The Sustainer for the Stressed-Out College Kid

I won’t sugarcoat it: my life lately has been very stressful. I’m taking 18 credit hours this semester, and have been involved in too many extra-curriculars. I’ve been planning a study-abroad trip to Italy this summer, and finding ways to pay for it. I’m planning to move off-campus next year and live in Richmond full-time, and obviously that also costs money. 

Worrying about grades, money, and time sums up the life of a modern college student. This era of our lives is rife with decisions to be made that will affect our next 20, 30, and 50 years. Having so much on my plate, it sometimes feels as though I succeed at nothing; like all my responsibilities are falling on me like an avalanche, crushing me in their path. Anxiety often kicks in and induces me to think about worst-case scenarios: failing classes. Being unable to pay my expenses. Becoming stuck in a place I don’t want to be.

This is how it feels to tackle college on your own. I have prayed to God desperately on more than one occasion that He would give me peace; that He would help me know He will make a way when there seems to be none for whatever is in His will for me. He has promised as much, and I know His will is always better than my plans. I felt Him gently say to me “give me your burden, and I will give you my strength.” 

I created this post not to rant about my own life, or to illicit sympathy, but because I know my experience is not unique. Every day I see my fellow college students living as overwhelmed, stressed out, burned out, chronically tired shells of the person they otherwise would be. If the preceding sentence applies to you, I invite you to give God your burden and receive His strength. Whatever is in His will for you, He will provide. And his plans are always better than our own. 

So take heart and claim your victory over your stressors, because Jesus is bigger than all of them. I invite you to lay them down at the foot of the cross. I know they’re heavy, but nothing is too heavy for the God of the Universe; a personal, relational God who cares enough to take them on in your place. In place of your burden, accept His strength. Amen.

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