Emotions. They build or come in waves, but either way, here they are. The first week of school is coming. You may feel excited to see friends again, nervous about starting a new year or a new school, or dread the upcoming homework. Maybe all three. I distinctly remember going through all of those emotions every year!
You know what? That's normal. It's okay to go through this roller coaster, but as Christians, we want to make sure that our emotions don't rule us. So how do we guard against the temptation to give in to anxiety or panic? I offer three ways to focus on peace during your first week of school.
I highly recommend getting organized with your schedule before the year even begins. If you don't know where to start, check out the Blaze Academic Planner. This amazing planner offers tons of amazing ways to organize your week, month, and school year. It offers monthly calendars, weekly reviews, class, exam, and extra-curricular schedules, and so many other checklists and trackers to help you this school year. We are offering a free printable to give you a glimpse of what is offered.
How does this help with anxiety? Oh my word! Just having a clear picture of your commitments helps you focus on the important tasks, goals, and people in your life. Once you have a handle on your time commitments, you can help ease anxiety further by following the next two steps.
Pray for Your Teachers and Professors
I cannot stress enough how important prayer can be in easing anxiety! When you pray, you are literally talking to "Jehovah Shalom," meaning the "Lord is Peace." You are talking to the "El Shaddai," "the Lord Almighty", who helps you in all kinds of hard situations. You are talking to "Abba," "father." No matter what your experience is with your earthly father, your heavenly Father is perfectly loving, perfectly patient, and perfectly full of joy.
Back to your teachers and professors. In praying for them, your heart will be softened toward them, and God will help you love them as He loves them. Even if you have heard that they are tough or unreasonable, Jesus helps you see them as regular people with a job to teach you and help you grow. When you learn to love someone, the anxiety eases.
Pray for Your Classmates
The same goes for your peers. Jesus loves each and every one of them enough to give His own life so that they may be forgiven and have a relationship with a perfect and holy God. He wants you to experience His love for them in your own life as He strives to make you more like Him. I know this from 1 John 4:7-12 (ESV), which states:
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us."
Therefore, sweet sisters, pray for your friends, your enemies, the outliers, the "popular crowd," the super smart, the "not-quite-rights," and anyone else you may be in class with. Who knows how the love of Jesus will transform them this coming school year by shining through you!