The other day I had a small breakdown.

That’s a fun way to start a blog post, right? Now you’re thinking, who is this girl?! She has got to be crazy, or at least a little unstable.

I’m not afraid to admit it. I felt overwhelmed to the point of tears, so I cried and cried, and then I asked my husband to buy me ice cream.

It’s only the beginning of the fall semester, but I feel overloaded already. I don’t want to feel this way, but I do.

God has started to show me how much stress is negatively impacting my life. He is forcing me to find better ways to manage my stress. I know that right now I am busier than I have ever been. God seems to be saying that life is only going to get more busy, so I have to find better ways to cope. Maybe you can relate.

During this season, God continually reminds me of Philippians 4:6-7:

I don’t know about you, but my major source of stress comes from worrying. One translation says, “Don’t be anxious about anything.” I spend too much time feeling anxious and worrying, and I want it to stop. I’m sure you do too.

I’m nowhere near where I want to be in this journey, but I’m growing. I’d like to share some of what I’m learning about managing stress. Hopefully it will be helpful to you.

Prayer changes everything. Many times I’m the one who needs to be changed. My attitude, my priorities, or my focus is off balance. God uses prayer to put my life and my problems back into focus. When I pray, God reminds me that He is powerful and able to handle anything. He also reminds me that many of the issues I’m worried about are not that important in the grand scheme of things.

God asks us to pray, about everything in Philippians 4:6. I heard someone say once, 
For me the answer is usually no. Next time you have a problem that you can’t stop thinking about take time to pray! Ask God to fill you with peace and to help you work out the situation.

God wants us to pray. He wants to talk to us. He is all-knowing, so he already knows what we are stressed out about. But, he loves us so much that he wants us to come to him and unload the things that burden us. Praying allows you to “cast your cares on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) God cares about what we care about because he loves us!

A final note on prayer, try not to spend all of your time complaining to God about what is wrong. Make it a habit of thanking him for what he has already done for you. You will be glad you did. There are few things that will change your mindset like giving thanks to God.

Stress can create an ugly cycle. You feel overwhelmed and stressed. Then you stop to think about how much you need to do and you feel even more anxious than before. Then you feel incapable of doing anything, so you sit and eat ice cream and ignore your responsibilities.

To fight this cycle, stop thinking about everything that you need to do or all of the problems you are facing. Pick an issue and tackle that one. Focus all of your energy on that, then move on to the next thing. You would be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you do one thing at a time.

For some, stress makes you feel like you don’t have control of your life. You feel like everything is happening to you, and you have very little choice in the matter. I feel like this from time to time.

It’s important to understand that we can only control so much. Our job is to work on the things that we can control. It is God’s job to handle the things that we can’t. We can trust him to have our best interest at heart.

What do we gain by worrying about the issues in our life that we are unable to control? Absolutely nothing. At least nothing of value.

I don’t want stress to rule my life. More importantly, God doesn’t want stress to rule my life. I pray that you are encouraged and understand that stress doesn’t have to control your life either. God wants us to live a life filled with “peace that no one can completely understand.”


I've been married for 2 years to my best friend, Joel. I'm currently a seminary student at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Mo. I plan to be a youth pastor after I graduate in May. For fun, I like to read, try new things, cook, and do Zumba when I have time.

Connect with Tiffany on Instagram (@tifanyhunter).

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