With or without a clear picture of our calling, self induced stress can be detrimental to the cause. Stress can bog us down with worries and underlying distractions. We can become so focused on everything else that needs to be done or all of the minute details that still need to be wrapped up. In doing so we have a tendency to take a small grain of sand and allow it to irritate us to the point of blistering our goals.
In the same way, stress can also be a motivator. There are some people that, rather than allowing a single grain of sand stick inside their shoe, which results in a blister, exude characteristics more like an oyster. When a grain of sand is lodged inside an oyster, it will work it round and round to get rid of the irritation. But, instead of a negative result, the grain of sand becomes a beautiful pearl.
I have a bad habit of allowing myself to become bogged down by different stresses in my life. I have my day to day responsibilities that come with maintaining a home. I have dishes that always seem to pile up, furniture that constantly needs to be dusted, and carpet that just won’t stay clean. I also have a young child that still relies on me for everything, from feeding to changing her diaper, to basic entertainment or soothing. Then there are the other responsibilities: being a youth leader, a mentor, an assistant coach. These are my jobs, but I have to ensure that they do not control my life. You see, if I were to allow my responsibilities to constantly control me, I would find myself constantly overwhelmed. There are usually a couple times a month where I find myself stuck in the middle of everything I have to get done that I can’t see through the fog that surrounds me. It is in those moments that I remind myself that I serve a God who is bigger than all of my problems and responsibilities. You see, I love being a stay at home mom for my daughter; it is one of the biggest blessings that I have. I am grateful that my husband has a steady enough job that I can do that as well as focus on other projects, such as my writing and my volunteering with our church youth. God has given me these blessings, that include certain responsibilities and he has promised not to give us more than we can handle.
Out of curiosity I did a Google search on stress. One of the first pages was from WebMD. On their site, there is a life change stress test. Again, curiosity got the better of me and I took the five question test. It was comprised of different circumstances (at work, home, health, finances, etc.) that typically affect ones stress level. To no surprise, I was told that I have a high stress level and need to take action! What is so amusing is that by taking action to reduce stress, we can in turn create greater stress. Life changes and we have to learn to adjust. I have a new baby and have recently stepped down from my job. Those are major changes, but they are all within what I feel God has called to do. Because it is within God’s plan, I am able to take those major life changes and hand them back to Him. He is able to take my load and burdens so that rather than having to trust a website for help, I have a heavenly Father who loves me so much that He can eliminate the harmful stress, even in the worst situations.