This spring was supposed to feel like the end of a great race. It was supposed to feel victorious and exciting and full of hope. It was supposed to be a time of celebration, encouragement, and looking to the future.
Instead, it’s been full of confusion, fear, stress, and anxiety. Instead of looking to the future, I’ve been looking down, doing only the very next thing in front of me.
This May I will be completing my Masters in Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. I’ve been working on this degree for seven years. It’s a long program, but I’ve also done most of it part-time as I’ve been working. I’ve been looking forward to the end of this for months now; not because I’m ready for it to be over, but I’m ready for the stress of doing both school and work to be over. In January I started counting down the days I had left. I was ready for the mountain of stress and projects to be done.
A few weeks ago, when they announced all of our classes for the rest of the semester would transition to an online format, I broke down in tears. I had been counting down the days, yes, but this was not the same. I felt terrible for being ready for this season to be over. While I’m still under a mountain of work, all the time I would have spent with friends, learning from professors, and studying in my favorite spot in the library were stolen from me. That’s how the last few weeks have felt: like something came and stole the end of my time in seminary, the end of my time at DTS.
I know we’re all struggling in different ways right now. Whenever I scroll social media I see people encouraging others to spend more time with the Lord, do creative things with their kids, and adopt a pet. Y’all, that has not been my life! I have been under a mountain of work, losing sleep with the anxiety of getting it all done, and mourning the loss of a graduation and a season filled with hope. I’m also sitting here wondering how I’m ever going to meet someone if I can’t go out on a date in the foreseeable future! (And not only that, my apartment lease is up soon! Are we even allowed to move in the middle of a shelter-in-place order?)
If you’re like me and you feel like everything is more difficult right now, it is. Even if your daily life doesn’t look all that different, we’re all living in a world where you can’t buy toilet paper and where you know that going to the store is a risk. I know it may feel like everyone is doing much better than you are. Let me assure you, they’re not. We all need encouragement. We all need peace. We all need a break. We all need extra rest. And we all need a hug!
There are a few verses I’ve been clinging to over the last few weeks. While I’ve definitely been feeling guilty for not spending an abundance of time in the Word, I’m resting on this truth:
“God is on my side.” – Psalm 56:9
When I’m overwhelmed with the three twenty-page papers I have to write before the end of the month, I remember: God is on my side.
When I’m feeling isolated and lonely in my small apartment, I remember: God is on my side.
When I have an anxiety attack in the dry-shampoo aisle of Target because how do I know I’m not getting the virus right now? I remember: God is on my side.
When I think about my lease ending in sixty days and finding a new apartment in the middle of a shelter-in-place order: God is on my side.
When I’m feeling horribly defeated about my (non-existent) dating life in this time of social isolation, I remember: God is on my side.
This is not easy. Through all of the sadness, the loneliness, the stress, and the waiting, I’m reminded there is One who is still in control. My times are still in His hands. He is still on my side, working all things for my good. He’s doing the same for you. No matter what you’re wrestling with right now, God is on your side.
“Throw your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be shaken.” – Psalm 55:22
Love God Greatly Content Director – Texas, United States of America