Finals are upon us. How are you feeling? Please know that we are thinking of you as you continue throughout this week. We each prepared a brief reflection to help calm some worries and inspire motivation.
Samantha:I know as exams are coming up, all of us are stressing and nervous about the incoming grades. I am keeping in mind, however, the light at the end of the tunnel which is the warm and wonderful summer! With that in mind, I wish you all a successful exam season and an amazing summer break after it! To help with studying, here is a study music playlist that has reminders in the captions of all the love and support you have from God:
Rachel: Remember that you are loved beyond measure and no grade can add or take away from that. Amid all the assignments, there can be a lot of stress, so I wanted to share a prayer that will hopefully remind you that you are not alone.
A Prayer for the Student
God sees you.
God sees you when the need to produce becomes too much to bear and your day becomes determined by to-do lists.
God sees you when the cursor on an empty page seems to mock you as you wrack your brain for what to say.
God sees you when the day turns to night, and you are racing against the clock to turn in an assignment.
God sees you when it is a beautiful spring day, but you are caught indoors studying.
God sees you when you meet exam time by cracking a book, writing a paper, or preparing a presentation – sometimes all three at once.
God sees you in your moments of motivation and in times of procrastination – sometimes Instagram is just too compelling or what is another episode of the Office?
God sees you when anxious thoughts sink in, and the end seems out of sight.
God not only sees you, but God sits with you, feeling the aches and pains of stress, hungering for a midnight snack, celebrating when you have met the page count or finished a hard math problem.
You are not alone. Summer will come. The tasks will fall away. Now is not the end, and by the grace of God, you will make it through. Amen.
Chaplain Holly: Keeping Perspective during Finals This is not always easy! Every day and during finals we pray, “O God help me to see as you see; to see the world through your eyes.” I often in my sermon messages talk about asking God to help us get a bird’s eye view of our lives.
Remember to take time, even a few minutes to do the things that will help you to remember “the big picture”:
1. Finals will be over soon! Summer is almost here!
2. Through Prayer, welcome God into your study, paper writing and exam time.
3. Take some deep relaxing breaths when you are stressed. BREATHE.
4. Take a quick walk outside, to connect with nature. Looking at the big beautiful sky can remind all of us of the vast world beyond UMD.
5. Reach out to a friend, or one of us to connect, or for prayer support.
6. Find a study buddy, so you aren’t studying alone.
7. Take a moment to pray for others in need close by or around the world.
8. Listen to an uplifting song (I am sharing one of mine “You’ll Never Walk Alone” see below)
9. Read a few inspiring scripture passages that speak to your heart and can calm your mind. (See a few below).
10. And perhaps most important – As Rachel’s prayer reminds us, pause and remember you are NOT alone. God is with you. Jesus is with you. And we are also here for you. Our prayers and best wishes are with you as you finish this semester with final exams and papers. No small accomplishment, considering all that has happened this past year! Congratulate yourself that you are in the final leg of the semester journey. And by God’s grace and help ALL WILL BE WELL.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46
“The Lord is My Shepherd. . .he makes me to lie down in green pastures (like UMD McKeldin Mall!). . . he leads me beside the still waters (like our McKeldin fountain, or Chapel Garden fountain), he restores my soul. . .thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23
God is everywhere – and at UMD, and with you at home during finals!
Peace and God Bless, Chaplain Holly
Blessings, Samantha, L3 Intern
Rachel, Chaplain Intern