It’s 8 a.m. I don’t do mornings. Why am I even up? I mumbled to myself as I walked up the stairs to my dorm room. I had stayed the night with a friend at her dorm and made the short walk back to my own early that morning. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before… I hadn’t actually gotten much sleep in about a week. I had so much work to do, so much going on, and I was running on fumes (and a whole lot of coffee). My week had started off rough, and it was just one of those times when everything seemed to be going wrong.
I had reached a breaking point. I couldn’t do it. I felt like I tried so hard to keep up with my work, my responsibilities, and somehow make time for friends every now and then. I was stressed out, worn out, and ready to give up.
There’s no way I can keep doing this, I thought to myself. I’m not capable of keeping up with all my responsibilities, or holding it all together anymore. I’m not smart enough, not organized enough, not disciplined enough… and the list goes on.
If ever there was a time I doubted myself, my abilities, and my potential, it was right there, walking up the steps to my dorm, at 8 in the morning, after yet another sleepless night and before my morning cup of coffee. I stumbled up the top step, turned towards my door, and fumbled with my keys. Then I saw it.
There on the balcony, sitting in front of my door, was a little Panda Express to-go bowl with a note and my name on it. I stopped and stared at it for a moment really confused, then picked it up and carried it into my dorm.
As I took off the lid, I could smell the freshly baked cookies inside. I read the note.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:26
As I sat there in my living room with the bowl of freshly baked cookies in my lap and the note in my hand, I felt a love and reassurance that brought tears to my eyes. The floodgate of bottled up emotion spilled over. I sat there. And I cried.
In the midst of all the chaos that I call my college life, it had been a while since I let myself slow down long enough to process the stress I felt weighing on me daily. It was in that moment that I realized that I was right, I couldn’t do it all on my own. But the reason wasn’t because I’m not good enough, or smart enough, or organized enough; it was because I was never meant to carry the weight and stress of life all on my own.
I wasn’t created to figure out life by myself or handle all of my stress and struggles without support.
Psalm 55:22 says:
Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
I was reminded in that moment that my confidence shouldn’t come from my abilities or performance. My self-esteem shouldn’t be based on the things that I do, how well I do them, or how “put together” I am on a daily basis.
My confidence and self-esteem can only truly be judged by one thing – who I am in Christ.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” -1 John 3:1a
I am a child of God. That is the only fact upon which my confidence, self-image, and value should be based. My worth is not measured by anything I can do on my own, it is decided by the love the Father has for me. And His love is unmatchable.
Next time you feel overwhelmed by stress from any aspect of life, remember that you don’t have to handle it all on your own. Lean on God and allow Him to be your strength and your portion.
Be confident in the person God created you to be. Don’t measure your worth or value based on your own abilities or accomplishments, but base them on the fact that you are a daughter of the King of Kings. His love and His provision is more than enough to see you through even the most stressful times.