Peace in the Turmoil

I remember the day clearly. It was right before Christmas in 2012. Our house was decorated to the hilt. Cookies and treats were everywhere. The chaos and busy-ness of the season could not drown out the joy of Christmas.  Particularly this one. It was my first Christmas as a mama.  I got home from work and as usual, checked the mail box. And there it was. The envelope I sent a week prior to my father with pictures of my son. With the note scribbled on it, “Return to Sender.” I hadn’t spoken to my father since May of that year.  I hadn’t seen him since our wedding three years prior. There were a million and one things rushing through my mind and a tsunami wave of emotions flooding my heart. But the common theme I felt in that moment was very familiar. Rejection. 

When I feel rejected, I tend to spend some time analyzing everything that I think is wrong with me. My nose looks too big in pictures. I have a weird voice. Why am I SO emotional? Why do I act like this, or do that? Why are my toes so stumpy? The list goes on and on. It’s a long, downward spiral into negativity and despair. And then I begin to question everything I know to be true. Finally, the anxiety creeps in, my desire to control everything increases, and I am in a wrestling match with my mind and soul, getting tied up in horrible knots. And it feels as though I am falling like Alice down the rabbit hole. 

My precious friend. It took me a long time (and frankly, I am still learning) to truly be able to experience God’s peace. And, this may be a difficult pill to swallow, but hear me out until the end. God’s peace starts on the inside; not the outside. 

I want my life to be perfect because I know Jesus. I want to have a beautiful story of redemption with my parents and know that they are saved. I want to have a sorority of sisters around me that I can laugh and trust and grow with. And while that may be my story in the future, it’s not my story right now. I haven’t spoken to my father in almost 5 years. I wish I could tell you the exact reason why. I am in the thick of motherhood with young children. I am redefining some relationships that are not longer mutually beneficial and that has caused a wave of emotion inside of me. I am adjusting to being back to work in an environment that can be intense at times: The city jail. My family is adjusting to me working after being home for 3 years. My oldest son is going into kindergarten this year. My grandmother is preparing to move in with us. It’s a lot of change. Things in my life are being stirred up. It seems chaotic. It seems scary. It seems anything but peaceful. 

But. I have peace. Because peace doesn’t come from my relationships, my job status, my home, my bank account, or myself. Peace does NOT come from pretending to be perfect. Go ahead and read that last line again. And again.  

Peace comes from knowing what Jesus did for me (and for you) on the cross. Paul is passionately telling the Romans (and now us) that we don’t have to wrestle with ourselves any longer (Romans 7:14-24). Jesus fulfilled the requirements for us to be reconciled to a Holy God.  And because those requirements are fulfilled, we are now set free (Romans 8:2-4). And because we are set free, we can focus on God and worship Him for who He is and be in relationship with Him (Romans 8:5-6). And that’s where peace comes from. 

Jesus is my foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is my bread of life (John 6:35). He is my living water (John 7:38). Jesus uses this symbolism in His teachings because He wants me to get the point that He is everything I need. The waves can be raging all around me in my life. Things may get stirred up. It may be difficult to explain to my children why they haven’t met their grandpa. It can be really hard and emotional to change, or even say good bye to relationships that meant so much, but boundaries need to be redefined. It takes a lot of strength to deal with intense working environments that can be draining. But, whatever may come, Jesus is there. Because of His sacrifice, I have a relationship and not a religion. And that relationship gives me peace. I am tranquil in my soul despite my circumstances because I know the One who holds my soul, for all eternity. Go ahead and read that last line again. And again. 

My beautiful and beloved friend, do you have peace? Not in your circumstances, but in the core of your soul? I encourage you to spend a few moments in prayer and just see what the Lord has to say to you. Quiet your mind and let Him quiet your heart and give you a peace that will overflow. 

Megan Sinisi is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little “tyrants” whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: https://myrenderingheart.wordpress.com/