Summer is coming to an end.
The start of school is approaching fast. Stores across America are “helpfully” reminding us of that. With sales on backpacks, binders, and pencils, how could we forget?
This coming school year is an important one for me because it’s my senior year of high school.
I can’t believe I’m going to be a college freshman next fall. It’s unreal. I remember previous graduation banquets at my church and the seniors who were preparing for their futures.
Now I’m one of them.
This year is going to be bittersweet. I’ll be getting my high school diploma, but I’ll also be preparing to leave my family and friends to attend college out of state next fall.
So it will mostly be bitter.
While my heart wants to worry, the Holy Spirit whispers that everything will be okay. Actually, it will be better than okay; it will be God’s perfect will coming to pass.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
My heart wants to be troubled. My heart wants to be afraid. There are so many what-ifs about my future. What if I get an awful roommate? What if I don’t adjust well to living far from my family? What if I can’t handle all the homework?
Asking every “what-if?” question isn’t going to help anyone.
But it will hurt my heart.
Jesus gives us the peace and assurance that He’s always with us. We can choose to cling to that peace or let our hearts get crushed with worry.
Jesus was getting ready to ascend to heaven when He spoke about this peace. His disciples didn’t want Him to leave them on earth.
But He didn’t leave them. He gave them His Holy Spirit. They weren’t alone.
And neither are we.
Instead of automatically worrying when a scary event draws near (like the start of the school year), we need to train ourselves to automatically turn to Christ.
There are many ways to stop yourself from going into panic mode:
1. Read God’s promises over and over and over.
Cement them in your mind. Write them on your mirror, your hand, or your notebook. His peace can calm you if you let it.
2. Always talk to God.
You can let go of your worries by telling them to Christ. Pray for His strength and direction.
3. Surround yourself with those who are older and wiser than you.
Older Christians have been through a lot more of life’s battles than you have. They know how to fight them and how to help you when you’re tempted to worry.
4. Find some encouraging, worshipful music that reminds you of who God is.
Try Hillsong United, Lauren Daigle, or Moriah Peters.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
We get so bogged down with worries that we forget what’s real.
So what is real?
1. God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
2. God has amazing plans for His children (Jeremiah 29:11).
3. You belong to God, and no one can take you away from Him (John 10:28-29).
4. God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called by Him (Romans 8:28).
5. Nothing can separate us from God’s incredible love (Romans 8:38-39).
These are the basics, but sadly, in our times of stress and worry, we forget about them.
Don’t forget about them.
Everything can turn into a problem if we let it.
Don’t let it.
Yes, I’m scared about college. It makes me sad to think about leaving my family and living far from home, but God will take care of me. If I don’t hang on to that fact, it will be a miserable year.
School is starting soon. (Sorry—I know you don’t want to think about it.) This can be a fresh start for you. Instead of freaking out every time you have a test, why not read a Psalm, talk to your Savior, and listen to Hillsong United for a while? Then start studying.
The work won’t go away, but it will help you if you don’t try to carry the burden alone.
Blessings for the new school year!