Why is this happening again? I WON’T LET IT!
I’ve been wanting to update ya’ll since my last update when I basically told you I was depressed.
Well the day after that post (a Thursday), I went to mental health counseling. I got a good doctor who asked me about the role of my faith in all of it, so that was helpful. She gave me two steps until our follow-up appointment on Tuesday: stop withdrawing from people and exercise. On that long weekend, I did exactly that. I’m introverted, but that Friday night of forcing myself to hang out with people was very different from my normal introvertedness. It was completely exhausting to be with people, even though they all mostly knew how I was. I knew that the minute I got back to my room that night, I would just cry from exhaustion. I was right.
A friend told me she was going to the Tufts Medical School tour and info session that Saturday, and it was a testament to God’s perfect timing. As I hadn’t done ANY homework for two weeks straight, I needed motivation…to re-focus on why being in school now is not useless. Usually med school panels and any pre-meddy stuff through health advising are incredibly intimidating and make me feel like I have a 0.000001% of actually making it to med school. This though, was fun, encouraging, and exciting. The students definitely did not undermine how they’ve never worked this hard in their lives, having to memorize 5-inch stacks of information bi-weekly. However, I could tell they were loving it. They said if you really want this, you’ll get it. Whether it takes a few tries to get into med school, that’s okay. It happens. Just seeing their excitement to learn got me so pumped to go to medical school. I wish I could just be there already, learning the stuff I really want to learn. It got me excited for the future, to be a medical missionary in India, and that is just what I needed.
On Monday, my conviction to make James 1:27 happened: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” I wrote about it after Passion here. So just like Matthew 25:35 says, we went to serve the homeless whether it be their physical needs (giving them sandwiches), spiritual needs (praying for them), or emotional needs (just having a conversation, making them feel noticed). One man who had muscular dystrophy really touched me by his honesty and faith. His name is Charlie, and I think about him. I miss him. When my friend (here’s her post here about the experience) and I talked to him on that street in downtown Boston, it was like time stopped. Like what happens in the movies…it was like I was aware of people staring but I didn’t care. All that mattered was Charlie. I guess that’s how Jesus sees us. He asked us whether we believed in Jesus…”Yeah! We like Him, He’s a pretty cool guy.” From there, he told us in his slow, slurred speech about his longing for heaven where there will be no more sickness, no more pain. He said it could be a lot worse, and it just reminded me of a few times in this past year when I just longed so much for heaven. To just leave the brokenness of this world, the awfulness of sex trafficking, but I have a duty to be a light to the world. There’s much to be done here first.
Tuesday rolled around, and I suddenly realized, “hey, I’m not depressed anymore!” To make sure, I went to my follow-up appointment and my counselor seemed surprised how quickly God had pulled me out of depression. It was funny, when I got there she said somberly, “How are you?” and I was like “I’m doing great!!!!” Caught her off guard, haha. A combination of being with people, resting, exercising, and asking God for help got me out. I think once two sisters reminded me that depression is not what God wants but rather a foothold for Satan, I fought hard. I didn’t want to remain there, I wanted to have the joy and hope that Jesus wants for me.
After fighting the depression, I realized that there was a lot more fight ahead of me. Two weeks of absolutely zero homework can get you a bit behind in college. So now this is the second week of a season of testing, of encountering God’s grace again.
- Have a paper in an upper-level Child Development class due Tuesday? After telling her what’s happening, she tells me to get it done sooner than later but no deadline. Grace.
- Have a quiz that you’re not prepared for because you haven’t been reading? A sister gives you all your notes and you do fine. Grace.
- Don’t need to inform 2 professors what’s going on because I’m able to manage keeping up and doing well. Gives me time to do some Love146 responsibilities. Grace.
- Somehow with my TCF responsibilities, I felt like I hadn’t done anything during my 2-week depression, giving me space. Then right when I come out, a healthy amount is back on my plate. The timing was impeccable. Grace.
- Realizing that I’ve become a honorary sophomore this year…they have loved me more than I can imagine. Grace.
- On top of that, my 2013ers are huge blessings. I could have never imagined having this community coming into college. Grace.
Now despite these graces, I realized how worried and doubtful I was that God wasn’t going to come through. The sermon this week was on the vice of wrath, and I realized that I have some anger to contend with. Godly anger though is an expression of love. So my anger towards sex traffickers and Satan seems just, but for myself, I felt like it was my fault that I got into this hole academically again, I was blaming myself and thinking that I didn’t deserve God’s grace in all of this. Hello Anisha, isn’t the point of grace that you don’t deserve it?
On Monday, I realize that I probably packed in too much during the weekend and am not prepared for my quiz on Tuesday. Have the most up-and-down day yesterday, with one of those ups being that my professor tells me to go ahead and take the quiz, but if it goes poorly I’ll have a retake or a drop on the quiz to relieve the pressure. GRACE.
After that last instance I realized this struggle felt familiar. I thought that everything that happened with academic probation was over. That it’s past and there’s no more to contend with. I was wrong…the feelings of a wavering faith in God coming through with all of this have been uncomfortably present lately. I look at the “removal from academic probation” letter taped to my closet door for inspiration, but I noticed that the paper is a bit crumpled. Maybe that’s symbolic of my need to iron some things out with that struggle. I feel like it’s my fault again, but how can I blame myself for taking the issue of sex trafficking really hard? I’m being harsh on myself, not allowing myself time to recover emotionally and academically. I’m afraid that academic failure is going to happen again. I’m really afraid.
I really need to…
Then I came across James 1:6> But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Then a friend named it, God’s testing you to see if you’ve learned your lesson. It’s coming full circle. And you know what, I feel different and I KNOW that I won’t let this happen again. How could I forget for a moment God’s faithfulness through all of that academic struggle? Didn’t I write in a post that no one will ever be able to tell me God is not faithful? I guess I didn’t realize I might convince myself that this lie was true.
I’m not gonna lie, my life lately is tiring. I really just wish that I would have more than 2 weeks of bliss. It seems as soon as things are going well, something comes up. I’m tired of struggling, and because of the number of struggles I’ve had, I’ve become more in tune with the spiritual war happening inside of me. Now I can physically feel the lies fighting the truth inside of me. And Satan is dumb. He’s trying really hard to get me down; yesterday while going to small group, I realized that before I could snap my fingers, I suddenly felt achy and feverish. So now I think I have the flu. I know though that Jesus is healer, and this sickness is not to remain, so I’m fighting.
So last night while I layered on the clothes since I had the chills, I wished that it would just all stop. Since James 1:6 really convicted me earlier that day, I decided to read the book of James. It’s only 5 chapters, but it was like God was hand-picking some of those words to speak to me. It was mind-blowing how perfect it was. I won’t post the whole book here, but here’s some verses that hit home.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. [dude! that was in the sermon yesterday!]
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. [not forgetting sexually trafficked children?]
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. [serving the homeless?]
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.
I must persevere through this until it comes full circle. He’s going to help me heal more from the pain I still have from academic probation. After my afternoon class today, I had a 2-hour block to do some homework but I had the chills again and ended up falling asleep. God woke me up 12 minutes before my 6:30 class. Grace. I knew God was just gonna make time appear and give me more graces.
Checked my email and my 4-year-old special friend who I play with for 2 hours every Wednesday morning just happens to have a dentist appointment tomorrow. So now I have that time back. This grace this is just getting ridiculous now.
So I have to somehow contend with the current academic schedule and catching-up, but I have peace again. It’s just gonna work out, and I don’t have to abandon living by Matthew 6:34 (“Do not worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough trouble of its own.”) I have been living by that verse since I dropped chem last semester, and life has been so much better. With all the stuff I need to get done, I got stressed thinking about having to plan like this again. I didn’t know how to handle planning again, but God has reminded me that I don’t have to. It’s a daily walk, and it’ll all get done eventually.
Lesson: God is really good, and it keeps blowing my mind. “I have no good apart from You.”