Not all that long ago the thought crossed my mind that although I had been stock piling ‘peace’ quotes in my journal, that I wasn’t feeling the purpose, if you will, for my yearly word that I felt God had led me to. Although there have been many helpmates, one friend in particular has really supported me, supplying little tidbits for our home, filling it with mementos/signs of ‘peace’...it surrounds me yet I’ve wondered if the bigger picture of things was still eluding me.
I do believe though that looking at my life under a magnifying glass the past bit, that image is becoming more clear to me.
Three weeks ago I began a study with our Ladies LifeGroup called “A Beautiful Mind” by Beth Moore...in it were life lessons very deeply rooted in scripture...first week’s topic was dealing with fear and reminding us that we were not raised with the spirit of fear. Fear is an emotional surge of unbelief! Well, who wants to admit that to anyone? Who wants to look weak and foolish and like we don’t have it all together? No brainer there...
Second week was overcoming insecurity because of rejection, betrayal, etc. Third week was based on 2 Timothy 1:3-7 but specifically we delved into the part of ‘a sound mind’ which involved so much more than the obvious.
There were SOOOO many things that I could relate to in my own life. Things that I have dealt with in my spiritual walk with God. Things that I *thought had been laid to rest because I had *conquered them. Plus there were numerous things as I jotted down my notes that I wanted to share with some friends in hopes of putting some things in perspective for them & easing their burdens & pain.
Keeping all this in mind you must know that for at least 4 months I’ve been battling a health issue that has made me stop my normal day to day activities. You see it involved my hands and a great deal of pain, rendering them nearly useless. I have to tell you that there’s not much you can do during the day without using your hands! And for those that know me, they will attest that I rarely sit down, AND, as an artist, I am always working on a project that uses my hands alot...but during this time that I have had to ‘be still’ I have used it to spend more time in my Bible studies... In my quiet time with God I have asked him to show me what I am to learn in this season of my life where I am made to ‘be still’.
So two days ago I finally went to my naturopath to be tested for the hand issues...Prior to this the medical dr had found nothing & wrote me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory that did very little & although my chiropractor helped immensely this was bigger than he could heal. Without boring you with the details of the physical part causing my pain (which can be corrected given time) what was shocking was the emotional part that showed up on my testing. All I had mentioned to him was a recurring nightmare that I have a few times a year (the same nightmare I’ve had for the past 27 years) & how in my conscious mind it made no sense whatsoever....but my testing showed that somewhere deep inside I had unresolved issues from a traumatic experience that was also affecting my health! Yikes!
I was immediately reminded of some things from my weekly bible study. Beth Moore said that sometimes we can convince ourselves to just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and ‘move on’...and well meaning people will tell us ‘it’s in the past so it shouldn’t bother you now’...but we will always fail when we try to go it alone & fix things ourselves. We aren’t letting Jesus heal us. Fears (that may even camouflage itself to look like something else) make us feel powerless and that is Satan trying to keep us down. He controls us when we are stifled by any kind of insecurity, fear etc.... We have to quit believing him and remember that we have the power to overcome! 2 Peter 1:3 says ‘we’ve been given everything we need’...
So since having my testing I’ve been mulling over things, trying to analyze my past. I have re-read my notes from the Bible study and then I felt led to also review the notes (including everything from things printed from somewhere or jotted down from what I heard on the radio) in my Peace journal that I’ve taken since the beginning of the year. (but had not looked at in some time)
What do you think were some of the first words that met my eye in my Peace journal? One thing in bold print was, ‘Things that effect your health’ and also FEAR! What?! Wait! this is my PEACE journal. What is that doing in there?
“Fear not for I am with you;I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties and will help you. I will hold you and give you peace” Isaiah 41:10 (this may be a big problem but my God is bigger)
And under the title Do This For Your Health- A heart at peace gives life to the body” Proverbs 14:30
Somehow within those two things it struck me, coming full circle back to my not understanding the reason for peace as my yearly word...I have been being prepared...My heart was being prepared for an awakening & some major healing.
For some reason it took this succession of things for it to hit me like a baseball bat...I was always viewing Peace and Fear (which also encompasses SO much more than the obvious) as two separate unrelated entities...In my pursuit of inner peace I was not seeing there was some form of fear I needed to release to receive the peace...I still needed to let the love of God heal ALL my fears of inadequacy as a wife & mother, the rejections in my life, the betrayal I have felt...I still need to have some of these things healed before I can have true Peace.. but I can tell you that I’m a lot closer to it today than I was yesterday..
We’ve all said we have 'scars’ from this happening or that happening...but if you press on a physical scar it no longer hurts...but a wound that has never healed properly does hurt.
Maybe this makes no sense at all but I feel lighter than I did. I still don’t have all the answers and I still have things to work through. But through everything the past few months He’s been working on my heart and preparing me to understand, learn and grow. I feel that recognizing as much as I have is a great first step and I’m so very excited to see God continue to help me grow in my relationship with Him.
My goal is to not be afraid...not from things in the past, present or future. He is always with me...and I have a soft place to go...”He will cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you will find refuge.” Psalm 91:4 I will learn to walk, not in perfection, but in victory!