I started this semester with a class schedule of eighteen hours. That’s six classes every week, three hours per class. On top of that, I had to make time to do homework, which consisted of reading for every class, weekly quizzes, online homework, and writing. Usually, I’m the type of person that can stay on top of things for the most part, especially early on in the semester. For whatever reason, I hit a brick wall of exhaustion and panic a few weeks in. I pushed myself beyond my boundaries, and it wasn’t pretty.
So I stopped everything for a few hours, and I prayer about it. I went through my list of fears and concerns with the Lord, trying to figure out what my next step should be. All I could think was, “I can’t.” I can’t meet this deadline, I can’t take a break. I can’t skip this class to do homework for the next. I couldn’t.
My ultimate fear in all of this chaos was failure. I’m a perfectionist. I’m a people-pleaser. So when I started thinking about dropping one of my classes…I was not happy. Over and over, I kept telling myself that quitting was failing. Despite how overwhelming this class was, I was not about to fail it by giving up.
Then God told me that that was exactly what I was supposed to do. My primary reason for not dropping the class was rooted in a lack of trust. I was holding onto my class schedule so tightly that I wasn’t giving God any room to work. My fear of failure was preventing me from surrendering.
So, I dropped the class. My semester is less crazy, but still busy. I don’t feel like a failure, instead I feel like I can breathe. God is 100% in control of my life. As long as I am pursuing Him and His will for my life, I can’t go wrong. And I strongly believe that my new schedule will be a blessing to me, not only by allowing me to rest but also by giving me time to pursue God’s plan more intentionally.
Dropping this class was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in a while. It sounds like a no-brainer. “Oh, this class is difficult and causing you stress? Bye!” But the thought of failure, like I said before, was such a huge weight on my shoulders. Giving that fear to God and surrendering control to Him was the best decision I’ve made in a while. If you’re crazy stressed about something in your life, ask God what your next step should be. The next step may not be dropping that class, but I can almost guarantee you that it will have something to do with trust and surrender.
To all of you who are dealing with the fear of failure, I relate! The fear of failure is something that I have struggled with for a while, and it’s hard. But God is greater. He is greater than the chaos, and He is greater than failure. He can even use our failure to bring glory to His name. We can’t mess up his plan for our lives. His plan is unshakeable. You have no reason to fear, because you do not have the ability to shake it.
words by Lucy Boyland and photo by Sara Beth Pritchard