You Matter to God September 1, 2021

You Matter to God

Stress might be rising as September comes. I caught myself worrying yesterday that I hadn’t rested enough over the summer to face September. I wonder how you are feeling? 

 

In the midst of a dark time a few months ago, my counsellor shared something called the stress equation with me.

 

The stress equation is: 

resources vs demands and threats in our lives 

or

stress= situations where our perception of the demands or threats on our plate is greater than what we perceive as our resources to address the threats or meet the demands we face. 

 

Resources are much more than money – resources include time, energy, skill, finance, emotional resource, friends and community who are willing and able to support, physical and mental health, spiritual resource, and external support.

 

It’s safe to say that for much of 2020 and 2021 the demands and threats I have faced have vastly outpaced my sources of strength and resource. I was living on the brink of overwhelm.

 

My counsellor suggested that there are three ways of reducing stress:

 

1.     We can shift our perception of demand/threat – is the threat I face as big as I think it is. Are the demands on me as significant as I feel they are? Is my perception distorted?

2.     We can increase our perception of available resources. Are there more people I can call on to help me – can I give myself more sleep? Am I forgetting or missing resources that are there to help me? 

3.     We can try to increase the actual resources supporting us – somehow building or rebuilding sources of strength and help in our lives. (Unfortunately, this also takes some effort which may increase stress in the short term.)

 

I found it helpful to name some of the demand and threat - the loss of community and financial security I had gone through, to recognise the health challenges I had faced to be honest and open with God and to stop feeling surprise, guilt or failure that my body was processing extremely high levels of stress. The stress equation didn’t help me in one sense – practically speaking, humanly the resources were not enough to carry me through. But God…. I needed to go to the brink to realise how much I needed God, and that only the Lord could carry me through this year. But I struggled to feel that my situation mattered enough. If I believed theologically that every person matters to a loving God, was I willing to go there – to really believe that I matter to God? That my stress, pain, feelings and my voice actually matter? When I shared this with a close friend, she had a water bottle made for me which says “Amy’s voice matters”. She wanted me to remember that in all the giving out as a mother, friend, wife, writer, speaker and leader that I matter – to her and to God. 

 

Do you need to hear that today? That you matter to God?

 

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the son of her womb? Even if she could forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:16

 

I hope you can hear that you matter to God. Why not reach out to him today personally and invite him to fill you with his peace, hope and love, his goodness, beauty and truth?

 

????: Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

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