Not too long ago, while sitting in a meeting, I felt a little wave of nervousness pass over me. It sort of tickled itself across the back of my neck, just below my hairline, and I felt my breathing get a little bit shorter. Has that ever happened to you?
In the split second it took me to catch my breath — right there in the middle of a room full of people who had no idea I was catching my breath — I decided to choose peace instead. I’m no expert at choosing peace, so I can’t tell you exactly how it’s done.
What I know for sure, is that peace is best chosen before there’s a need for it.
We decide we want to be enveloped by peace, and we want to radiate peace, and we want to be agents and conduits of peace. We decide this while in the carpool lane, or sitting in traffic, or watching the news, or chopping vegetables, or balancing a checkbook, or preaching a sermon, or litigating a case, or mopping a floor, or managing a project, or selling a car, or raking the leaves, or running a mile through the woods. Sometimes we know we’ve decided it, and sometimes we don’t realize it until later. Whether we know it or not, however, we become practitioners of peace.
What I know for sure, is that peace takes root where peace is practiced.
We begin to practice peace, the best way we know how. We stumble our way towards it, and it opens itself up to us — like it had been waiting for this very moment, hoping we’d show up to take its hand. The more we practice it, the more it settles in our bones.
Soft and light and free.
Of course, the wonder of it all is the way peace makes itself at home in us, even when mountains sink like sand and disappear into the seas.
That day in the meeting, I chose peace. Or, maybe peace chose me? I can’t say for sure.
What I know for sure is that, in the moment it took me to catch my breath, I felt the sweet assurance of One who always promises, “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.”
I know this for sure: You are not alone. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not in all the days to come. He is right here with you, and He extends the invitation to let peace take root in your soul.Leave a Comment
Jen B says
Thank you for these wise, encouraging words. My husband has been diagnosed with some serious health issues that are potentially life threatening and I am overwhelmed with that in addition to catching up at work from time missed to his illness and the addition of many chores for our family that my husband has done in the past but can’t right now. These words are a balm to my heart and a reminder to take captive every thought, remembering that God is Emmanuel, God with us, in the thick of the hard and in the joyful times as well.
My husband has also has had serious healthy issues. They are chronic rather than critical at this point. However, a couple of friends taught me two important lessons. The first is to let others help. I am a helper by nature and it seems that helpers want to help and not accept help. A wise friend reminded me that others may be called to provide help to me just as I had been called to help others and by pretending to not need it or by politely declining the offer I could be thwarting God’s help provided through human arms and hands. Often people want to help but do not know what to do and we may need to ask, a very uncomfortable thing for me to do. Little things like picking up a few groceries for you may feel like the best gift you have ever gotten in your life because it was one less thing you had to do. And your friend will love being able to help. The second was that I had to be sure to take care of myself so that I could continue to take care of my husband and family. As this second wise friend said, after learning this the hard way, if you deplete yourself too much, you will not be able to provide the care you want to give to your loved ones. It seemed impossible to even think about taking a few hours ‘off’ or choosing to do something for me in the midst of the great needs around me, but when I did I was refreshed and better able to do what needed to be done. I will admit to having to work at not feeling guilty at first but the benefits to all, not just me, helped me to see the value and wisdom of some self care.
Amen, when we went through a triple by pass and 3 months later a hip replacement with my dear beloved guy, I was on the front line the whole time! Partly, there was no one else to take the load and, as we women tend to do, I thought I was super woman!
About 3 months into his recovery I realized I had lost all joy in life. I talked with my doctor and realized I was suffering from a temporary depression and break down from having been the lone care giver for 1 1/2 years. It took me almost 7 months to get back and I still have days and sometimes a whole week I could crawl into a ball and cry at the drop of a hat! Ladies, don’t be afraid to accept help. It does not mean you can’t do your job, as our dear sister said, it will make us better equipped.
Jen B says
Thank you for your wise words, Kathy. God bless you and your family!
Beth Williams says
Prayers for you as a caregiver. May God give you the strength and stamina you need to carry on. I pray you feel God’s peace and comfort wash over and in your soul. Prayers for your husband also!
Please let others help you! I know it’s hard to ask sometimes because you don’t want to be a burden. But believe me you could be robbing others of the joy from giving. I am a helper by nature and love doing small things for people.
Absolutely take care of yourself. Don’t deplete your resources or you won’t be able to care for others. Take time daily for a short walk or just sit and listen to music for a few minutes. You will be surprised how this helps calm your nerves and relax you.
Theresa Ware says
The Lord is so faithful, He gives is an ever present in time of trouble.
Praying for you Jen B.
Jen B says
Thank you, Maryann!
I understand how this can take a toll on you. My prayers are with you, and your family for peace, comfort, wellness, and strength.
Kathy has some amazing advice that I’m sure will helpful to you.
Jen B says
Thank you Penny!
Amen, Jen. Praying for you, and for your husband.
Jen B says
Thank you, Deidra!
Wise and timely words for me this morning, Deidra. Thank you for sharing them.
What a blessing to read this beautiful piece on this morning. I choose peace.
What a wonderful reminder that God is with us through all of life’s many storms.
Timely. Thank you for the blessing of these words and your testimony.
A prudent word as I start my work day. Thank you.
I love that sometimes we have to practice it….and usually that means over and over in the smaller things. It is a silly example, but last night during the final WS game I was not at peace. I could feel myself getting all worked up. I realized the best most peaceful thing for me….and in order to lay the groundwork for a good day today….was to just go to bed. I have learned that from past experience. 🙂
So, I did. And you know what? It worked great for me and I will remember it next time too!
Dee S. says
I have done the same in past episodes. We choose peace. God is peace!
This is so comforting to read, thank-you Deidre.
I just had an experience where a commotion took place. I was drawn to go, and see if I could help, but before I intervened my thoughts fast forwarded, and then suddenly I felt like I was being pulled away. In those thoughts I was shown what the outcome might of been if I’d remained, and it would of been far from peaceful. I feel that the Lord was guiding me away, and that’s left my heart peaceful.
Blessings to you all for a peaceful day,
Thanks. This comes at a good time w/ the upcoming election. Half of the country will be very unhappy next week. Hopefully not my half, LOL, but if so, I hope I am able to choose peace….
Linda Stoll says
‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ – John 14:27.
Yes and amen, Deidra … we do get to choose!
Michele Morin says
So good. Like anything that does not come naturally to me (like push ups?) I need to put peace into practice in the day to day of life so that when the big tests come, I’ll have my heart in the right place.
Praying for you as launch date for your book gets . . . closer! April 4th, right?
jorge orrego barreto says
At least it is not any peace as daily peace, as peace of world. It’s His peace as Jesus has told us and has promised us. Often we need that kind of peace and if we ask for it, the Holy Spirit will overflow us with peace Jesus promised because Holy Spirit knows what we must ask praying. Thanks Deidra for your inspired words.
Thank you for this powerful message. What a blessing it is to me right now, today. The Lord knew I needed to hear it. Thank you for being faithful to Him and writing it all down.
Thank you for this message. It’s an answered prayer. God is so amazing!
Jeanne Takenaka says
Deidre, what a beautiful post. It seems like sometimes, peace comes to me, when I stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and invite God into that moment. I love how you described it in your post. Sometimes, it does seem like peace chooses us. Thank goodness our God does that for us. 🙂
Rebecca L Jones says
I agree, it’s John 14:27, He chose us and we must choose Him. This shortness of breath, anxiety, panic atacks are all fears from the enemy, pray for the wicked spirit to be loosed from it’s assigment, and go where Jesus tells it. You will be able to breathe.
Thank you for sharing this today. I really enjoyed reading. God bless you with peace always ❤️
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’m late to the party today…hectic day…so right now I’m choosing some peace in solitude. I always remember a pastor friend of mine saying to me, “Bev, no matter if it’s peace, patience, kindness, forgiveness,…ALWAYS practice with the small stuff.” Such true words. I know I have to practice peace in the small everyday trials and experiences that want to rattle me so that when the really big storms blow, my “peace muscles” will not be flabby (if this makes any sense?). Great reminder today…
Peace and blessings be with you,
Kathy Cheek, Devotional Writer says
In my experience I would say the enemy will do anything to try to stop us from experiencing God’s peace, because when we do have His peace, it truly is a supernatural peace that we cannot even fully describe. God’s peace is far above any peace man can conjure up.
Deidre – this was so beautiful & touched my heart. Thank you for sharing. It immediately made me realize truth that presides within & above… <3
Thank you. I needed that.
Choose peace. Practice peace. Two things I need to remember more often.
Soft and light and free.
Oh, yes. it took me a while. When I choose Peace (oh how great I feel ). I am here to encourage us all. Hang in there and allow God to be God. Everything Will Be Alright! #☺
Beth Williams says
We must choose to be at peace all the time. The devil wants us all stirred up, panicky and depressed. We must ask God to give us His perfect peace. Stupid little things can get me riled up. I must calm myself pray and seek His face. Then I will have the peace I need. Leaving situations help me also!