Sneak Peek of My Book!

Sneak Peek of My Book!

Happy Tuesday, my friends!

 

On Saturday, I announced to you all that I am writing a book. Aaahh! I’m really excited, and I am having a ridiculous amount of fun with it.  And what better way to kick off the excitement than to share a sneak peek of the first chapter that I’m writing?

 

My first chapter is about stress, anxiety, and depression, and effectively dealing with it. While this may seem dismal, fear not! I decided to write this book, specifically dealing with issues pertaining to the Christian life, in order to confront the tough things we all face.

 

So while some topics may seem more serious or somber, I want to share this message: there is always hope, and God will never abandon us.

 

I hope you enjoy this excerpt. The writing style is slightly more formal than what I use here, on Scattered Journal Pages, because I’m not quite sure who my audience will wind up being for my book. Who knows where I’ll be by the end!

 

Stress: Parts 1 and 2 of Chapter 1

 

If you’d mentioned the word “stress” to me when I was a preteen, I would’ve laughed and said that it probably wasn’t that bad, whatever it was like. If you’d slipped the words “anxiety” or “depression” into a conversation, I might have solemnly said, “Oh, Christians don’t deal with those things.” But I would have been undeniably wrong.

Whether you deal with any of these things or you don’t, or whether your depression or anxiety is medical or emotional, all these things are real. They’re painful, and there is no questioning the fact that they exist. However, they don’t have to undo us. They don’t have to ruin our lives.

 

Stressing Over Work, School, and Life in General

 

When I started high school, I had no idea what I was in for. I was sure I wouldn’t survive. So many days, I did school from 8 A.M. until 10 P.M., with only a few breaks, and I was utterly overwhelmed. I was terrified of failure, terrified of a B, terrified that I wouldn’t learn or something ridiculous like that. I was so scared that I would not get everything done, and of course I did, but I barely made it.

It was awful.

School became where I got my identity, and not who I knew God saw me as; that was poisonous. I placed so much of my worth on how much work I got accomplished, and for that year and the next, stress became my way of life.

I was absolutely miserable.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe your job’s got you tied up and it consumes every thought. You’re a workaholic. Or like in my case, a schoolaholic. Maybe your living situation isn’t the greatest and it weighs on you emotionally. I get it, because I’ve been there.

But that’s not what God wants for any of us.

Anything that takes up most or all of our thought life becomes greater than God in our finite minds. I don’t mean to condemn at all, because I understand what it’s like entirely.

Stress is like an ache, something that gnaws at the depth of your soul. It’s that pit in your stomach that manifests itself when you’re lying in bed and you remember all the things you need to accomplish. It consumes every thought, and every decision is made with whatever is wrong in the back of your mind.

It is so painful, so often unbearable, but many times, it seems inescapable.

And that’s what’s the worst of it.

 

But we are not without hope.

 

Stress Over Things out of Your Control

           

I think a lot. Many times, I worry about other people’s problems and forget that they can be handled by the people whose problems they are. Or maybe they can’t be handled. But it’s alright.

Sometimes I think that I must be responsible for everyone else, and every problem in the world, and that so often causes me uncalled-for stress and pressure.

I’m not talking about “bearing each others burdens,” as Galatians 6:2 says. I think it’s absolutely wonderful to help others, to have compassion, to pray for them, and to support them in their times of need. That is a beautiful thing, and something none of us can live without.

What I am speaking about is when we’re constantly letting ourselves be consumed by things that we have absolutely no power over, be it another’s poor life choices, the happenings in politics, or things that go on in the world.

But it’s not our responsibility to “fix it.” Oftentimes, that’s such a difficult stress to overcome, and simply because we can do absolutely nothing about it.

For us Christians, we don’t have to let that stress overtake us.

Because we know that the world is in the hands of God.

And while it’s definitely not easy, it’s possible to leave the weight of the world on God’s shoulders and not our own. We know that He sees all. We know that He wants the best for us. Yet, we spend days worrying and nights sleepless over what we cannot change.

The evil in the world is not of God’s orchestration; it is because of sin. We live in a fallen world, and we can’t expect it to always be good.

We have pain, we suffer. But this world is not our home, and the way the world works is out of our control.

By prayer and trust in God, let us let go of the misconception that says that we need to handle it all; we don’t.

We have to let God be God, and let Him be in control.

 

So, what do you think? Would you want any more excerpts of chapter 1 this month? Let me know in the comments!

 

*aj

 

BONUS:

I made a wallpaper for my iPod yesterday, and wanted to share it because I thought it really fit. This is one of my favorite Bible verses ever. And oh my word, graphic design is so. much. fun.

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.

 

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Sneak Peek of My Book!

  1. That book sounds amazing! I hope I can read it someday!! Its such a needed message for christian teens these days (Myself included).

    Do you think I could download that photo and use it for a background? Its awesome. I understand if you want to put a watermark on it or something first. =)

    Thanks for the post!
    -Mikayla-

    Like

    • Hi Mikayla!
      Oh, thanks so much. I appreciate that. I’m hoping to have the first 25,000 words done by the end of April, and we’ll see where I am at that point!
      Absolutely! Go ahead and download it as it is! That’s what it’s there for. 😀 I have it set as my lock screen and it’s so encouraging for me to read every time I turn on. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  2. This is great! I especially needed the second part, because I tend to miss the fine line between “bearing one another’s burdens” and stressing about another’s burdens…

    “But it’s not our responsibility to ‘fix it.'”

    This was actually the topic of the first post I ever wrote for my new blog. I haven’t shared it yet, but someday I will. I wrote it on a day I was struggling with this and realized God didn’t call us to fix the world or anyone’s lives. He just called us to love.

    Like

    • I often miss the line too. I’m very much a “fix-it” kind of person, and I sometimes get frustrated when I can’t fix it. Haha, I forget that it’s not my responsibility…oops.
      That’s awesome. I can’t wait to read it. 😀

      Like

  3. I loved reading the excerpt, and it actually applies to me a lot since I’ve struggled with the things you mentioned. 😉 I know how it is to be overwhelmed by stress and anxiety and lie awake at night because of it, and I’ve felt the weight of bearing burdens that weren’t mine to bear, like you talked about. And though I continue to deal with stress and anxiety much of the time (as well as other related things), God has really helped me give all of my worries and burdens up to him more and more, since he’s the one in control, not me!

    I think it’s awesome that you are writing a book and that it’s on topics that are so helpful for Christians today, I look forward to reading the rest! Keep it up! 🙂

    Mary

    Like

  4. *just now sees this*
    Nice job, Amanda! I really liked this. Your writing style is great, very suited for nonfiction. 😀 I would definitely be interested in reading more of Chapter 1. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Jonathan!
      (I was hoping that the style didn’t make it seem too stiff/awkward/preachy. I’m sort of trying to write how I think, because I read a book that really captured how the reader would think and it was AMAZING.)
      Well, thank you! I appreciate that. I fiiiiinally finished the first chapter yesterday. Came to almost 4,000 words. Haha, I’m sooo not used to this! xD

      Like

  5. Go for it Amanda…I’m sure God will use it in many ways…I like the excerpt…do you think there is any upside to the downside of stress and anxiety? God bless you, Dennis

    Like

    • Thank you!
      Yes, I believe there is an upside – our dependence on God increases, and we can grow closer to Him, even in our discomfort. 🙂 I wrote a bit more about that in the following parts, but haven’t shared it yet. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  6. Pingback: There Is Always Grace | Scattered Journal Pages

  7. Pingback: How to Help a Hurting Friend | Scattered Journal Pages

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s