My problem is I have been stressed about my future. I mean, I'm 17 years old, and about to graduate high school. It's definitely understandable. I'm applying for colleges, and scholarships, and I don't know how I'm going to pay for everything. And then after that, I'll have to move out, which means I'll have to do so many things I've never done before, and do them alone. It was really hard to think about for a while, and that was causing me a lot of stress.
I was constantly trying to figure out how I was going to pay for college, what I was going to do in my future, how I'm going to do this thing or the other thing. I tried to plan out the things I was doing, and the things I would do in the future. But it seemed the more I tried, the more things fell through, and my plans failed. This made things all the more stressful for me.
But just when it seemed it couldn't get any worse for me, my dad asked if I wanted to hang out with him for the evening. We did, and he could tell something was bothering me. So I told him what I was struggling with. And he said "You need to stop worrying about this. You're not going to be able to plan everything out. Just trust that God is going to provide for you and protect you. 'Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.' You can't try and control this by yourself, but all it will lead to is frustration. You need to let go, and let God take control."
While hard to accept at the moment, this was exactly what I needed to hear. Since then, I've been constantly asking God to take control. Because I can't do this on my own! I need Him to take over, cause I'm just going to drive myself mad with all my worrying. And since I've been doing that, I am constantly seeing reminders of this in my life. For example, from my devotions last night (My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers):
Beware of exhibiting religious deceit by saying "Oh, I have no misgivings about Jesus, only misgivings of myself." If we are honest, we will say we never have misgivings about ourselves, because we know exactly what we are capable or incapable of doing. But we do have misgivings about Jesus. And our pride is hurt even at the thought that He can do what we can't.
It's true. For the most part, I know what I'm capable or incapable of. When I'm worrying about things, what I'm saying is that I don't trust in Jesus to provide for me. If all I can think about how I'm going to get money to pay for college, I'm saying that I don't think that Jesus is enough for me. I need to trust in Him to provide for me! He has made that abundantly clear to me in recent weeks. Thanks be to God for breaking me out of that cycle of stress and worry! He knew I was in it, and he showed me exactly what I needed to see to help me get back on the right path.
Also, I just wanted to give a piece of advice to all of you. I recently heard this quote by Pastor Derik Armstrong. He said "Depending on who you ask, the average person pulls out their phone and looks at it over a hundred times a day! So why not save a bible verse as your phone picture, so that every time you pull it out, you're letting God's word enter your heart." I've saved Proverbs 3:5-6 as the background of my phone: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight." It's amazing to have that reminder throughout my day; a reminder that I am not in control. God is.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.