Growing up, I honestly thought the truest meaning for peace was to abstain from an argument. To cease fire. To shake hands, retreat and remove the opposition.
Peace, while still all of those things, has a different meaning for me now.
And let me just brace myself before I say what I have to say because if I were outside looking in, my life would look all kinds of crazy right now. It’s never been quite this hectic and my list of prayers is definitely not short.
Peace truly might be the last thing you’d expect me to say about this phase of life.
Yet here is what I’ve learned about the peace which surpasses all understanding…
Peace is the salve applied to an open wound. It’s a hot bowl of soup when the bitter cold is pressing against the window from the outside. It’s a sunless morning as I stare at the untroubled waters of the lake behind our home after the storm has passed.
Peace is just…unruffled. Serene. Familiar.
Like an old friend I’m making plans to spend the day with, walking brick-lined streets, searching for old fashioned candy stores and quaint little tea shops.
Or that squeak in the hardwood that makes me smile in awkward frustration as I work to tiptoe around it in the middle of the night so as not to disturb sleeping children.
Or the faint smell of toast ‘n tea that restores the memory of Mom wrapping me in blankets and nursing me back to health as a sick child.
Peace just feels like all of those things. Pleasantly familiar. I don’t feel it coming…it’s just there. Engulfing me in its goodness.
Yet it doesn’t remove me from the situation I’m in. Oh, yes – He continues to break me, tearing down years of pride that I’ve carefully constructed. I’m pressed on all sides as He molds me further into the vessel of His choice.
And all the while He gives me breath. Like a gentle breeze against my cheek or the soft lapping of a wave against my hand.
Is this what an answered prayer feels like? We might not know the outcome but we feel that hug surrounding us and the emotion, void of worry, that swiftly follows.
I can’t tell you what tomorrow looks like. If you asked me now I might say I don’t like what I see – and that’s probably because I don’t see much at all. This year of growth is far from over. In fact, I’m not sure there is an end. Yet.
I’m in the eye of the storm. The change continues around me one little step at a time, but I’m learning to embrace it. I’ve learned to stop thrashing around and be brave enough to hold still. To trust.
I know I can’t extend myself to peer around those corners, but He wants it that way.
Through it all I ask for peace. And He delivers.
And it does surpass all understanding.
Today I’m linking up with the following authors to share my story:
Holley Gerth and Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
Simply Beth with Three Word Wednesday
Yes Works for Me – We Are THAT Family
Peace is an amazing, beautiful feeling! I love that you call it “pleasantly familiar.” What a perfect description! Your lake view is gorgeous. That is a wonderful place to find peace I’m sure. Many blessings to you, Jennifer!
Thank you so much, Candance – and for visiting today.
Blessing for you and yours Jennifer. In the midst of the chaos there are miracles that will happen.
Lovely, just lovely. Peace…even in the midst of chaos. My company JusTwoSisters has a tee that says:
Peaceful Even Amidst Chaos Everywhere = P.E.A.C.E. What a gift His peace is. Dropping by from Simply Beth.
I love the shirt! I might have to check this out!
I enjoyed your descriptions of what peace means to you! Sometimes we overlook these or take them for granted. Having that peace that we somehow can’t quite understand in the midst of our challenges and storms is truly amazing when you experience it. Praying for you in the midst of change of growth!
Thank you so much, Valerie.
Jennifer- What a perfect explanation of God’s peace. We are so much better off when we let go of the fact that peace doesn’t mean a change in our circumstances. It means a surrender. You said it perfectly here: “I’ve learned to stop thrashing around and be brave enough to hold still. To trust.” Beautiful words from a beautiful heart. Thank you!
Thank you again for stopping by, Karen. You are always so welcome here.
I love how you describe what you used to think peace and what it is to you now. I agree-it has definitely changed for me now! We need to seek out peace that passes all understanding, the only true peace.
Reminds me of the serenity prayer…
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.