Tonight, I had a mental breakdown. And why did I have this mental breakdown? Anxiety, perfectionism, and stress. All things that I guarantee most people struggle with in some way or another. My reasoning was the most ridiculous one ever and moms WILL laugh in my face because my mental breakdown doesn’t come close to the reasoning for most of theirs.
My precious monster of a dog refuses to run on a leash. I was at my internship all day, have a long list of to-do’s to get done before leaving for the holiday, a pile of homework, my room is disgusting, Mount Everest is waiting for me to fold laundry, I have been eating junk and barely working out the past few weeks, and I have to wake up at 3:45am for work tomorrow. And the night I just want to go for a relaxing run, he decides to drag me across the parking lot.
I locked myself in the bathroom and bawled. I know this is pathetic. I know a lot of people are thinking “these are the problems she’s crying about?” But if you’ve been in college, you know the end of the semester is the painful part. It’s the time when the tears flow and the stress gets real. So yes, I had a breakdown because my dog wouldn’t go on a real run with me. When the crap piles up, regardless of what your “crap” is or mine, stress, anxiety and tears all come out to play.
I texted Gavin (my boyfriend for those who don’t know) and was sending heaps of messages talking about how upset I was. After a couple of “Amanda, breathe” replies, he sent one that completely shifted my mindset.
“Embrace the SUCK.”
For someone who does quite the opposite when the “suck” part occurs in my life, it was odd to me that it hit me the way it did. And I got to thinking about seasons in our lives. Some are more stressful than others. Some are packed with Jesus, friends, and family galore and others feel like you’re never going to make it through. This particular season for me has been a busy one, with extra presentations and group projects than ever before. But what does crying do? It allows the enemy to get inside my mind and alter the way I think to make me believe everything in my life is bad. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. It’s just a long season, not a bad life.
This lead me to think about perspective. What am I stressed about?
Washing and folding laundry. How blessed am I to have enough laundry to need to wash and fold it.
Cleaning my room. How blessed am I to have my very own room.
Homework. How blessed am I to have the opportunity to be in school to create a better life for myself.
Eating poorly and not exercising. How blessed am I to have the privilege to have the time to ever take care of myself.
We are so incredibly blessed beyond belief. We live in a country where we don’t have to worry about our next meal or how we’re going to clothe ourselves. We have all that we need and more by the grace of God. And when I realize these things, I feel ashamed about stressing in the first place.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing, give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Being grateful for what we do have. I personally tend to focus so much on what went wrong in my day and what I’m stressed about. What’s the next thing I can knock off of my stress list? When in complete reality, I 100% should be focusing on what good things I have and how completely ridiculous stress even is most of the time.
Jesus gave us His life. He didn’t give it up for us to be stressed, anxious, and ungrateful. In all things, give thanks. He is good.
With thanksgiving being this week, I think it’s important to talk about this. If you struggle like I do finding the light some days, if currently you’re in a stressful season, I encourage you to “embrace the suck”. Don’t let it tear you down. Don’t let the enemy alter your ways of thinking. Find the things to be grateful for. Turn those stressors into gifts of gratitude for the Lord.
And when you’re struggling to find the good, pray. God reveals himself in the smallest most beautiful ways during the times we feel the negative piling up. Ask him to help you see. You’ll find blessings in the tiniest beauties.
Find your blessings. Count your blessings. Be grateful for your blessings.
Thank you for the beautiful holiday where we give thanks for all that you have provided. You are so incredibly good to us. You give us our needs and some of our wants on the days we don’t always deserve them. Help us to search and find You during the hard seasons, during the bad days, and during the time we fed especially ungrateful. Please help our hearts be full of gratitude and love this week. In your heavenly name, Amen.