead I had some quiet time and went into deep thought with myself because I have all this alone time. In the past three weeks I have had six tests and two major design deadlines. It’s safe to say that it has been a little bit stressful to wake up in the morning knowing that you had a test the day before and another one tomorrow. Now don’t get me wrong, there are people with way worse, but, for a short time, I felt like I was suffocating in my own choice to take 22 hours and work a “part-time” job that takes up full-time hours. “What in the world have I gotten myself into?” is what I thought when I was sitting across from my friend as we worked on design projects that seem to never end.
After our design session I went to go get lunch and on the way there I passed a family who used to go to my church. We talked for a moment and before parting ways they told me they were “glad to see [I was] doing well.” What?!? Do I look well? I am wearing a hat (on these curls), a jacket, sweater, jeans, old tennis shoes, and haven’t shaved in a good while. How could they think I am doing well? But that’s just the thing. How bad was I really doing? Sure I was stressed out for a little while, but I am much better now and know how to handle things so that next time I have the whole buffet on my plate I will be able to demolish it like it’s only cake. I was doing well but I didn’t know it because I was only thinking of the bad.
I kept thinking about all of that while I went through the Moe’s line and it continued on my way home. How crazy of me to feel like I was drowning. A God who only creates good things put me on this wonderful earth. I am a good thing. I was only focusing on the bad things and not on all the good that has been in my life during this same time period with no air. I was able to survive all of those horrible tests without having a mental breakdown. An esteemed professor told me that they would be honored to take me on as a graduate student. I met with a group of awesome students who I am going to accompany to Denver, CO during spring break to transform people into disciples of the Word. I still had shelter, food, and heat. I wasn’t doing bad at all, I just had a lot going on – things that I chose.
You see, we get focused on the bad things. The negatives. We try to do it all on our own like we run this place. Boy, are we mistaken! During this stressful time, do think that this wanna-be-clergy boy turned to God to say “hey, I am struggling, give me strength and peace of mind.” I’m willing to bet that you said no. I abandoned God when my life got hard because I could do it on my own. Thankfully He didn’t abandon me, too. God is at work in my life and I am so thankful that I get to see it every single day. It is my fault that I put to much pressure on myself and didn’t ask God for help. It is my fault that I think that I am the great almighty – that I am in complete control. To be in a relationship you have to work as a team and I wasn’t doing my part (convenient for Valentine’s day). I am so grateful that at times like this Hallmark holiday that I can be reminded of God’s never-ending grace. I am thankful that He shows me that I am weak without Him so that we grow closer. I am thankful that He teaches me to focus on the good. After all, He created it.