There are so many more things to be thankful for!
Joy often comes incredibly naturally to me. I live to see light in all that I do and holding onto hope is a default. Not that I wish to boast, but things have pretty much been on track for the past few years.
Recently I have found joy a struggle. My grades have not been the best and I am daily finding it a challenge to keep on top of uni work. I feel burnt out and tired most days. I’ve experienced waves of complete homesickness…
Earlier this year I challenged myself to seriously step into a worry-free life. I finally owned up to the fact that I have anxiety. I actually accepted it as a fact and decided to do something about it. For three whole months (by the grace of God) I experienced absolutely no anxiety at all. How? I started to depend on God daily, pray and simply abide in Jesus. He answered and took all the anxiety away.
This year God has taught me so much more about his loving freedom and He has been so faithful in carrying all my burdens!
Unfortunately, now that I have entered the last two weeks of the semester, the work is piling up and I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t understand why but the anxiety has returned in full force. Admitting it makes me feel so weak but honesty is so important.
I have been so crippled in fear some days. Other days bring discouragement from tutors or peers. Sometimes I just need a bit more sleep and so my emotions run wild.
Living alone is hard too. I can’t run to my Dad downstairs anymore and cooking for myself is an added task.
However, this time around it’s different. I might feel like I’m drowning but I know that I am not. Every time something tries to steal my joy I remember to have gratitude regardless. Whenever I hear voices that tell me to give up, I find a slither of strength to fight back and persevere.
Gratitude is getting me through. It doesn’t matter how many difficult things you are facing today because there will always be so many more good things.
I know that God’s hand is on me and therefore the enemy will throw all sorts of anxieties at me, trying to steal my joy. I refuse to give in to that.
So what am I thankful for?
- Zara – my beautiful flatmate has been cheering me on, laughing with me in the hard times and cooking me dinner when I need it.
- Morning Coffee.
- Guinea Girls – we may not be living together anymore but their daily messages and encouragements are so amazing.
- Flatmates – we have become family for one another.
- Bath – what a beautiful city to be in!
- Course mates – these guys understand the work load and we can live alongside each other in the studio.
- Church family – seriously, what would I do without them? They have fed me, prayed for me and encouraged me.
- The opportunity to study.
- Financial Provision – I haven’t had to budget or scrimp this semester and I really do not deserve such abundant grace!
- Time stretching – God has just stretched time in every moment of feeling drowned and surrendering my control.
- Pink cafes and meeting friends on weekends.
- Musical moments.
- Instagram free Lent.
- Miracles in the every day.
- Lessons learnt when my work is criticised.
- The promise that my grades don’t determine my future.
- Struggles – they are an opportunity to learn and witness God’s power in my life!
I am so thankful in this season. I might be fighting a lot of anxiety, discouragement and stress but there is a light and hope greater than all of these things.
As Newton Faulkner would say: “people should smile more. I’m not saying there’s nothing to cry for.”
What are you thankful for?