Welcome to my very first blog entry!
For tonight's entry, I really felt led to talk about the importance of having peace in your life. How I grow daily in making the peace God has granted me a priority is something I wanted to share. My greatest prayer is that this entry inspires you to begin on the journey of obtaining peace and/or ignite you to pursue the same! Let's begin!
So far in my life, I've grown (and am still growing) to learn that peace must be developed in more areas than just one. Having peace of mind, peace within every atmosphere you walk into and peace within your heart to know you are good enough are extremely imperative in one's developmental growth both spiritually and naturally. Learning what peace is first gives us a better blueprint on how to go about later protecting it.
Peace- Freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, obsession etc.; silence or stillness.
From a natural/practical standpoint...
In my opinion, puberty is one of the most confusing stages of life because everything is changing. In THIS stage is where I feel the process of learning how to develop and walk with peace has to begin. How does one learn at such a vulnerable age?
(1) Positive words of affirmations is a great way to begin. This is also to be considered a "love language" when referring to relationships. One very important relationship is the one with yourself because that's the person you see every day so why not take time to build that person up first? I remember growing up and being so self-conscious of the littlest things about the way that I looked or how other kids said I behaved or didn't behave. It caused loads of anxiety and followed me for years; I remember my grandmother sitting me down and speaking life and love into me one day after school when I felt I had enough scrutiny. She never missed a chance to tell me something positive during that time in my life. To this day she still doesn't. That added security of "I was not alone" during such a time was very grounding. Make positive affirmation a habit in your life and watch how your life lines up with what you profess over it.
(2) Confrontation and honesty about the thing that bothers you from within is also a step in the right direction to having peace because a lot of times we are troubled by what we don't understand and what makes us uncomfortable. Be it people we just don't gel with, personal insecurities or unfortunate events we were unable to control, that specific thing MUST be brought and dealt with head-on within ourselves in order to have peace in the end.
A lot of people my age suffer from incredible anxiety and depression after things like losing their first good job, heartbreaks and personal insecurities due to unhealthy comparisons. I've experienced a bit of everything listed above and what I would tell that individual is to confront the thought, the emotion, the trauma and/or the discomfort head-on. Based on the brevity of the thing, seeking council/therapy may be best to help with this confrontation but nevertheless, confront it. Allow yourself to feel it and be completely honest with yourself about how it makes you feel. There is power in confession and release. Say the things aloud, write it in a journal or confess it to someone trustworthy so that your healing can begin and your peace can follow after. My favorite talk show host of The Real Daytime Jeannie Mai lives by her statement "Own YOU before THEY do." In hindsight, never let someone, some thing or some uncontrollable circumstance take over your present-day living. Embrace the truth in the fact that you went through it and came out on the other side.
To Spiritually obtain peace requires you to see with a different lens...
(1) To obtain Christ is to obtain peace. (reference Luke :78-79)
When you accept Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, you are inevitably inviting peace to be your portion. He has many names including The Prince of Peace. In the book of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus calls us to bring our weariness and burdens to Him and He will give us rest. We are ALL encouraged to learn His ways because He is gentle and humble in heart. What does this mean? Everyone interprets scripture differently but to me, this is plainly written and easy for even babes to understand. When we are heavy with inadequacy, with self deprecation, with tormenting memories of what happened to us etc. we have a man who is willing to take it all away from us and give us rest (peace). How comforting is that?! To know that all we have to do is come to Him and allow Him to relieve us of what we carry knowingly and unknowingly is amazing. He promises to give us peace.
(John 6:44, Phillippians 4:7, 2 Corinthians 5;17-18... just to name a few)
It may seem bizarre for someone who hasn't heard of the possibility of growing a relationship with the Creator of Heaven and Earth but it is a real thing! And their is no complication to it. In the same instance of a Parent-Child or Friend-Friend relationship, the same idea is placed here. This is the next step after joining the family of God. You've accepted His son and therefore you are now adopted into the family! (reference John 1:12) The access is that easy.
If He's already promised to give you rest if you came to him with your burdens...how much more of an impact do you believe He can have in your life if you actually grew close to Him?
Spend time getting to know Christ by reading the many stories in the Bible about Him and his disciples. Read about God the Father and begin to wrap your mind around the truth that He IS love (reference 1 John 4:16).
Talk to Him. Prayer is nothing more than direct dialog/communication. You can literally pray and ask God to give you peace in your home, in your mind, in your situations, on the job, etc. and because He'd love nothing more than to give you an abundant life in Him (reference John 10:10), He will do it! I tell God everything...I tell Him about my day, I tell Him about my feelings, if I'm upset that my order got messed up waiting in a Chic-Fil-A line, you better believe I'm talking to God about my frustration. There is nothing too great that I wouldn't talk to Him about and guess what...He responds! In more ways than one, He will encourage you, strengthen you, love on you, protect you, guide you and teach you. He cares!
To sum everything up, peace is important to have and never let go. Once obtained, Protecting the peace given to you is simple.. keep an eye on what's most important. If you walk with Christ, He will pour into you the confidence needed to ease your troubled mind. When you come to tough situations, you will not look at the glass half empty but instead half full.