You said it last week, sitting there on the couch, and I didn’t say anything then, but your words were so familiar, I haven’t escaped them since. You were discouraged, tired, and your words echoed strong of my own life, just a year ago. I thought about your words this week, about what you had said and what you were feeling, what you were fighting, and then tonight, you said stressed and anxious, and again, I didn’t say anything just then. But I’m saying something now.
I know what it feels like to be sensitive, and to think all the while that it’s dumb to even use the word to describe yourself. Sensitive is for little children with hurt feelings, not college students. But when you hear words that no one meant to be hurtful, but you soak them up and let them rock you hard to the core, it feels sensitive. When you can’t find a seat in chapel, because that’s just the way things work out, and you don’t get the joke at the lunch table, and it suddenly feels like it’s about you, and when no one meant to leave you out, but you weren’t explicitly included either? Sensitive.
I know what it’s like to be tired, so very tired. When every night is a chance to get more sleep, but the homework and the assignments, and the “Things To Do” just don’t end, and you’re just so tired. And it doesn’t seem to get any better because the weekends, those resting days, have events and schedules, too, and when will you ever get a break?
I know the feeling of so, so behind. I know what it feels like to work with everything you have, but every time you feel like maybe you’ve gotten it; maybe this time you’ve finally made it to the green side of the grass, the relief side of life’s whirlwind, that’s the moment that you remember. Remember an assignment due. A meeting made. A future that you can’t do anything about except stress, so you stress. You worry. And things just keep piling up and you’re too exhausted to get back up and keep running to try to keep up with everything.
I know what that’s like. I lived a very similar story my freshman year, and when you said those things, I wanted to scoop up you and every other freshman, every other overwhelmed and anxious and exhausted student, and tell them that I know what that’s like.
And it’s true: I have ridden an emotional roller coaster much like the one you’d like to get off of right now, and so have many of the students here with us. We’re alike in that way. But that’s not the reason I’m writing to you: I have more to say.
God knows what you’re fighting, friend. Knows what you’re thinking, mourning, celebrating, stressing about. He is real and He knows and He cares. I don’t want to preach at you, because no one needs that, really, and it’s not my place, anyway. But I do want you to know, want to remind you, that God is so, so involved in your life, and in your heart.
It doesn’t feel like that all the time. When your eyes are grainy from lack of sleep, and you’re slogging through another assignment, and you can’t shake the feeling that everyone is out to get you, the presence of God is not exactly oozing out your pricked heart. Oh, but He’s there. He’s there and He cares what you feel, what you think, what you say.
He cares, and He’s said some things about it, too. He’s said that He loves you- really, really loves you. And that He provides for you. And will never forget you. And never break a promise with you. And will never fail to provide you with what you need. He is gentle with hearts that are just too worn out, and He is strong for those who really don’t think they can make it through these days, these weeks. He is power and compassion and kindness and provision, and He is woven into every aspect of your heart, every thing you do: He’s the Creator of the world, and of you and you are so important to Him.
And tomorrow morning, girly, you’ll get up and it’ll probably be raining again and more than likely, that lead-heavy stress will slip down slowly just like today, but before you let discouragement, exhaustion, stress have the final say, remember: Someone much bigger than stress or fear or exhaustion is in control, and He’s got an eye on you, girly.