Hi ya’ll, Mariah here.
Last weekend Schuyler and I took a trip to Sequoia National Park. We were both feeling restless and ready to get out the of the city. We both grew up in the Big Sky State, spending a large portion of our time outdoors. Living in Los Angeles can feel suffocating being that we are accustomed to open roads, clear skies, and nearby mountains. It’s difficult to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life while living in the heart of the city. Schuyler and I try to get out of the city whenever we can. Camping and hiking recharge us.
This trip provided rejuvenation and insight. I spent some time reflecting on my anxieties. Lately I have been overwhelmed with work, law school, and studying for the bar exam. Thinking about the bar exam can make me feel anxious and even nauseous. I think most law students fear the bar exam because after all, it does determine whether you can practice. The California bar exam is notorious for being the most difficult exam in the country. I think my fear goes much deeper than the dreaded bar exam though. I fear failing and letting myself and my family down. I fear not reaching my potential. I fear not fulfilling my destiny.
This fear goes against everything God is and stands for. God reassures his children several times through scriptures that he has our back. As way of illustration, Joshua 1:9 states that, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” God commissions us to not worry in Matthew 6:34 also: “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I read these scriptures and believe in them, but I fail to live them out in my life. Daily, I allow the fear to creep into my mind, influencing my actions. This fear manifests in control, lethargy, or anxiety as mentioned above.
During my reflection, I concluded that I was missing two major ingredients in my life: proper balance and faith. My fears would lose its power over my life if I put my trust in the Lord. My lack of faith though causes me to feel at unease. I realized that my lack of faith stemmed from an incorrect view of God and myself. My past failures tainted my perception of God. I have suffered through several injuries and ailments which caused both physical and emotional pain. There were times when I felt neglected. However, God was there with me. Yes, he did allow me to endure difficulties, but he also promises to use my failures for good. I have to do my part in trusting him and handing over the steering wheel.
I also realized that my life is not in proper order. In Philippians 4:8-9 God says, “Finally Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Honestly, I find it hard with the social media world we live in to abide by this verse. Every day I turn to my phone as a source of comfort and entertainment instead of God. I usually start my day by checking my Instagram and Facebook. However, I usually don’t satisfy my need for stimulation with merely scrolling through my Instagram or Facebook feed. Eventually I find myself watching mindless videos that are completely unrelated to my life. I end up wasting hours on social media when I could and should be directing my attention to wholesome productive things. I truly believe that if I dedicated more time to scripture and positive things, I would live a more peaceful life.
Even though I have found a solution to my anxieties, I continue to bridge the gap to a more anxiety-free life every day. I am a work in progress and far from perfect. Plus “I’m only human,” as famously stated by Lloyd in Dumb in Dumber. I know I am not the only one bombarded with social media and the stresses of life. I challenge everyone to rid their life of distractions and anything that produces negative or unproductive thinking. I hope this doesn’t sound cliché but I want to end with this statement. Life is precious and we all have a unique destiny. Don’t let anything get in the way of your destiny, including yourself!!
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit