“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious are your thoughts, oh God! How vast is the sum of them.” Psalm 139:16-17
There is so much pressure in the world today to be successful; it overwhelms us. That pressure and stress have become unbearable for some. You can feel it in the atmosphere. Sometimes you hear about it in the news because the story is about someone committing suicide and the aftermath.
Our niece is a high school senior. She has many wonderful qualities: kind, intelligent, athletic and beautiful. Her grades are perfect, and she has many extracurricular activities. She wants to be a surgeon someday, so she has to be tough and be able to handle a lot at once. Over the holidays, I heard her extensive schedule for the next semester, and it floored me.
A few days after seeing her for the holidays, I learned of a popular newscaster who died of a drug overdose. Even though it was not a suicide, he allegedly used drugs to cope with the stress in his life. Sadly, many people deal with stress through the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking, video games, eating disorders, etc. The pressure becomes too much to handle.
For some reason, God put our niece heavily on my heart when I heard about this newscaster. I felt like I needed to tell her that she is valuable, I was proud of her, and no matter what, she would be successful in all she planned to do. I sent her a text. She responded that she needed to hear that.
Whether you are heading into college, getting a job in a career that you want, finding a spouse or even planning a birthday party, they are so many expectations-real and unnecessary. The competition alone can bring people to their knees. In my daughter, just as a Fourth Grader, I saw the stress of the state testing week make her physically ill. I know she prepared the best she could, so I told her, that I did not care about the outcome of this test as long as you try. She relaxed and tested at her grade level. I do not need her developing ulcers, worrying about a test score.
In January 2018, there was a suicide of a high school student in South Orange County, CA. He wrote a letter about his discontent of living a pressure-filled life and trying to attain a perfect grade point average. He enjoyed playing a sport, not the constant drive to achieve championships. It broke my heart. He wanted to be a teen and have fun and try his best. He felt he could not be himself.
Our worth should not be defined by the world, but by God. God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us. Death and destruction are not a part of His purpose for us. No matter how difficult life gets, God wants us to finish well. Let us relax the unrealistic pressure put on ourselves by the world. Pursue God and seek His will. If we fail, then it will not be devastating. God loves us, and we are all valuable and worthy.
Lesson Learned: My value and worth are in the Lord, not the world. In knowing that then I will be free.