Sunday, January 13, 2019
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Schuyler, NE
Baptism of Our Lord
When I was in college, I struggled a lot with depression. It impacted my studies; I just felt really overwhelmed sometimes, and then I felt guilty because I wasn’t getting all the things done that I was supposed to be doing, including my coursework. I would know things had gotten really bad when I started actively avoiding my advisor. She was a lovely woman whom I admired very much – but when I was falling behind, I just couldn’t bear to bring myself to go talk to her, especially because I was usually doing particularly badly in her classes. I knew I should be doing better and I knew that she expected more from me – and I was just so afraid that she would think less of me.
But then something would happen: I would run into her unexpectedly or I would be required to schedule a meeting with my advisor for some reason, so I would see her. She’d call me into her office and every time, I braced myself, expecting to get a well-deserved chewing out or, worse, that she would just look at me with profound disappointment. But instead, each time, she was unfailingly kind and understanding. She listened to me and heard my feelings of anxiety and worthlessness and guilt and she helped me make a workable plan to get through the rest of the semester. She reminded me that I was more than the work I did or didn’t get done. I always left those meetings with her feeling better and freer, feeling like I’d gotten another chance to try again.
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