When Life is Messy
Posted on Apr 5, 2019 to Public
“If what is within you is not from above you, then you succumb to what is among you.” -Unknown
It’s easy to have peace when everything is going as planned. But let’s admit it, life is messy…It’s a combination of ups and downs. Some days, we go to bed on cloud nine-- We receive that promotion, we come home to a loving spouse, we have our finances in order, etc. But what about those days when you come home with no job or to a struggling spouse. These times may just be days to some and be weeks or years to others.
Why do so many of us struggle with finding peace? Why are there so many in society that have diagnosed disorders of anxiety and depression?
Locus of Control
It is important to understand that happiness and peace are not a feeling but a choice. The only one who can provide peace and happiness is yourself. We cannot control what happens around us, BUT we do have complete control on how we react to what life throws at us! When life is messy, and even when it’s not, we need to assume control of our actions and be proactive in coming to a place of peace.
For me, it helps to focus on what I could improve about myself... Could I be healthier than I am?(Guys, I LOVE cookies…. it’s really bad.) Be a better wife? Friend? Family member? How can I improve? When I started focusing more on how I can improve instead of how I can fix others, it not only leads me to peace but to a place of contentment.
"Even trials have their expiration dates." -Lysa Turkeurst
Rather than looking at unfortunate circumstances as life falling APART; look at it as life falling INTO place….view these trials as a challenge to overcome. You have the opportunity to grow stronger than ever before and to learn from this experience. Remember, even trials have their expiration dates.
For me, when I change my perspective and look at a situation more as a challenge, it motivates me to look at the big picture...don't try to compare your seasons of trials to other's seasons of abundance. Stay focused on the big picture and that all things work together for the best!
This is an important step to take in order to reach peace... Saying "yes" to every request will only leave you exhausted, stressed, and resentful--leaving life messier than you found it. It's OKAY to say "no." Keep in mind that saying "yes" to serve others is wonderful; but is it really serving others when you are bitter and resentful while doing it?
It is so hard to say no when you want to please others…. trust me, this is a BIG struggle for me. I’m always afraid of missing out, upsetting others, or hurting someone’s feelings that I would literally say yes to everything!! I'm a work in progress but I am beginning to realize that not only are people OKAY when I say no but I am more at peace. No longer do I experience anxiety about having to commit to something that I really don’t want or have to do.
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." -Philippians 4:8-9
What you believe has a major impact on obtaining perfect peace… it changes your perspective and provides you with hope. Friend, I want to encourage you to set aside a moment in your day to have quiet time and dwell on the blessings you have. Think about these precious words that God has tucked into His Word. DWELL ON THEM ALL DAY!
On a personal note, my faith is a lot of why I am here today. It has taken awhile for me to learn what it means to have the peace that surpasses all understanding; but once I learned how, a burden was lifted.
To those of you who feel like you are carrying a weight on your shoulders that is to much to bear; I know how that feels…and my heart goes out to you! But take heart, friend, that this kind of peace is for you too. It doesn’t make life less messy, it doesn’t change the circumstances, but it changes YOU! This peace takes you to a place where your mind is no longer being held captive fear. When you are no longer a slave to fear, life’s storms really don’t seem that bad anymore.
Peace is more about what is inside you then what is in the storm! Take heart, trials have their expiration dates. The best is yet to come!