“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
So much peace of mind has come my way while reflecting on these words. I remember the summer I moved to Whitefish I spent weeks searching my soul and trying to divine my future, seeking out God’s will and trying to do what I thought best when it came to turning my settled life on the Eastern Montana plains upside down and heading west to climb mountains and live in paradise. I endured numerous sleepless nights filled with prayer, took countless contemplative walks trying to discern the right course to follow, and queried those I trusted for objective reason in the direction I was taking my life. Finally feeling strong and sure enough in what I was doing I took the leap that had at the time seemed so right, so bold, and so full of faith.
I accepted a job offer and stepped out of the safety nest I had known for my entire adult life and….. then I found the bottom of my boldness. I felt like I was choking and my world was spinning out of control. Somehow the decision I made was causing everything in my life to cloud over and I could not understand why. And then the road blocks came.
The path I had been following in faith suddenly dealt me twists and turns I wasn’t ready for. Instead of feeling excitement for the adventure that lay ahead I felt exhaustion, even dread at what would come next. I was consumed with confusion over the conflicting feelings I was experiencing. Why was this happening? Why was I feeling so anxious and uncertain and why couldn’t I find solace anywhere? It seemed I would be damned if I stayed the course and even more damned if I didn’t. I couldn’t find a place to live. The finances that seemed so clear before weren’t penciling out. I started doubting the strength of the relationship I was moving to grow and my own personal strength.
And then, much faster than it took for the door to my new life to open before me, it slammed shut. Meanwhile, the wonderful happy life I had come to know and take for granted now seemed to collapse in and smother me.
The utter despair that comes when you think you have life all lined up only to have those nicely laid plans blown away left me coasting without direction and feeling powerless. I felt I had not only let myself down but those who supported me and cheered me on. I despaired that by somehow not trusting blindly in my faith that everything would turn out alright I had failed in fear. I let fear take away the opportunity to soar as God intended me to. I had disappointed not only my friends and family but God, for not stepping out in faith and taking a risk because of something inside that was telling me to stop what I was doing and stay in place.
It was a feeling I had never felt before. Not only lost but hopeless. I felt trapped by something I did not understand because I could not hear what my mind and my heart were telling me over the din of what I thought I should be doing in my desire to live boldly.
I was lost in this hopeless state of mind until I realized that a state of harmony was revealing itself to my head and heart. Indeed it was a sense of certainty very much unlike the incongruous state I was in as I endeavored to divine my future. I realized that the pain and sadness I initially felt over MY plans not coming to fruition were turning into peace.
“And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
I accepted that the difficult road I was on was the one God wanted me to take in order that I would have a deeper understanding of who I am and what I needed on this journey of life. Most importantly, I knew that without Him I was nothing and with Him I could do anything that was His will.
2 months later, I ended up following through on my grand adventure. The road blocks that were in my way initially had some construction work done on them and ceased to be a problem. The job offer was extended to me again, a higher salary was negotiated, and I found a wonderful place to live!
I stepped out boldly in faith and haven’t stopped climbing mountains since. I am no longer afraid. I have peace.
“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.”