I have to share something. As many know, I have had an abundant amount of stress since last year. It began right in January and kept going, even into this year. Over the winter months, however, I have been making conscious decisions to better myself and avoid another year like the last. I've been working out more often, which not only feels great, but I lost another 3 pounds. I've been eating healthier which has been made SO much easier by menu planning (I might do a post about that next week because I cannot recommend it enough). I've been trying to get in a better sleeping pattern, take vitamins, and generally be a healthier, happier person. I got a little off track leading up to what I was sure was going to be miserable day on Friday. I needed pep talk after pep talk and vent session after vent session in order to "calm" myself down. When really, all I needed to be doing was pray. Which I did. I prayed for the strength I knew I was going to need, I prayed to be the person God would want me to be, I prayed for Him to take over. My mother (being the wise and faithful woman that she is) gave me one of many pep talks days earlier and reminded me that this was all, obviously, a part of God's plan and Friday was a test to see how I would react to various situations I was going to be and will inevitably be put in throughout my career and life.
When I got home from the trip, which ended earlier than planned, I couldn't explain what I felt. In the morning (which started about four hours before I would've liked), I tried to remain calm and speak with God. I listened to music (instead of playing out conversations in my head), I drank coffee and ate breakfast and got my smoothie (premade the night before, thank you very much) and myself ready to go. I was expecting the worst. Do not get me wrong. The day was not all good. But it didn't get to me like it normally would have. I wasn't tired even though I was running on 5 hours of sleep, I didn't feel overwhelmed or on the verge of tears, wondering what I was doing with my life. I was completely at peace. God took over and took away my stress about the whole situation that had been going on since last year. It was gone. When I called my parents, as I do everyday (and can't imagine not doing), I told my mom it was almost as if I was watching myself react to different things. Like not only God was watching me, but I was watching me. It was "bizarre", I kept saying. She said, "That's not bizarre- that's God working on you." And of course, we both cried.
Some might think this is a little dramatic. But through the years, especially last year, I've been aching to be closer to God and feel His goodness and shape me into the better person I know I was raised and meant to be. And as awful as it seems now to say, I just didn't know if I... missed something. I didn't feel it. Until Friday. It was exactly what I had been yearning for and more. I have been blessed.
The least I can do is share my experience and hope that it strengthens your faith. Pray. And believe that He has everything under control.
It's still a bit of an adjustment. I told my boyfriend last night that it felt weird and that I didn't know how not to be angry. Even this morning when I woke up and the tv was a bit loud and a puppy had somehow managed to make his way into our bed and was laying on my feet, I wanted to be mad. Any other day, I would have slammed the door and sulked while trying to go back to sleep. But I cuddled up with Duke for a bit, then went down to enjoy my coffee and breakfast. I got more done this morning than I would've had the energy for had I let myself be stressed.
I strongly believe that this was a major change for the better in my life, that I desperately needed. Will I have temptations to be angry? Will I slip up and yell a little when I don't need to? Yes. I am still human and I still have emotions. But that doesn't mean I can or will allow myself to "relapse" into the same negative habits that led to a not so nice version of myself.
So that's my Sunday Sermon. I'm not sure if these will be a weekly thing. But I certainly had to share this. Thanks for listening.