Have you ever been so stressed/overwhelmed that you just shut down?  I’m talking mind, body, and spirit.

That’s been me this past week, up until Wednesday morning.

Summer time is crunch time for student ministry.  So much planning, going and doing.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my job – it’s just been a bit overwhelming because I am not a planner, like, at all.  I do love to be busy, but just looking at my calendar and seeing all of the upcoming events stresses me to the max, and then that’s when I tend to shut down.

On Wednesday, my friend Emily and I decided to go meet a new friend.  Her name is Shauntelle.  She is an 18 year old girl from Ireland.  Shauntelle is in Texas because the only doctor able to treat the rare form of cancer she has is here.  She shared with us her journey and what all she has been going through.  I had to stop her about 5 minutes into our visit and tell her that she had a beautiful glow that I had never seen before; her spunky spirit and bright eyes brought so much peace to my non-stop mind.  It was difficult for me at moments to hold back tears as she continued pouring her heart out to us about this not-so-fun journey.  It also made me stop and revaluate my life.  Although I have faced much heartache in the past, I have never had to endure half of what Shauntelle has been through.  So, why am I throwing a pity party because I have “too much on my plate?”, when I should be thankful for every single second.  Even in the crazy chaotic seasons.  We continued to listen, as she let me eat my breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana (I brought her some as well – she waited to eat after we left, as she gets hungry at odd times because of her chemo *side note* she has never had breakfast tacos because that isn’t a thing in Ireland.  She text me not long after we left and said, “you were right those tacos were AMAZING!”).  As Emily and I were leaving we ended up praying over Shauntelle and she said, “prayers at the end of visits are always my favorite”.   Shauntelle taught me a lot in the short time we spent with her.

Our time on this earth is short, but I believe we can enjoy it a lot more if we chose joy, and by choosing joy it first starts with a thankful heart.  It’s all about the outlook.  This life is full of hardships, pain, sickness, and suffering; unfortunately, these things will never go away, but we do have a God that wants to be there with us in it and through it all.  He will carry you when you just can’t anymore.  I remember a lot of those moments when I thought I couldn’t go on, when I literally thought my heart might fall out of my chest, I felt so very alone, and empty as could be.

But God.
He slows my anxious heart.
He reminds me I’m not alone.
He fills my empty soul.
He rescued me.
He rescues me everyday.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.  He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place for safety.  I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.”

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.  He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.” Psalms 18: 2-3; 16-18