I’ll admit it… I can get pretty fired up! I am pro at ruffling my feathers at some pretty silly stuff. I have been guilty of picking some ridiculous arguments at home. I’ve frustrated my husband in the past because I did not know how to pick my battles. Whether it was fury over the fact he couldn’t hang up a hand towel the way I like it or anger over his clumsiness (I’ve lost count of the number of times he has stepped on my toes) – I seemed to have a need to express my opinion in every situation. Needless to say… my vocal cords got a lot of exercise, and there was not much harmony between us the first couple years we were married. I’m much better now at recognizing those things that I really don’t care about, but I still find myself from time to time making a mountain out of a mole hill. Just today… my husband said to me after I was complaining about something silly… “It that really a big deal?” And most of the time, when I have calmed down and accessed the situation, I’m waving the white flag because the answer is no. It would have been better if I had kept my mouth shut and preserved the peace in my house.
Couple that with my ongoing fertility issues, and my life pretty much became a train wreck. I can get pretty stressed out and worried about life’s struggles. When things are not easy or going right I can get wound up tight. My mind will start churning around and around with those three dangerous thoughts… shoulda, woulda, coulda! Yep… I have been known to stay up all night with a brain that won’t quit. So many times I have prayed for an off switch.
It wasn’t long before I had no peace in my life. For several years, I lived in a permanent state of fear. I went month to month with a large amount of anxiety. There have been many nights I lost it on my poor spouse if he dared to say “I’ve got a headache” on a night we needed to be intimate. Stress, performance anxiety, fear of miscarriage, obsession over bad news and poor statistics… all of these caused my body to shut down to the point that I had high blood pressure, my red blood cells were dying, and I stopped making the hormones necessary to ovulate let alone conceive a baby! What a mess I allowed the enemy to make in my life!
There came a day when I grew tired. I was exhausted and weak. I had no more battles left in me, and I needed to find some peace. I sought moments when everything would be still and quiet, and I began to let God work miracles in my life. I wasn’t doing a good job of controlling my destiny, so I got out of my own way and let the Holy Spirit fill me with a peace I had not known in years!
Jesus on the eve of His crucifixion made an amazing promise to his disciples. Jesus knew the world was at odds with the purposes of God, and He spoke of a deep and lasting peace that would come to us by way of the Holy Spirit. This peace would provide the disciples confident assurance in any circumstances they found themselves in. These amazing words that Jesus spoke that night were also for each and every one of us! “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
This amazing gift of the Spirit means that we do not have live our lives in fear. Stress, anxiety, doubt, fear and uncertainty – all of these are secret sins that God is willing and able to remove from our lives. Conflict is easily resolved when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with Christ’s peace. He has given us a way to move through our lives carefree and secure. Whether I am battling my fertility issues, worried about my sick daughter or concerned about my dwindling finances – there is a warrior in some pretty tough armor standing with me. And He will not yield until I have all of my children, my daughter is completely healthy and there is money in the bank.
My only regret is that I didn’t accept this amazing gift of peace earlier in my life. While I can’t dwell on the past… I can get excited about my future prospects. I can and willingly choose to accept this truly awesome promise from Jesus. I can reap the benefits of allowing the Holy Spirit to fill my soul with self assurance instead of worry.
As I focused more on growing my relationship with God… the more I was relaxed, lighter on my feet and most definitely slept better at night. I do my best to keep my eyes on Him and what He has to teach me. And when I find myself getting wrapped up in scaling mountains again… I begin to lay my daily burdens down before Him. I trust that He will level any mountain and keep me on solid ground. I take great pleasure in knowing He will not fail me. And confidently knowing that gives me the most peace I’ve ever known.