finding peace in stress

I’m honestly amazed at the irony of this post. I sit at my laptop in midst of the most insane, stressful, busy, and completely overwhelming semester of my life, and yet… I find myself drawn to my blog. Although it does serve as a nice procrastination method, this is sincerely and genuinely my remedy.

I must admit, I don’t really like the word “stress”. I think that it has become an overused word that we use to talk about our “busy” lives that might not be so busy if we only knew how to manage our time better. I also think we use it as a way to get sympathy from people, and I fall victim to even using it as an excuse to mistreat people or to have a bad attitude.

As much I might misuse this word, I definitely know when I am not. Usually, my body tells me that the stress is real before I even acknowledge it myself. Body aches, sore muscles, no appetite, then a huge appetite, short-term memory loss (literally feel like Dory from Finding Nemo lately), moodiness, headaches, heavy breathing, the feeling that an elephant is sitting on my lungs, and the very real symptom of paralyzation – when you sit at your laptop unable to type because you don’t even know where to start. All very real symptoms of a stressed-out person. Also very real symptoms of a person desperately in need of Jesus to speak stillness and peace over the storm.

There are a lot of remedies out there for stress – but my personal favourite is taking moments to reflect and sit still in awe and wonder of God. Every single time that I take that intentional time just to think about who God is, I honestly end up just sobbing because nothing is as humbling and transformative as that very action.

One of my favourite songs is “So Will I” by Hillsong United (open song in Spotify). One of the lyrics is, “as you speak a hundred billion galaxies are born, in the vapour of your breath the planets form”. This song just proclaims the sovereignty, power, authority, creativeness, lovingness, and graciousness of God. Sometimes, I just sit and listen to this song continuously because it truly does put everything into perspective. As I become so obsessed with my assignments, with writing about research methods and copyright laws, I love becoming obsessed with thinking about how incredibly awesome and astounding my God is.

It’s in those precious moments that I find peace because the same God that takes the time to listen to my prayers, who walks alongside me, who protects me, loves me relentlessly, forgives me endlessly, and pursues me continuously, is the same God who speaks galaxies into existence and whose breath forms planets. Knowing that the God I serve is that powerful, that creative, that artistic and beautiful, that divine, intentional, and authoritative, is what allows me to take a deep breathe – of which the very movement of my lungs and the inhalation of oxygen is an ability that God designed.

I have come to find that being in awe of God is a remedy for every other trial, form of suffering, hardship, pain, hurt, loss, confusion, and heartbreak out there. No matter the circumstance, no matter the diagnosis, no matter the relationship damaged or the situation that’s left me so confused and hurt, God is still God. How refreshing and life-giving it is to have a consistent, stable, never-changing, reliable, and loving Saviour.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of the most “stressful” times for us is December, specifically around Christmas time. What better time of year for the enemy to use our circumstances as a way to distract us from the birth of Christ. But even yet, Christ remains victorious over that, over everything. Despite my (what feels like millions) of assignments, appointments, and commitments, it has all drawn me back to my Lord and Saviour. I’m beautifully reminded to be astounded by who God is, in every second of every day, completely and unapologetically astounded.

In that astoundment I find peace in midst of stress. I find the weight of my assignments dwindle to the mere numbers that they are. I find myself reflecting more on the how miraculous it is that God made me with the capability to learn and apply knowledge, than reflecting on what I learned two weeks ago in a three hour lecture, and I’d have it no other way.

My degree, at the end of the day, is a piece of paper. Important? Yes. Worth getting? Yes. But more than that, my degree has been four years of learning more about who God is through the schoolwork I complete, through the circumstances I’ve been placed in, and through the opportunities I’ve had to write content like this.

So here’s to peace in the midst of stress. To serving an almighty God who answers prayer and who gives us the strength to tackle all the assignments and tests. Who can miraculously cut through the chaos, who speaks and the waves and wind obey him, who has all authority in heaven and on earth. Who loves like no other, and who will never, ever leave us.


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