A quick note that I posted my first video on my new YouTube channel about a week ago. You can find it here.
A couple months ago, I went through a really rough couple of days. I was miserable. The future looked dark. I was questioning every decision I had ever made.
And suddenly I realized that I was acting like a five-year-old.
Not good. Very not good. Here I am, a college student attempting to be an adult, and I crumbled into petulance at a challenge.
So, you ask, what happened? Why was I acting like a little kid? Well, it happened like this:
It was the first week of school. I was unprepared to go back to classes, I had just finished my first day at our main campus (versus the satellite college I've been at), and I had also completed the first of my journalism classes. I came home exhausted and overwhelmed.
This wasn't how going back to school should feel. I love school. I have always enjoyed the first week of classes. Yet here I was, with a knot in the pit of my stomach and a major urge to drop out entirely. I had encountered the first classes of my major, and they had overwhelmed me. Suddenly I was rethinking my entire school path.
I came home and spiraled slowly downward throughout the evening. It culminated in a long talk I had with my parents – which was less a discussion and more me sitting and crying while they tried to get me to engage my brain. As I sat there, it ran through my head that, if my younger sister was acting like me, I would sympathize for a while and then tell her to get over it. Yet I refused to "get over it." My dad finally kicked me out of their room, which triggered me into taking a long hard look at myself.
I didn't like what I saw.
I saw in myself a refusal to face my problems. I wanted Mommy and Daddy to solve everything; I didn't want to deal with it.
Yet how often do I act like this in other areas of my life? Oh, I may not beat my fists against the floor and scream, but I'm still throwing a temper tantrum. I encounter a challenge, it's harder than I expected. It might take some growth to get through. And what do I do? Cross my arms and consider quitting.
I can't go through life like that – never pushing through walls, never growing. That wouldn't make me a very useful vessel in the Master's hands, would it?
I want to be useful. I was created to glorify God; I was created for Him to accomplish His purposes through me. That requires letting Him grow me. It will probably entail some hard work and uncomfortable stretching. The question is this: do I want to walk in the center of His will or not?
Ultimately, I decided that, even if this class turned out to be miserable, I could survive one semester of discomfort. I decided to embrace it as a growing experience.
And you know what? Sure, it's been a hard class at times. I'm actually enjoying it, though, more often than not. I'm learning things; I'm growing. If I had just given up, I wouldn't have given myself that chance.
Throwing a temper tantrum is a way of saying that we know best, not God. I don't want to live like that. It's counterproductive and exhausting. So maybe next time I feel like digging in my heels, I'll remember this experience, take a deep breath, and turn my gaze heavenward instead of inward.
Have you ever encountered a situation where you felt like throwing a tantrum? What happened? Let me know in the comments!