Our first "mid-week manual" topic that was requested was on the topic of finding peace in the midst of chaos. She said,
"no matter how much I've gotten done, how much sleep I get, and how much love and support I have from my friends and family, I still feel uneasy so much of the time. On top of that, so much just goes wrong all the time. It's always something. I want to know how to feel more peaceful and just okay with going with the flow."
I would be lying if I said I have never felt this way...to be honest, I've felt this way a LOT, and still do sometimes. There was one point very early in our marriage where Scott unexpectedly lost his job with downsizing, and I was stuck in a job where I couldn't stop thinking about the hardships and tough situations of my clients (I used to be a social worker). On top of that, we were swamped with our student loans, looking for change in the couch for gas, and dealing with the normal newlywed arguments that come with trying to learn to live with your spouse. I've always had a super supportive, loving family and great friends, but this stuff piles up and it's just hard. Plus, I just naturally think way too much.
But here's what I've learned that has made things so much easier. When Scott and I were engaged, I had a period of time where I freaked out because I wasn't sure if I loved Scott enough to spend my whole life with him...I had a week where I was more scared than excited, and I saw him as more annoying than attractive, and more selfish than loving and I thought that I was making a huge mistake. I opened up to a good friend about this, and she said "Lindsay, calm down. Love isn't a thing that you automatically have every day, with butterflies and a light heart. You CHOOSE to love the people around you, including Scott. You will need to choose every day to love him. Sometimes it will come easily, and other times it will be really hard. But true love is choosing to commit to that unselfish, infinite love for someone- it's not a thing that just makes you float on clouds all the time."
I think it's the same with finding peace.
People who look peaceful are very often really good at acting. I think we need to CHOOSE peacefulness every day. Choose to pursue it, even when it feels impossible. When you see peace as a thing to strive for, rather than something that you just haven't been able to have, or something that circumstances have taken from you against your will, then your world takes on a whole new perspective.
I'm not saying I have the strength to do this on my own... these encourage me.
"Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." -Psalm 34:14
"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."-Psalm 29:11
I don't know where you're coming from, or what you find your hope in- I will never push anything on anyone. But please know, I'm here for you. WE'RE here for you. Please continue to send your mid-week manual requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love you!