What a stress-filled word that is! To me at least. I honestly loathe words like “relax,” “calm down,” “chill.” Because they imply that I am not being calm, cool and collected. 

And I’ve always considered myself calm… On the outside. 

Guys… I get stressed out taking my heart rate. I’m not even joking. I’m thinking about a number I want it to be so I can prove that I’m relaxed, and instead I get an even more spiked result!

Two weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I was brushing my teeth when I suddenly couldn’t feel my right arm. I thought, “Kristen… why are you being so weird today?!” But when I missed the toothbrush holder I called my husband over to tell him something was wrong with my arm. I meant to say, ” Mike! There’s something wrong with my arm!” But instead it came out, “mekiake baljdhb5yt fhbiwbg am!” Fast forward to a few hours later and I’m sitting in the ER with a neurologist explaining to me what a TIA is. 


My husband watched the heart rate monitor all night, noting that my resting heart rate is generally around 100. I’ve often joked that my baseline is stress. There are always a million thoughts running through my head at any given second and I own other people’s stress and schedules as well. When I got home on Sunday night, my husband told me to relax. And I sat home on Monday itching to do something. So I washed every single fabric thing I could find in the house. SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY. When Mike came home he said, “Did you think I wouldn’t notice that you obviously mopped the floors and dumped the water pail outside?! Why can’t you just take it easy?!” 

I don’t know why. 

But as I’m walking through this new journey I’m learning a few things. I know what the Bible says. But I have not even attempted to live it out. I’m ashamed to admit the number of times I’ve quoted Philippians 4:6-7 to someone else but didn’t live it out deep in my own mind. The Word literally says “Be anxious for NOTHING.” Nothing is worth stress. And the thing I’ve learned is that when I’m stressing about something, I’m not trusting God… Who is more trustworthy than God?! No one!! And definitely not me! 

This is going to be a daily commitment for me but I know with God I can do it and I can get this stress down. If this is resonating with you, let’s do it together. A daily decision to put every stress and stressor in God’s hands, give Him the keys, and trust that He’s going to handle it all much, much better than we will. 


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Kristen James

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