Have you ever had a word for the year? Back in December, I kept trying to think of one for 2017 and I kept coming back to the word peace through prayer, meditation and list keeping. Yep, peace. I laughed my ass off, really! Then I almost cried because WHAT THE HELL!?!? How in the world am I going to have peace when I have a husband and toddler that have ever present and quickly growing needs? It’s as if a big joke was being thrown at me from the far right… peace is something I have never acquired, never wanted, never lived in, lived with or known of.
One day, in February, I found myself at the Kohl’s parking lot crying because I could not find anything for $10 so I could use my $10 off coupon. I had come to the sad, sad realization that I really do not care about Kohl’s, coupons or $10 worth of stuff. How ridiculous- I was excited to use this coupon when my heart felt so heavy. I was carrying a bigger burden that had nothing to do with $10 and everything to do with my lack of peace; my word of the year. This is the moment that inspired this post.
I never found peace in the little things. My life has been tumultuous. Being in foster care nearly my entire childhood and adolescent years really did me over. On top of that marriage is freaking hard. It’s not just difficult, but it’s also hard. Having my mother commit suicide, having a painfully difficult pregnancy and finding myself in a new town with no support physically or emotionally- I was in survival mode for 24 years of my life. Christ really saved me from the depths of depression, sadness and fear but that was nothing like receiving a little bit of peace once and for all.
The most important words I told my husband in our first breakthrough in our marriage, during a big, sad and heavy fight is that nothing was ok. He kept telling me that "everything would be ok and everything is ok." I had to tell him "stop telling me that lie" and I told him that everyone else around me needed to stop saying it too.
You see, nothing is ever ok. I have come to this realization at the young age of 6 years old. It took me 17 years to finally say that out loud and come to terms with it; at the risk of strengthening my relationship with my husband, I spoke these words out loud. Nothing will ever be ok. I was messed up from day one, sinned against and a sinner. I found myself knowing who I truly was, deep down inside of me, the moment I realized I had no parents, no sisters and no home at 13 years old- I was a child of God, a heir to His kingdom.
Peace is welcome here. It’s time that, at 25 years old, I fight for peace to enter into my soul, enter into my home, my life, my toddlers life, my husbands life and the lives of those around me. I know nothing will be ok, but receiving peace will always be ok. Nobody can ever take away my past or those aches and pains of growing up and dealing with life. However, Christ can consume me and take away those things and give me peace. The past does not define me or hold me in a position in which I cannot receive God’s peace.
Today I share my prayer for peace,
Peace, you are welcome into my life, you are welcome to OVERWHELM me and CONSUME me. You are welcome to light a fire and burn everything in my life that isn't of you. Peace, take over my breath, my heart, my body, my time, my strength, my everything. Take it all and give me you- PEACE.
May I find you, oh peace, in the biggest and smallest of things. May you break strongholds that prevent you from entering my life and may you know me fully, foresee my needs and prepare me for whatever this life brings me. I know I can't do it without you, peace, I don't want to any more or ever again.
May I have the strength to fight for peace to enter into my life in every way.
Being a Christian or not, an orphan or not, we all have strongholds that hold us back from receiving peace. In the midst of this crazy life, please, breathe in peace, live out peace and give peace freely to those in need.
I did end up using a coupon at JcPenney and that was a much better experience, so maybe the real take away is go to JcPenney, not Kohl's.