Stress: When you can’t shake it off

Just over five years ago, my life was almost perfect: My business was going well and making good money, my relationship with my partner was good and we were expecting our baby girl. My investments were going well and appreciating as expected. I was happy and surrounded  by many friends and close girl friends who formed my support system. I was undertaking my Masters research project but a year into this, everything went wrong, one by one and in no time, I found myself very stressed and struggling to shake it off.

My daughter was born but although this should have been my greatest moment, I was struggling to keep her safe from the aggression and stress in our home. Soon after this my relationship failed leaving me a single mum with a new born baby and almost homeless. My business started failing as the business relationship struggled  after various conflicts and disagreements leading to multiple litigations and a lot of financial pressure. My girl friends left me, some for work reasons, others were no longer interested due to changes after baby was born. Furthermore, my mum who was supporting me was denied a visa Renewal and has to leave the country.

Consequently, My faith was shaken, the events in my life for the last couple of years had got me doubting my faith in God.  I found myself  asking the usual questions while fluctuating between faith and despair.  How will I cope?, What will happen to my daughter?, I dreaded all the more feeling guilty for not being able to trust God through my situation. I felt like a failure.

Therefore, I spent lots of time analysing my life as a Christian and that of others going through stress. I looked into the bible personalities who had gone through stressful times and how they overcome them. Discovering these stressed people in the bible justified my struggles as I could identify with them without feeling judged or condemned.  Other emotions that were tangled up with stress emerged including fear, guilt and shame. It was during this journey of self discovery that I gradually found peace, a profound peace through a realisation that God is a good, good father who is sympathetic, non judgemental and supportive.

I’d not realised how tightly wound I’d become, wrapped up in the grid of worry and anxiety until I found this place of peace. This place became my perfect escape in times of anxiety and stress. It was a safe, organic place where I could hide and experience the same peace, every time, many times over. In fact, I could continuously dwell in this place of refuge where  stress no longer overwhelmed me.

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