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Finding Value when You’re Totally Overwhelmed by Daniel Adams


Daniel Adams, Graduate Apprentice for the Fine Arts Living-Learning Center

My name is Daniel Adams, and I am the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Fine Arts Living-Learning Center at Baylor University while I get my master’s in Higher Education Student Affairs. I actually just completed my first round of midterms. You learn a lot of things when you feel overwhelmed. Let me emphasize the obvious: graduate school requires a lot of work. My first week in the program was incredibly draining as I tried to figure out the balance between work, class, homework, and important things like sleep, cooking, and eating. I just couldn’t figure out how to make everything work. I ended the week drained and without having any time to stop to even think about what was happening. I find it very easy to end a week and feel like a failure because I didn’t get everything done. Other weeks I simmer over the fact that I forgot to take care of three things with my apprenticeship. Or maybe frustration and panic led me to say something in class I definitely should have kept in my head.

Trying to ignore all of these frustrations and failures, I tend to look at my schedule and realize I have several readings due tomorrow that I have little energy to do, the kitchen corner has a pile of random cereal boxes I was planning on using to decorate my wall and my midterm didn’t go as well as I wanted. As panic rises I push myself harder and harder and become a blinding tornado of work and “productivity” to try and atone for my mistakes and catch up. I only succeed in working myself into exhaustion.

 My favorite songwriter, Andrew Peterson, reminds me of a simple truth that I often forget: “You don’t have to work so hard, you can rest easy. You don’t have to prove yourself you’re already mine. You don’t have to hide your heart, I already love you. I hold it in mine.” This song reminds me of the truth of Christ’s all-encompassing love and His call to rest in the finished work of the cross. When I do, my screw-ups look less like monumental failures and I remember how small I am in comparison to this great God. Maybe I don’t need to work myself to exhaustion to make up for my mistakes. I say this as much to myself as I do to you: slow down, breathe, and remember who put you here. None of us can atone for our mistakes but neither do we need to. Your value is in something greater than how many readings you did this week.

megan_michener • October 10, 2017

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