ou might need a belt.”
I grasp behind me, yank my jeans higher but I don’t put on a belt. There’s no time for that, no time at all anymore except for the bare basics of what holds life together and I get the irony: it might be considered bare basics to wear pants throughout life.
We’re driving to town when she continues. “You’ll gain some of the weight back. After you’re done with school.”
“What does that mean?” I ask.
“It means you’re stressed and when you’re stressed, you don’t eat.”
“I don’t feel stressed,” I retort and it snaps out like I’m angry but I’m really not. I yank the car into a parking spot at Panera Bread.
I order soup. A bread bowl. And I pick at it. Eventually, I ask the friends I’m studying with if they want to dive in and someone takes the baguette.
I just sip water.
Later that night, we’re laying in bed and I stare into darkness, mind reeling with NCLEX and interviews and papers that still need to be written and will it ever end, I wonder, will I ever not have a thousand things running through my head?
“You’re hungry,” she says and I ask her how she knows because I hadn’t felt it, hadn’t heard it.
But I’m not hungry and if I ate, it would just make me sick so I flip on the light and read and I don’t even need to use my highlighter when I read Margaret’s words because they stand out like peace and warm cookies.
Stress is paramount to success, I’m told and I know this because healthy stress is what makes a pre-diabetic get on a treadmill, what makes a student study for an upcoming exam, and what makes a man work hard to cover the bills.
But there’s a tipping point where stress weighs too heavy and sometimes a person just needs to let God shoulder the burdens because people and situations and life will always be disappointing but there will always, always be God.
And Swiss cheese.
And black olives.
So I climb out of bed, slip a t-shirt over my head and tiptoe barefoot to the fridge.
The streetlight throws furtive glances my way, like it’s unsure if it should go hide under its bed so I raise my hand with olives stuck on my fingers and wave to it friendly.
Then one by one, I pop the olives into my mouth and I count them like I’m swallowing fear, swallowing the unknown, swallowing the worries.
And I let go.
Will you join Shelly Miller and I as we discuss Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg? Link up your posts on finding the wonder of God in the everyday (they’ll show up on both our sites). We can’t wait to hear your stories and read your comments! For full details on joining us, click here.
How do you deal with stress in your life?