2021 has been a doozy so far hasn’t it?! Phew! There is unrest everywhere you look. So how do you live in peace when it feels like everything around you is falling apart at the seams? The simple (not easy) answer is to keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the circumstances.
Personally, I’ve struggled with peace since Christmas. Chemo is done, my hair is growing back … I should be feeling excited, but I don’t. I feel depressed and anxious. Part of it is my hormone treatment I started taking right after Christmas. It really messed with my mind before it even had a chance to get fully into my system. I was walking on eggshells wondering what would happen if I got upset.
A little bit about the hormone treatment for those who may not know, is that it continues to help suppress the hormones that caused my cancer in the first place. Prayerfully, it will keep me from having a recurrence. The side effects can make you moody and have hot flashes (as if I were in menopause). I prayed about this carefully, researched and ultimately felt peace about taking this although I really didn’t want to.
Back to the matter at hand. Because of this hormone treatment, I was beginning to feel like everything has been stripped away from me. My hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and now my mental state. Basically I was having a pity party. I was diligently working through my battle plan of quiet time, worship music, speaking truth over myself, and talking to friends who were also speaking truth over me. It was while I was running the track a few miles from our house that it hit me … get active, then all the other things (listed below) started to flow. Without realizing it, God has been giving me the recipe for how to have peace for years. I’m always doing several of the things on this list, but if I’ve been neglecting some of them, I start to feel anxious. I tell myself I’m doing all the right things because I’m focusing on my battle plan; but then, I realize there are some other areas that also need attention. Such as, getting active or (cringe) releasing control.
Ultimately if we keep our eyes on Jesus, then we WILL feel His peace. Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean things will go the way WE want, but we will feel peace in the midst of it. But listed below is my secret sauce, if you will – some practical ways you can make sure you’re staying healthy … mind, body, soul, and spirit.
Have you tried these things?
I know, we’ve heard this a thousand times. But, it’s true. How can you feel peace with out talking to the Prince of Peace?
- Read your Bible
Again, yes I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times. But, try reading Psalm 139. It feels like a love story that God wrote to us individually. Make it personal as you read. It was written for YOU.
- Get quiet with Jesus
Just sit in His presence without saying anything except “Jesus”. Invite Him into the silence of your mind.
- Worship Jesus
Crank up the music that always makes you want to dance like David did before the Lord. Songs like Power of the Cross or You Are My All in All are my personal favorites. Look up at the sky, around at nature and stand amazed at His creation.
- Get active
When I’m in a funk, if I go walk around our property or run at the track a few miles from our house, it always amazes me how it completely shifts my mood. Also, yoga is a great way to get active. I love to turn on my worship music and worship while I’m getting active. It’s a twofer.
- Love on someone
One of the best ways to feel peace is to get outside of yourself and think about someone else. Try asking God to lay someone on your heart that you can text, tell them you love them and then take a moment to pray over them. Make cookies or a meal to take to someone that you know is struggling.
- Switch gears
When you’re in the middle of something and you’re making silly mistakes that you wouldn’t normally make or your brain keeps freezing up and you can’t seem to focus, try switching gears. For example, when I was in the sewing business I might be sitting on 20 orders at one time and I would always start with the one that had the earliest deadline. But sometimes one of the projects was more difficult to figure out and I couldn’t seem to make any headway. I remembered hearing “when you don’t feel peace, switch gears” (I don’t remember where I heard it), so if I could feel my chest tighten and I was no longer enjoying what I was doing, then I purposed to lay down that one project and pick up another that I was excited about starting. It also needed to be done so I was still checking off my to-do list, but more times than not, as I was working on the fun project I would figure out the problem to the other project and it would all flow so much easier. Sometimes rather than picking up another project, I would step outside for some fresh air or get something to eat. Maybe even lay my head down for 10-15 minutes. Whatever that is for you, sometimes you need to stop forcing a fit and switch gears.
This one might sound a little weird, but if my house starts to get out of hand with clutter or whatnot, I start to feel anxious. It can help me mentally when I’ve given the house a good scrubbing or organizing.
This is probably the hardest of all because we like to have control … am I right?! Seriously though, if we’re not feeling at peace, something needs to give and that is more than likely our grip.
So, which of these has been neglected? Tell me which of these you’re going to start implementing and how this list helps you. My prayer for you in 2021 is that even though the world seems to be falling apart, you are at peace in your heart. I love you friend!