“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:20
If you want the answer to the question in the title of this blog post, then it’s written above in the cited Bible verse. If you’d like to hear my personal testimony, then read on.
I start out the semester feeling good about myself. I mentally and physically prepare myself for my classes that only increase in rigor. I discuss my dual major course load with my friends and they tell me I’m insane. But that doesn’t matter because I’m used to being busy and at least for now I’m sitting pretty. I know how to work hard for my grades and when the going gets tough, I stay tougher.
Eventually, the stress accumulates until my life snowballs into chaos. Assignments stack up until my planner is filled with due dates and exams and every day is filled with things to do and study. I wish there was more time in the day for me to complete my work as well as I would like to while also being fully present at my meetings, at rehearsal, at Mass, and in prayer. This downward spiral often comes with messed up sleeping and eating schedules, irritability, and depression. These are the lows that I hide surprisingly well by being semi-honest about the stress I’m under and keeping the guise that I have it all together.
These are the times when I get into my so-called faith slumps. I feel distant from God and when I’m under pressure and stress or when I’m struggling or suffering, I wonder where he is. But the thing is, he’s still there right beside me. God never abandons any of his children. When I’m in a tough place, he still desires to embrace me and invites me lean on him. He’s always ready to catch me when I fall and love me, but I have to do my part too.
For me, it’s easy to forget to pray when I have a lot on my plate. When I have an exam to study for and when a paper’s due date is right around the corner, I push prayer to the back burner. While God is calling me to be a student and the work that I’m doing now is good, I can’t neglect my relationship with him. I don’t skip prayer because it isn’t important to me or I don’t feel like praying. I feel guilty when I let myself get caught up in my studies. But I find that when I have several tasks that need to be done immediately, even the smallest amount of time that I take to pray refreshes me, calms my mind, and reminds me that my heavenly father is right beside me. He takes such good care of me, but I need to let him.
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As I write this blog post, I’m in the middle of my senior year. I’m holding leadership positions at the Newman Center and in one of my honors societies. To top it off, I’m applying to graduate schools, which is a beast in and of itself. As my days get increasingly difficult, I still remind God that I cannot do anything without him. I plead for his help in all that I do, and he certainly provides. I thank him and I praise him for taking me this far, and I trust that he has a beautiful plan for my life.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your incessant presence with me through the bad days as well as the good. During my moments of hopelessness as I drown in my stress, be my refuge and show me to inhale the peace that only you can offer. Give me the grace to reach out and run towards you when I’m feeling lost or overwhelmed. Remind me that I am your child and you love me endlessly. Amen
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