I sat in my usual spot on the couch by the window in small group this past Sunday afternoon, before sharing our posts with each other. I must confess I wasn’t looking forward to the question that would follow prayer.
“Who has their post on Peace?”
This question wouldn’t have bothered me if it weren’t the second time in a row that I’d shown up to group without more than a handful of random sentences written. Not even the start of a post, but rather just three separate ideas; none of which I really felt I’d have success in developing into something worth reading.
The question was posed, and like the good, reliable small group participants and writers they are, several hands went up. This is, after all, a writing small group. We have a weekly assignment to write on and come prepared the following Sunday to share in group in preparation for posting on the blog the following week for our daily devotional. Yet, there I sat, AGAIN, without anything to share.
Eyes fell on me and I found myself so wishing, “You know, I had one but….my computer ate it…” would’ve been a believable answer. Knowing that it wouldn’t be, instead, I masked my self-inflicted frustration with a humorous smile and said, “My week has been crazy and I haven’t had any time to sit and write. I’ve got some ideas I’m working on, though.” As if that was supposed to be an equal substitute for not following through on my commitment again. It was the truth, though; the reason for not completing my assignment. No time. No peace. Just constant going and doing.
I’ve got three kids eight years old and under, I’m a stay-at-home mom, AND it’s summer! You do the math. Add that to the already chaotic equation we’re working through and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that peace is a rare commodity in our house right now.
Grace given on my behalf, our attention turned to those who were prepared as they went around the room and shared posts; each just as impacting as the one before. Then Cindy read hers last. She wasn’t more than three sentences in when I felt hot tears begin to burn and the overwhelming need to crane my head as far back over my shoulder as humanly possible as to hide my emotion. (Because attempting to rotate my head on my neck to an ungodly degree will attract less attention. Insert sarcasm. SMH.😏)
It was as though she was reading my deepest thoughts; repeating what seems like one-sided conversations I’ve had with God while at the same time trying to maintain a sense of denial that any of those thoughts bothered me. I felt exposed. Not so much to the group but to myself. No longer able to hide behind the denial or mask. It was out there and I had to face it.
If I can be real, I’ve been walking through a season I’m SO sick of! It’s a season of lacking clarity, vision and passion when my heart desires it so. It’s a season where nothing, and I mean nothing is easy. There are relationship issues, financial struggles, parenting frustrations, personal insecurities, and spiritual battles. Honestly, it feels like blow after blow with no end in sight.
But I know that’s a lie.
I KNOW we’re on the precipice of breakthrough. Though there is zero evidence suggesting that, I can say I know it. Confession: It doesn’t make my circumstances FEEL or LOOK any more peaceful. It’s still hard walking through it. It still hurts. But even in the chaos, I have a different kind of peace despite what I see and feel with my physical body, my spirit knows isn’t going to last forever. This crappy season will end and will give birth to a new season full of reward, fulfillment, and purpose. Everything that we’re currently walking through will prove to have worked for our benefit. We can’t see it now, but we will later.
In the real world that doesn’t make any kind of sense! Because it’s that peace that transcends all understanding. As Cindy put it so simply, it’s the whole “Jesus calming the storm where you are while it’s still raging on everywhere else” concept.
Obviously there are going to be seasons where our life is lacking peace. However, if we seek Him, He will give us a different kind of peace. Not the kind that works to make everything right in your world but, rather, works to make everything right in YOU. A peace that only comes from staying focused on the Father. It’s the only peace worth having. Anything else is just semantics.
It’s having peace when there is no peace. His peace.
Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings. She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry. She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing, reading, and traveling. Time and people is what she values most. You can read more about her here.