Peace

Ten days ago I blogged about not panicking, when our world completely changed without warning. I was NOT going to panic because of the pandemic of COVID19. Then someone close to my heart made what I consider to be a really bad decision – more changes ensued – many people I love are forever changed. The ripple effects of one person’s choice will effect many and I cannot take away the pain of the ones I love dearly. That’s when I panicked 😳. When the 💩 yogurt 💩 hit the fan I did my best not to get any on me, but y’all – if I know ANYTHING about life – I know it gets messy. Filthy actually.

I’m no stranger to the soul crushing stress of betrayal- or the physical pain of depression- the ache of sadness and death and destruction of dreams. There were times I prayed for the baby inside of me to live and not die. Not only did the baby die in my body, but the destruction was so much and so powerful I wanted to die. The baby grew for so long in the wrong place in my body until finally it burst and the end result was that the ectopic pregnancy was surgically removed along with my left Fallopian tube and ovary. That’s what happened when things grew out of place. That was a dark season of death. That experience was not the only time I had the thought that my own death would surely be better than the current situation. But at the time I had two preschoolers who needed me to live and to keep on caring for their needs 24/7 – I could not just survive. I’m sure you have your own altar of sufferings – things you remember – times you sacrificed and felt like a piece of you died. When you are physically, mentally and emotionally feeling the pain of life and it feels like you are being crucified- day after day, week after week, year after year – well maybe you are. I know pain as I’m sure you do too – if you have been crucified WITH CHRIST.

I’m no martyr I am a mother. Motherhood means laying your life down for your family. Sacrifice means feeling the nails being driven right into your flesh, past your nerves and choosing to be silent instead of grumbling or complaining or screaming at your children or husband because the thought, “surely it’s them not me” keeps echoing throughout the emptiness of your soul and saturating the very crowded corridors of your mind. I know I fail often but When the waves of life keep knocking me down and dragging me back into the undertow and I think I might actually drown I stop. Settle myself in God’s Word – look for the promises and the hope. I choose LOVE, forgiveness and I know this is what is making me a warrior- the suffering does NOT have to be forever even when the circumstances do not get any better. The strength of endurance readies you for the spiritual warfare you are already in simply because you are CHOOSING LOVE. LOVE NEVER FAILS. the Bible defines love you can look it up, memorize it – write it down – but until you determine in your heart that you are THE DEFINITION OF GOD’s LOVE personified then they’re just words like graffiti on the walls of your heart. Put those words into practice- APPLY THEM TO YOUR LIFE – not just as a bandaids but ingest them, let them change you. Maybe then facing the trials will be bearable. BELIEVING JESUS HAS GONE BEFORE US to prepare the place of PEACE forges the endurance of a marathon gold medalist in me. The reality is that the race is run and won when we believe we are not running alone. I’m no superhero, JESUS is and His HOLY SPIRIT teaches and inspires me to be like Christ.

I have been pressed down and shaken together for years without falling apart – how did I NOT crumble PERMANENTLY? By faith in Jesus Christ. God sent His Holy Spirit to Comfort- He is ALWAYS as close as turned attention. I have learned a technique that is counterintuitive – praising God right in the middle of the pain. Choosing to say, “not my will Father God- but Your WILL FOR ME is what I trust.” I look up to the sky and raise my hands in worship and praise the God who gives – and takes away.

If I could have there were many times I would have changed the pain and not bore it at all, but let me bear witness to this: God’s purification promise is eternal peace. It takes courage to believe the promise when the tomb is sealed and the darkness is tangible. It takes faith to trust God’s plan when you think you can produce a better outcome with something less than death. God himself is with you in your tomb. That’s why I’m still here – to testify that God is good ALL THE TIME even in the tomb. Eternal life doesn’t end in the tomb – eternal peace doesn’t either.

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