We all know that “stressed spelled backwards is desserts,” am I right? But I think deep in our hearts, we believe that stressed spelled backwards is deserted.
When you are feeling stressed, you think everything and everyone depends on you and you are one mistake away from being deserted. If you think that’s a tad dramatic, then take some personal inventory.
If you are feeling stressed right now, get to the bottom of it. Ask yourself why. Now, some of us have legitimate stresses in our lives. But others of us, not so much. Our stress is self-induced out of our futile attempts to find our identity in everything and everyone but Jesus Christ. We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or other people. Mainly because we are terrified that we are going to come up short and be rejected. And nobody wants to be abandoned.
Currently, I am stressed. And I will tell you why, but you have to promise not to look down on me. It’s embarrassing. So here it goes.
I have two pretty big events in the beginning of November. And I have to find an outfit. And I’m stressed. Like, I-lay-awake-for-a-while-at-night-stressed.
Let the judgment commence.
But seriously. This whole outfit thing is really throwing me for a loop here. And why? Well, on my morning run God had a little heart-to-heart with me. He made it very clear that my insecurity is getting the best of me and so finding the perfect outfit is a way to mask it with some self-imposed confidence. Ouch. He went on to let me know that most of my stress recently has been directly connected to my attempting to control everyone and everything around me so that I feel better about myself. I am not allowing Jesus Christ to define me. I am defining myself through my accomplishments, my appearance, and my relationships. When I get terrified of failure, I know I am moving further away from who I am in Christ and closer and closer to my own definitions of who I am. And that stresses me out.
So, let me ask you…why are you really stressed today? If something doesn’t go exactly your way, will you feel like a failure? Less of a person? Are you afraid you are going to be left in the dust if you don’t prove yourself? If so, you are finding your identity in what you do and in what other people think of you. And it’s exhausting. Recalibrate. Remind yourself that you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. God loves you because of Jesus Christ. When He looks at you, He sees Jesus Christ’s perfect record. Rest.
(Read Ephesians 1 if you need a good dose of who you are in Christ.)