I’ll be graduating High School next year. The pressure is all on us — the graduating batch. It may be the last year of High School for us, but I’m just not expecting our teachers to go easy on us. They’re probably thinking, ”Hey, it’s their last year! Let’s make their last year as memorable as ever [by stressing them out with 3 thesis papers and loads of projects]!” I just can’t wait for school to start! (Sarcasm intended.) Not to mention the College Entrance Tests Season that’s incoming. We’ve all got those dream schools we’re dying to get in, so we’ve also got to keep studying in advance. I even enrolled in a summer review program to add to the pressure I’ve been feeling. I just don’t know anymore.
I am stressed out and school has not even started yet. (But it’s about to, so I’m much more stressed out.) The worry I am facing with the upcoming school year plus the uni entrance tests is making me discouraged. There are courses to pick, universities to choose from, money to spend, and time to invest. I’ve been overthinking too much. What if I don’t get into my dream school? Which course should I pick? What if I fail to get a scholarship? Am I ready to enter a new phase in my education life? What’s worse is, I really don’t know the answers to these questions.
There will always be a lot of problems ahead of us. We’re growing up. It’s part of the journey, and this is His will we are doing. We’ll be facing different phases of life. We’ll be adults soon, and maybe this is another way of God shaping us into the people He wants us to be. We will get over this soon. We don’t know what lies ahead of us, but I’m sure God knows. That, alone, makes me feel secure. We are sure that He’s got the best plans for us — plans to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Here are some of the practical tips that I can share to reduce your anxiety levels and trust in the goodness of the Lord. Always remember the word: PLAN.
P – Pray and present your requests to God.
There are no temptations or struggles that you couldn’t handle. Humble yourself and ask Him. It reminds me of Solomon’s struggle when he was appointed King of Jerusalem. His father, David, has just died, and he was next in the throne. He had no clue on how to rule and lead God’s people. Good thing God came to him in a dream, and Solomon what he’d want. First of all, you have to be honest with God. He knows what you need, but it would be much better if you’d be honest to him about how you’re feeling and how you want things to go. Solomon was completely honest, and there he humbled himself, admitting that he is very young and has little or no knowledge to govern a kingdom. Hence, Solomon asked for the understanding and discernment of right and wrong. God was pleased with his request, and granted this immediately. As He was so pleased with Solomon’s request, God even promised him that he will be given riches and honour, and he will be the greatest King among the lands. God adds that if Solomon obeys His commands, He will lengthen Solomon’s days, just like His father. Read more about Solomon’s story here.)
“And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.” (1 Kings 3:28)
L – Lay out your plans.
This is the most practical tip. Stop procrastinating and plan ahead. It is time to start thinking. Ask yourselves, “What am I really passionate about? What would I want to keep on doing? What will be that thing that I’m super passionate about and be willing to do it in love?” As an incoming college freshman next year, I’ve been searching and doing my “research” in regard to the course I’d want to pursue and what school offers those courses I am interested in. No matter what we plan to do, just remember that we should always have the right actions and the right intentions.
Always remember that our purpose in this world is to proclaim a message. We’re here to be the salt and light of the Earth. (Matthew 5:13-16)
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)
A – Align it to His Will.
We can plan all we want, but the Lord will always determine our steps. (Proverbs 16:9) As we plan, let us always make sure that each and every plan that we have will be aligned to His Will. Ask God, “How can I give glory to Your Name in this school? Is this what You want for me?” If there’s one thing I want you to remember; please, never ever put God out of your life’s picture. Always pray about it, and read the Bible.
When God places us somewhere, we can be sure that He has a purpose for it. Always find ways to glorify the Master in your workplace.
It may also be significant if we try considering our God-given talents. Don’t go around telling people you don’t have one. We are blessed with skills and abilities that could be useful for the Lord. In Ephesians, we learn that there are different gifts Jesus gave to the church. May they be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers, we all have a place in the church. When I talk about the church, I mean God’s people. Besides, we were all given the task to make disciples, right? When God places us somewhere, we can be sure that He has a purpose for it. Always find ways to glorify the Master in your workplace.
N – Nourish your relationship with the Lord.
It’s hard to trust someone you barely know. It’s the same thing with the Lord. How can you trust Him with your life if you haven’t really established a relationship with Him? Have you experienced God in your life lately? What has He been teaching you? It is totally okay to stumble and fall. No matter how much you’ve fallen, always remember that the battle has been won. All we have to do is act like we’ve made victory already.
It’s time to feel grateful and thank God for all that He has done for us. As stated in Ephesians, He can do things beyond anything that we can think of. He is the LORD of Hosts, a Hebrew word sabaoth, meaning “armies” referring to the angels of heaven. Let us do our part, and He will do the rest.
“Be wise! Remember this and think about the kindness of the Lord.” (Psalm 107:43)
Never lose connection with the Lord. I pray that whoever reads this will always find time to pray and meditate on His Word. Let yourself grow. This is His ultimate plan for each and every one of us. He wants us to grow more in Christlikeness.
I remember my local pastor in CCF Main who likes to watch Netflix series and likes spoiling himself to avoid anxiety. Now, as he knows how it’ll end (yes, he likes happy endings), he proceeds to watch the series from the start without any worry at all. When he is too engrossed watching the series, worrying how the characters can even resolve the problem, he always reminds himself, “Panalo sa dulo, panalo sa dulo. (Translated: We win in the end.)”
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5)
If there was one thing to remember during that Sunday night, it was that. Just like knowing (or being spoiled) the happy ending to a good Netflix series, remind yourself that no matter what God has in store for you, be at peace because His plans are always good. Spoiler alert, we’ve already won. You just have to act for that victory to come. Take a leap of faith.
P.S.: I made a Spotify Playlist of my favorite Christian tracks, be sure to check it out! 😀