I began the week feeling really off and quickly learned it was high blood pressure. I ended the week with a timely reminder of how stress impacts not only our bodies but our souls.
It was a minor wake-up call that something about what I’m currently doing isn’t sustainable. Diet, exercise, schedule, how I deal (or don’t deal) with stress, relationships, money, work—every facet is intimately attached to our bodies and souls.
I’ve heard numerous stories about people thinking they were having a heart attack, only to find out their bodies were simply trying to get their attention. Plenty of physical symptoms can arise from an emotional or spiritual issue.
For every struggle or season, there is often an accompanying amount of stress. Personally, as I count down the days to turning thirty years old, there’s a certain amount of uneasiness I just can’t seem to move past.
Jedidiah Jenkins describes it well in his book To Shake the Sleeping Self,
“A kind of panic set in. Time became visible. Each choice I made began to feel more and more final, as if every choice was the death of all others...
...I felt that age thirty—adulthood—was coming like winter. Am I missing out? Am I making the right decisions? Am I becoming the person I want to be? It often dawns too late that we have only one life, only one path, and the choices we make become the storyline of our lives.”
No pressure, right?
There’s sort of an unspoken expectation by this time in our life to have a pretty clear direction of what we will be doing for the rest of our days. Many of the life choices we make in these critical years drastically affect our path.
The reminder I received Sunday challenged me in two ways:
At the end of the day, my body and my soul need my obedience to these principles. I am either going to listen and respond appropriately, or I am going to waste away, one week of high blood pressure at a time.
I’m determined to not enter another decade of my life clinging tightly to fear or the need for control. I want to lean into a totally new phase with an open heart and a willing spirit for what will be the most satisfying chapter of life yet.