Monday, July 9, 2012

Forfeited Peace...

Sometimes life just throws a curve ball!! Well...actually, not really as God is all-knowing, and everything that happens in my life gets his "hand stamp" of approval. Unfortunately, though, at the onset of crisis, our human minds "forget" this as evidenced by immediate thoughts of fear and feelings of extreme anxiety.

It's been several months now since such a "curve ball" hit me square in the stomach  -  and it literally felt like it!! Anxiety/worry over the future has a way of sucking the life right out of you. :{
Fear of the unknown future was very real - especially since I "knew" in my heart the inevitable future and actually started making plans! {Which almost seems silly now}

I promise I'm not trying to be elusive in withholding the cause of my worry... Some things are best kept between family and a few close friends. And, honestly, the purpose of this post is not to gather sympathy or concern, but to share a very real lesson I had to learn the hard way. I wouldn't want the specifics of my "trial" to negate the lesson I believe can be applied to everyone for any situation. I only hope to encourage others who may find themselves in a "fog"...

I admit, almost ashamedly, that my life was consumed for about a week.  I lived in a fog with nothing else on my mind. The timing was "impeccable" as well. Several close friends and many acquaintances were going through some of the hardest days of their lives, and I just knew I was about to join them.  Ironically, God had become so real to me in the months before and I felt closer to Him than ever before. But my initial response was, "Oh, great! This is what happens when I grow in my relationship with Christ." I understood how it might be easy for some to completely turn their back on Him in fear of what it takes to draw as close to Him as possible. I certainly had my doubts about how close I wanted to become and didn't really think I could handle it. 

One day, though, during my devotions as I was reading through my devotional journal, I found this entry dated about three weeks prior:

"Committing today to a closer relationship with God through prayer...I want to know Him as a person who walks with me daily through this life - constantly aware of His presence as my Friend and Companion. Don't know where to start..."

WOW!! It became very clear to me that God was present and working and helping me to grow. I definitely felt as if He'd given me a "jump start" in my journey. The words to "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" immediately came to mind and I copied these words in my journal:

"O, what peace we often forfeit;
O, what needless pain we bear;
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!"

That was sooooo me - for a week I had been forfeiting the peace of God and needlessly bearing the pain alone!! My prayer time was O So Sweet that day, and I felt as if I'd experienced a miracle. Had my "problem" gone away?? Not really, but the fear and anxiety had vanished. My mind was no longer consumed with worry over the future. I do believe I experienced the peace of God like never before. 

Why is it that prayer was not my first effort? I mean, I had "prayed" about it - I actually had groaned in fear and anxiety with my "Dear God, PLEASE!!" And while, I wouldn't want to negate that, it wasn't until I actually carried my burden to Him and laid it at His feet that my worry was lifted and replaced with a peace that passes understanding. Rather than begging God to remove the circumstance, I had simply asked Him to stay close to me.  In His presence, there is true peace. I could sing with complete confidence, "For I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand!"

Most of the "future" problems we worry about never even happen! I'm so glad I didn't waste anymore of my life worrying about something that was completely in God's hands! Come what may, a God greater than any problem or trial is in control! Life at its longest is but a vapor...I certainly don't want to live mine in needless emotional wreckage!

In retrospect these many months later, I realize God was likely just testing me.  Others have faced and are facing real trials greater than any I've ever known. But I am so thankful that God used this time to prove to me that He is faithful to His promises!!

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In reading back through this post, I feel I've so inadequately described how important a relationship with Christ really is.  But it's so personal, I guess I really don't feel as if it can be shared with others through mere words.  I do know that it is VITAL to life!! So often I've tried to "go it on my own." FAIL!
It's a relationship...it takes work!! But it is an amazing journey! And though I still fail and stumble along the way, I do know that Jesus, my Friend, is right there next to me - with his arm around me offering complete peace and comfort!!  

Enjoying life with my cutie little kiddos!! ♥

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful words. Praying for you, friend.

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    1. Thanks, Becca! I pray for you, too. Our Anne Marathon is coming up soon!! :)

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  2. Wow, I've been here for sure, and what a relief it was once I passed the initial "worry" stage and realized that I was right where God wanted me to be and things were working out right according to His plan. Oh, and you are so right that, "Most of the "future" problems we worry about never even happen!" I've learned to let go of the fear of the future and to just trust fully in God to map our my life as He sees fit. A few years ago, I would never have imagined a life so wonderful as this.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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