April 11, 2013

Putting stress in perspective.

     I would love to be sharing another warm weather fashion post with all of you today, but I've been feeling quite frazzled and burdened lately and thought that I should share what's on my heart, and the message that I got to hear the other night that changed my perspective. Warning: this is an extremely wordy Miss ALK post. :-)

     In short: I've been stressed. I thought that once I finished all of my make-up work (for the two weeks of classes that I missed for being sick) my worries would be over, but this isn't the case. I finally got around to checking my semester grades and as of right now I only have on A... eek. Last semester I made all A's and I've always been a fairly strong student so this scared me a bit. What added to my worries is that I received an e-mail from some general academic affairs department at my school yesterday saying that I'm bordering on exceeding the college's attendance policy because I have missed six of my Mon/Weds/Fri classes this semester. My initial reaction was Ummmm I was really sick! And all of my teachers know that I missed and they also all know that I made up my work! How dare I be questioned by the school about it?!? After a phone call with my mom involving me yelling venting about this whole thing I calmed down a little bit, but I was still irritated. I had to schedule a meeting for next week with someone from the department that had e-mailed me. What makes this whole darn thing more complicated is that I'm currently in the process of transferring to a different school here in NC, so I can't have something like "missed too many classes for college's policy" on my final transcript.

     The whole transferring situation is another thing that's been stressing me out. While my (hopefully) new school has received my grades from last semester and my high school transcripts, they're still waiting on a couple things before they can officially "re-accept" me. I have no doubts that I'll get in (It's actually the school that I almost went to originally, haha.), but I hate being patient and waiting for the real answer. I want to know now that I'm re-accepted and move along with signing up for classes there for next semester and figuring out how their housing system works. And then there's the whole matter of Is transferring the right decision for me? I've re-visited this other school and it was more wonderful than when I visited in high school. It has many of the qualities of my current school as well as more great opportunities (like GREEK LIFE!), but I always over-analyze my decisions. I want to be in the place that God wants me to be, not where I want to be for selfish reasons. I have my parents' blessing to transfer if I want to, but I'm having a hard time hearing God's voice in all of this.

     Lastly, my issue of summer employment. If you were a reader of my old blog than you might remember that in the summertime I would occasionally post about my job at the bakery. I spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 working there. I had started baby-sitting when I was 12 but I didn't get a "real" job until I was 16, and this was it. It was the perfect first job. My boss was the sweetest lady ever. I originally knew her because during my freshman and sophomore years she was the seceratary at my high school. She was a joy to work for, and I also enjoyed my coworkers. None of us were really friends outside of work, but they were pleasant and all very hard-working. The bakery was about a five minute drive/10 minute bike ride from my house, so I had the best work commute ever. I had planned on going back to the bakery this summer and also trying to find a second job, but I found out last month that my boss has chosen to close the business this summer. She's doing so for honorable reasons, but my source of income went out the door. The bakery catered mostly to tourists, and luckily there are a lot of other tourist businesses in my area. Over Easter break I applied to stores, restaurants and hotels galore, but so far I have yet to hear back from even one place that I applied to and I'm feeling very stressed. I like working, but I'm terrified of having to work at like McDonald's or something because I can't find anything else. (And trust me: you DON'T want to work at McDonald's in my town. There have been drug busts in the parking lot there. True story.) I'd really like to work at the mall, but the nearest one is about 40 minutes from my house and with the amount of gas that my Lucy guzzles up I don't think that would be very realistic.


     ^ so basically, these three things have been weighing me down. A lot. I was telling myself over and over again not to freak out, but this just kept making my thoughts more and more stressful. My college holds a weekly non-denominational worship service on Tuesday nights. I haven't gotten the past few weeks because I've said I'm "too stressed out" (aka Dancing With the Stars results show is on at the same time). But all through Tuesday I just felt something tugging at my heart telling me to go to the service that evening.

     There was a guest speaker and he was awesome. He had a very simple message: DON'T GIVE UP. He was referring to how this is the time in the school year when the weather turns nice and students' desires to do lots of homework and keep up their grades goes down, but his message spoke to my heart in a way that said "Don't let these stessors of your life bring you down." He had a great quote during his sermon which I'd like to share. It was "Jesus has already won the game in the big picture, but each and every person still has to play that game to the best of their ability and until the end." The speaker also said something interesting, he made some sort of comment near the end that went something like "And if you feel that (name of my university) isn't the place that God wants you, don't be afraid to transfer!" Woah. My school has a high transfer rate and had it been the normal pastor last night there's nooooo way that he would have encouraged students to leave if that's what they're feeling is the best decision for them. But I came on the right night! That was the affirmation that I needed to know that transferring is seeming more and more like the right decision for me.

     But my night didn't end there! Visiting our school last night was a pastor from the African country of Zambia. An upperclassman made an announcement that after the service the African pastor wanted to answer students' questions about his ministry in Africa. A group of about 30ish students met on our school's quad in the dark under the stars. It was very special, and God's presence was felt. The African pastor had such an inspiring story. He and the other pastors that he works with in his country seem to have so many fewer resources then we do here in America, but without all of the extra distractions they are able to really focus on preaching the Gospel. He told us how much of a problem HIV/Aids and orphans are in Zambia, and suddenly my own stresses were put into perspective. Even if I am not able to find a job this summer I will not go hungry or without anything that I need because I'm blessed with two amazing parents who provide for me.Whether I transfer or not, I am blessed with the opportunity to further my education. How can I complain about my school checking up on my attendance- they want me to do my best and succeed, shouldn't I be grateful for that?

     After such a wonderful evening my goal for the rest of this week and next is to just have a generally more positive attitude, and to remember that these little things that have been causing me so much grief are really just brief moments in the scheme of my life. My God can do amazing things! Surely everything will work out for His plan for my life, how could I possibly doubt that?

     If any of y'all are interested I'd like to encourage you to join me in praying for the people of Zambia. Pray that more and more people there will be reached with the message of the Gospel, and that in coming years there will be less HIV/Aids and fewer orphans. Also, speaking of stressful situations, my mom is having shoulder surgery tomorrow.  I wish that I could be home with her and my dad tomorrow, but if you can join me in prayer that everything will go just fine and she'll have a quick recovery.

      Here's to a great Thursday! I hope that the weather has been as beautiful where you live as it has where my school is. This week has been truly amazing weather-wise.


     xoxo Miss ALK

7 comments:

  1. Okay so my comment to your most might be a little wordy similar to your post, but I think what I am about to say might make you feel better maybe not I'm not really sure. Okay well here it goes... I too am currently a freshman in college. I understand missing classes because I had mono at the end of first semester and then a bad virus early on in this semester which caused me to miss classes. Makeup work is so stressful and it is such a relief to be done with all of that. I am a decent student with an A- average and a college athlete. The school I am currently at is what I thought was my dream school. About two hours from home, I could play field hockey, there was greek life, tons of clubs, it's on the river, has a preppy feel to it, small class sizes, etc. This had been the only place I applied to sure I looked at other places but this is where I thought was my it school. After spending a year here I realize that being certified in education in this state will not allow me to teach in my home state, so i have to transfer. Well... I'm okay with that but I haven't heard back from all of the schools I have applied to which makes me freak out. I have no doubts that I won't get in but I am a planner and I hate waiting! I love my current roommate and it breaks my heart that we won't be living together next year. She has become my best friend. I really lucked out and I am so nervous about doing the housing and roommate thing all over again!!


    As for summer employment, I worked for a chiropractor as a receptionist for three years during high school. I had to give my position up when I left for college. I am currently searching for a summer job but it is extremely difficult.

    Needless to say I understand your stress and what you are going through!
    If you ever want to chat or vent feel free to email me at shorelifeofm.gmail.com

    hope you have a fantastic thursday!

    mQs
    shorelifeofm.blogspot.com

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  2. Thank you so much for your comment! I finished school today and I should be estatic, right? Well, I am not. I have been crying my eyes out for the past few hours, because my very last exam did not go the way I planned.
    School sucks. I would never want to go back. As sad as I am about my grade, I am glad this chapter is closed. I hope you can work out the things with your school and transfer succesfully. I'll be praying for your mom.
    PS: If you have any ideas for a summer job share them. I need inspiration ;)

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  3. Thank goodness for Mom's who are willing to listen to us vent huh? (also praying her surgery went well!). It sounds like you've got a lot going on with figuring out your attendance issues (I wouldn't worry about this--you've got a very justifiable reason and the school cannot discriminate against you if you were ill), transferring to a different school, and finding a summer job. Hang in there! It's a busy time of year and it will all sort out. God's plan comes through when we let him work (that includes finding a summer job). I'm trying to remember that too :)

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  4. p.s. if you like kids try summer day camps at schools or the YMCA. That's what I've been looking into lately.

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  5. GO GIRL for following what the Lord was telling you and going to that service! See, when we are obedient to what the Lord tells us to do He often blesses us and speaks to us through it. I will be praying for your decision and for your employment! It can be tough trusting the Lord when we can't see what's next. Believe me, I'm there. But, we just have to continue to walk in faith. You can do it!

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  6. Thank-you all so much!!

    xoxo Miss ALK

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