Stress Just Isn't Worth It

Oh yes. We're here to tackle THIS topic. S T R E S S. I've been meaning to write a blog post about this for a while now but I've been super busy (and stressed #irony) so I haven't had much time.

BUT I'M HERE NOW. Hopefully I have something to say about this? I'm not really sure because I'm basically just jumping in and hoping for the best. You guys will have to make sense of whatever happens. FAIR DEAL, RIGHT?



I'm an overachiever and a perfectionist and a clean freak. Just about anything has the potential to stress me out. If my room isn't clean? I'm stressed. If I'm not done with school by dinner? I'm stressed. In fact, half the time I get stressed if I have sit down for more than ten minutes to eat lunch. LIKE. I HAVE THINGS TO DO, PEOPLE. 

But lately, I've noticed that even when I DON'T have things to do, I'm still stressed. Even when it's the end of the day and I don't have any school to do- I'm stressed about tomorrow. 

If anything gets added onto my normal to-do list, I get stressed. I try and reschedule everything to fit that new thing into my day. (even if it's something that's only going to take me ten minutes) I can't just sit still and do nothing without feeling like I HAVE to be working on something RIGHT THAT SECOND. 

So. There's where I'm at right now. Now you see why I'm writing this post at myself and not at you. Currently I'm sitting here realizing that my life isn't going to get any slower or easier. It's going to get crazier and more hectic. Meaning that I'm the one that needs to change, not my circumstances or the people around me. 

Stress is stealing my joy and my excitement and turning me into a flustered, panicky type of teenager who barely stops to breathe. I can't enjoy anything anymore, not even praying or reading or writing. Stress just isn't worth that. 

Stress is taking my ordinary, normal, every-day life and turning it into a war: me vs. my to-do list. It's blinding me to the value of hard work and causing me to lose my cool when anything goes wrong. Stress isn't worth that, either. 

Stress is turning my focus inward. It's giving me a selfish attitude instead of a servant's attitude. No longer can I help anyone with anything, or step up to take care of something around the house unless I have to. Stress tells me I don't have time. Stress tells me if I stop to breathe, even if it's just for a second, my plans will collapse. Holding onto my stress isn't worth any of that. 

I'm worn out. God never intended this for me, or for you, or for anyone. God wants me to lean on HIM. That's where the problem lies. 


In the end, stress is an issue of trust. God doesn't want us running around anxious about everything, wondering how we're going to get done everything we need to get done and worrying about what on earth other people are going to think about us if we fail somehow or post something that's maybe a little too personal.

Hey, Christian! Guess what? The things that send us into fits of panic don't make God bat an eyelash. He's not phased. He's not concerned. And he's definitely not stressed out. 


I'm a perfectionist. I'm an overachiever. I like to get things done RIGHT and I like to get done LOTS OF THINGS. I don't want to settle for second best or good enough. 

But sometimes I have to.

The irony is that even though I'm a perfectionist and an overachiever, when stress gets thrown into the mix, I rush through things. Which then stresses me out further because I want everything to be PERFECT. I want everything to be clean and nice and calm and controlled and I want to see check marks next to every single item on my to-do list NO MATTER WHAT.

Timeout. That's not fair to myself or to my family. By putting this pressure on myself, I'm losing time to do things I enjoy and I'm losing time to spend with my family. 

Stress isn't worth that. My to-do list isn't worth that.


I like to do everything. I expect myself to be able to do... a lot. Too much, probably. I expect myself to be able to go to the gym a decent amount, and do two days of school in one day, and finish editing the first part of my novel before the end of November, and manage a blog, and guest post on other people's blogs, and not get behind on my reading challenge but somehow still read 500+ page books that are basically weapons, and maybe learn Spanish before I graduate, and ACTUALLY GRADUATE (probably should do that at some point lol), and practice piano and guitar so I don't feel like I'm failing musically, and somehow also mange to be a DECENT HUMAN BEING. 

Sometimes I have to say "NO" to myself and to others. I have to be careful that I don't over-commit and burn myself out. That means I have to realize what I can handle, and what I can't handle, and I have to have the maturity to know when to say no. (obviously still working away at that part) 

Saying no can be easy. The hard part is prioritizing so that you're not committing to things you really don't need, and you are committing to things that would do you a lot of good. BALANCE IS CRITICAL. 


Remember that one verse? The one where God says: My grace is sufficient. What if we applied that? 

"But Lord! It's already eight o' clock and I haven't finished school and I still  have to..." 

My grace is sufficient. 

"But Lord! I don't know if I can all of this done in time..." 

MY. GRACE. IS. SUFFICIENT.

Stress tells me I have to try, try, try, never stopping to breathe or pray; grace tells me that I can rest in who I am in Christ. Stress tells me that I can never do or be enough; grace tells me Christ has already made me enough. Stress tells me that I can't handle anything; grace tells me that I don't have to, because God's got this one. Stress calls me failure; grace calls me child of God

Grace means that we can be weak, because in our weakness God is strong. It means that our identity lies in Christ, not how many items we get checked off our to-do list. 

But the important thing about this post is that it's a process. Learning to trust God is a process. Letting go of perfect is a process. Prioritizing your life is a process. Embracing identity in Christ is a process. This post doesn't mean that I'll never get stressed again because "OBVIOUSLY I HAVE EVERYTHING FIGURED OUT NOW." It means that I'm working through it with God's help, and that I'm learning. I'm growing. I'm maturing. Slowly, slowly, slowly, God's taking me, molding me, and making me into a vessel that can better serve him. 

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56 comments:

  1. well. I'd say you've been learning some pretty tough stuff. and thanks for writing about it! it really got me when you were talking about stress vs grace.

    btw. There isn't an ounce of perfectionist in me and I STILL STRESS OUT LOL #whyisgasexpensive

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    1. Mhm I'd agree with you there. xD Tough can definitely be good though.

      Okay see I would never stress out about the price of gas...? Like CHILL IT'S OUT OF YOUR CONTROL AND YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT. :P

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    2. but. uhm. just cuz the gas prices rise WHY DON'T I START EARNING MORE????! LOL

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    3. Obvious solution: START A GAS STATION

      You can thank me later

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  2. okay basically I wrote a post about this exact topic yesterday (that is scheduled for tomorrow). believe me I FEEL YOU. I'm a perfectionist with a to-do list which is a good, and bad thing. it's a real process to hand over the stress of everything to God - and it's something I've really been focusing on this past summer and honestly, but I feel like I have improved a lot. yeah, it still comes back - but, somehow, its easier to hand back over. so don't worry about it, it's not being a failure or anything. just don't dwell on it or whatever. so yeah, look out for my post about this tomorrow 'cuz it's about this and tips and such xP xD

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    1. GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE, CLEARLY. *fist bump* I shall definitely be stalking your blog tomorrow.

      It TOTALLY is a process to "hand over the stress of everything to God" (like you said) !!! It's not something that happens overnight or in a moment or something that happens automatically because you write a blog post about it. xD And I definitely agree with you that perfectionism/aggressive to-do listing (shhh I just invented that term, roll with it) can be both good and bad. Good because I can get SO MUCH DONE but bad because STRESS. XD That's great that you learned a lot last summer though. *nods*

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  3. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST, JONATHAN!!!!

    I have low-key anxiety / high-key (is that a word?) stress, so of course EVERY WAKING MOMENT IS SPENT. FREAKING. OUT.

    But yeah. Your post is super helpful and so relatable and just THANK YOUUU! :D

    ~Liv
    livkfisher.blogspot.com

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    1. THANKS FOR LEAVING AN AWESOME ALL-CAPS COMMENT. xD Glad you got a blessing from the post!

      I don't have anxiety but I sorta know how it feels. D: I'll pray for you. (and I say high-key/low-key all the time so if high-key isn't a word than we're both incorrect together haha)

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  4. Honestly, I think I needed this. Its been a hard day and I feel stressed. Its hard to just let God take my cares. A lot of things are affecting me lately and its just hard to let God handle it. Thanks for the reminder that He's got this. :D

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. EVERYONE has hard days- it's just important to keep your perspective right throughout the day. Something that might seem like THE END OF THE WORLD right this second might seem like the most ridiculous thing ever in a week. :D Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Amen to all of this post. *nodnodnod*

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  6. This post was AMAZING! I'm not a /clean freak/ per say, but I struggle with managing things and that gets super stressful sometimes. he...hehe...hehehe...

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    1. Thanks! Managing multiple tasks at once can definitely be a challenge- I typically multitask but I've heard that can be bad? So idk? I guess I'm still looking into that haha

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  7. Awesome timing, because just today I was freaking out, took 30 minutes to breathe, and then berated myself for wasting time. Let's just say I feel ya on the perfectionist/overachiever side!

    And everything you said comparing stress and grace is SO TRUE. THIS IS THE GOOD KIND OF "GIVE YOURSELF A SHAKE, KIDDO" POST. Like "ouch" and "ohhhh that's right, I forgot, thank you" at the same time. (And that doesn't make a lick of sense. XD)

    Thanks for sharing your struggle too! I find those are some of the best posts, aren't they--the ones you write for yourself more than anyone else. :)

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    1. BREATHING IS GOOD THOUGH. Definitely an underrated exercise for perfectionists/overachievers. *sage nod* XD

      No yes it does make sense! (if I can make sense of myself than I can totally make sense of you, let's be honest :P)

      SAME. Writing posts about what matters to you/what you're learning about are always more authentic. I AGREE 100%.

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  8. All I can say is AMEN BROTHAH!! (In my very best southern baptist voice of course. ;)
    I needed to hear this today. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

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    1. LOL IDEK WHAT TO SAY TO THAT. XD Thanks? (although if you're going to talk to me in a southern baptist voice, I expect southern baptist tea, JUST SO YA KNOW WHAT'S INVOLVED HERE)
      Glad it could help you out! :D

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  9. *exhale of relief* Thank you for this, Jonathan. This reminder is wonderful, and it's IMPORTANT.

    High school = stress, for most people. For me, half the time. But it doesn't have to be! And God doesn't WANT it to be! :)

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    1. Aaahhh I RELATE. I'm in my senior year so the amount of school I typically have is... a little insane? (plus I almost always try to do two school days in one day so there's my overachiever side xD)

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  10. THANK YOU!! This was EXACTLY the post I needed to read on this exact day. I'm a perfectionist (who may or may not procrastinate) and it's sometimes really hard to function when I'm freaking out about the assignment that's due tomorrow and has to be JUST RIGHT or else. But, God's grace is always sufficient. Thanks so much for posting this. I may live through the school year now. Good luck on graduating! Although, is it really important?? :D

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    1. GOOD I'M GLAD. :D I honestly think that's one of my favorite things to hear- it means God's working somewhere!

      I totally get that. *nods* But yes, it's ALWAYS important to remember that God's grace is sufficient no matter how we feel.

      Thanks! WELL IDK I'M NOT CONVINCED but everyone else seems to think it is so I'm trying hard to get my school done :P

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  11. OKAY THIS IS OFFICIALLY AMAZING. I can't add anything to what you said because you said it all. Stress isn't worth it, and we need to stop freaking out and trust that He's going to give us enough time to accomplish everything that really needs to be accomplished.

    Thank you for this!

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    1. AHHH THANK YOU. I'm glad that you could get something out of this. *nods*

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  12. this is awesome! stress is something I deal with every day...and definitely something I need to work on.
    great post! :)

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    1. YOU'RE NOT ALONE. I deal with it two and God's definitely been working on that with me. :D

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  13. Very timely post for me, Jonathan. Thank you. :) I've been so stressed out all the time. Eight full high school courses is so much, and I'm so tired...but I need to give myself time to breathe. Otherwise I come down with the flu like I did this weekend and can't take time off to finish getting over it. :P

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    1. It's definitely okay to be tired, though! Don't feel like you're failing just because school wears you out. :D And DON'T GET THE FLU EITHER. (at least not if you can help it hehehe)

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  14. AWESOME POST!!! I agree with everything you said. We need to stop getting stressed out because it JUST ISNT WORTH IT and we need to trust God.
    Thanks for the post!

    - Maddy | littlebitofsunshineweb.blogspot.com

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  15. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!! I REALLY NEEDED IT! I'm the exact same way. Perfectionist and overachiever that thinks they can do everything and can never say no. Literally me. XD I'm stressed like all the time too, and I do it to myself. I really need to work on it. And I also need to remember to take everything to God because NOTHING is too much for Him. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Jon! :D

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    1. I'M GLAD YOU GOT SOMETHING FROM IT. :D Well I'd say that I'm glad you can relate but... I really wish no one had to deal with stress, so I guess I'm not. xD We'll both work on it.

      Thanks for commenting! :D

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  16. YES and amen.

    I feel like I've been going through this a bit this year too. Everything's getting busier and I'm slowly realising that this busyness is /normal/ now because it's not going to get better.

    Everything you said about trusting God and His grace. <3 Yes. 2 Corinthians 12:9 is one of my favourite verses. I have it on my wall and my desk and one of my favourite shirts is 'His Grace is Enough' and eep yes. It's a beautiful verse and I constantly need reminding of it.

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    1. SAME FOR ME? This has sorta been that one year where suddenly I've gotten really busy. Adulting has arrived, I guess. XD

      Yesss love that verse! I think we could all use reminding of it every now and then. *nods*

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  17. Dude, how are you so good with words? I've been needing to hear this desperately as of late. With getting sick twice in a matter of two weeks, working two jobs, and trying to write a 50,000 word novel in one month - I've been super stressed and it's been leading to depression in some cases. I definitely need to be trusting God and praying more because as you said - His grace is sufficient! Thank you so much for this!!! It came at just the right time! :)
    ~Jaclynn~

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    1. Whoa, you've been busy. O.O I FEEL YOUR PAIN THOUGH. It can be super hard to trust God and to pray consistently, but once you start, you won't want to stop.

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  18. This is a much needed post. Thank you for writing about it, you have some great insights!

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  19. THIS. POST.

    I DON'T KNOW IF I'VE EVER RELATED TO A POST SO HARD. Just...everything you said! I'm soooo a perfectionist/over-achiever/neat-freak. (I actually think I have a bit of real OCD with the cleaning thing and it's a problem...) I just have to do ALL THE THINGS and do everything PERFECTLY but GET IT ALL DONE and and and... *collapses* Yeah.

    I needed this post like I need air. It hit so hard when you said WE'RE the ones needing to change, not our circumstances. YES. Life DOESN'T stop ever being busy. There is no "catching up" to everything ever. There will always be to-do lists, always be commitments. But we have to learn to LIVE. To not see our lives as a list of things to mark off, but to trust God, like you said, and take everything a day at a time and find JOY in it.

    This was SO encouraging (and very timely in the midst of the crazy stress of NaNoWriMo). Thank you for opening up and sharing with us! I think it's fantastic God is working through you with this! ^_^

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    1. AHHH THANK YOU. You sound a lot like me LOL. I'm totally right there with you. *nods*

      EXACTLY. That sorta hit me hard too? And I almost took it out, just because I was like "WHOA SORTA A SLAP IN THE FACE" but it's so true and it really alters your perspective once you've got a firm grasp on it.

      You've got some great thoughts of your own here though, YOU SHOULD DO YOUR OWN POST. :D :D :D

      Thanks for commenting, Christine! I'm glad you got something out of this, and I'm glad I could encourage you just like you've encouraged me. :D

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  20. I TOTALLY GET THIS WHOLE STRESS WITH NOT ENOUGH TIME THING. I used to have SUCH A HARD TIME with managing my time (and I still do =/) but something I have tried has made it a bit easier.
    I have a good-sized family, and so I never really know what is going to happen day by day. So I can't say 'from nine to ten I'll be doing this, and then from eleven to twelve thirty I'll be doing this' and so on. What I have done is said 'I am going to spend this amount of time doing school, this amount of time with others, this amount of time with God'--which hasn't ALWAYS worked, but it seems to make time management a bit easier. ^_^
    God says we need to 'redeem the time' and so I think it's really great that you are evaluating how you are spending your time, when it will serve you so well in the future! ^_^
    -Ariel

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    1. SAME FOR ME. I have a large family also (seven siblings woot!) so I have the same problem sometimes. Trying to schedule things PERFECTLY just stresses me out further because 9 out of 10 times I get interrupted. XD

      I like your method though, I'll have to give that a try! I've been thinking about starting a bullet journal also (#LOFTYGOALS) so that might be helpful also. :D

      I agree 100%! It's definitely important for us to be thinking about our time right now, when we're still fairly young and not swamped by adult responsibilities.

      [ALSO P.S. I'VE HEARD YOU IN SAVANNAH'S VLOGS SO HEEEEY. XD I saw your comment and I was like "Oh right I know her!!!")

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  21. Dude. Relatable.
    I needed this reminder. Thanks. ^-^

    ~ Abby {novelsdragonsandwardrobedoors.blogspot.com}

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  22. So like I wanted to comment on this when I read it five minutes after you posted it, but my thoughts were not being coherent? They are still not being coherent? BUT HERE I AM, COMMENTING ANYWAYS, BECAUSE THIS POST WAS EPIC AND INCREDIBLY TIMELY FOR ME (...actually it was almost weird how timely this post was *squints at the post suspiciously*). Thanks a billion for posting it, Jon - your thoughts on this were great.

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

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    1. LOL I RELATE TO THAT. I'm always the awkward person that reads blog posts but then doesn't comment on them until later. (actually I'm just a horrible commenter in general, let's be honest XD)

      Thanks for reading! IT WAS ACTUALLY REALLY TIMELY FOR ME ALSO? I posted it and then I saw a few other people posting about the SAME TOPIC and they had some really great things to say. *nods* So I ended up really convicted haha. :D

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  23. I'm definitely not a perfectionist but I do have my moments sometimes.

    We all needed this. Especially on NaNoWriMo!

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    1. Mmm yes I think a few of my siblings are like that too, so I can sorta understand that. :D

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  24. This is so excellent and relevant and well-written. I keep waiting for the day when I don't have so much to do and I can stress less, but that day is probably not going to come. I just need to slow down and do the things I need to and the things I can do and be content. Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Thanks! Glad that this could help you reach some good conclusions. :D

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  25. THIS IS THE BEST POST THAT I'VE READ IN SUCH A LONG TIME OH MY GOSH.

    Okay, confession- I actually read this the day that you posted it...and have been so stressed out that I never got back to commenting.

    Go me.

    SO OBVIOUSLY I HAVE BEEN IN GREAT NEED OF THIS POST. Thanks for such a fantastic reminder.

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    1. AHHH WELL THIS IS THE NICEST COMMENT I'VE READ IN SUCH A LONG TIME SO XD

      Haha you and Savannah are in a similar boat, then! I totally relate to that though because I NEVER comment on blog posts right after I read them. (idk why? I just don't do it)

      GLAD IT COULD HELP YOU OUT. Thanks for such a fantastic comment! :D

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  26. I CAN RELATE TO THIS SO SO SO SO SO MUCH WOW. :') I love everything you said here, especially about stress being a trust issue. I've been going through a season of learning to trust God more (it's funny how some circumstances can bring to light struggles that you don't even realize you're going through) and so YES THIS POST CAME AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR ME. *high fives*

    PREACH IT, BRO.

    rock on,
    abbiee

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    1. WOW I DIDN'T EXPECT SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE TO RELATE TO THIS SO HARD. O.O I guess that's both a good and a bad thing though haha.

      SAME FOR ME. I had one of those /exact same/ moments this summer when God used a really, really strange circumstance to show me some things I need to work on.

      THANKS I WILL XD

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  27. So one of my friends just sent me this post and now I'm sitting in front of my laptop trying not to cry because WOW YOU JUST WROTE MY LIFE STORY. And when I read what you had to say about trust being the issue...thank you for writing this, that's all I can say.

    Here's to learning to trust God when He tells me to say "no" instead of panicking (AKA not trusting Him) and saying "yes". He knows why, and I don't, and that's okay because that's the journey

    brb underlining 2 Corinthians 12:9 in my Bible. Might be becoming a new favorite.

    thank you for this :) KEEP WRITING

    Katie katieconfetti.blogspot.com

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    1. I'M GLAD THEY SENT IT TO YOU. :D And I'm even more glad that you could get something out of this, thanks so much for your encouragement!

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