Tag Archives: peace

Together (Ephesians 2)

I’m doing a devotional right now about peace, and Ephesians 2:10 was used in one of the devotional entries:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Paul was talking to the Gentiles in Ephesians in this chapter.  Encouraging them because they felt like outsiders.  But that Christ’s blood has unified them with the God of the Jews, giving them hope, making them heirs to the promises and covenants of God.

But as I kept reading, this verse jumped out to me:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,

by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Ephesians 2:14-15

And my heart breaks. 

In this particular passage, Paul is talking about the Gentiles and the Jews, but even today, our world is still split into us and them.  Anger and vitriol are spewed across social media feeds.  Fear feeds into a need for control, and conversations warp into misunderstandings and hurt feelings, continuing a cycle of fear.

Being a type 9, I hate conflict and confrontation, and honestly, I have to be really intentional with my online interactions, especially right now with stress levels already high because of the pandemic.  I have to filter my news intake and watch my stress levels, do copious amounts of self-care like meditation, exercise, eating well, and getting healthy amounts of sleep before I even think about engaging the world right now.

But there is hope.  Christ knows we are a split world.  His sacrifice was a catalyst for unification, not division.  He is a beacon of justice, redemption, and forgiveness.  He is a model of balance, peace, and faith.  Even though the world feels like it’s ending, Christ is there to remind me that the chaos is just a distraction from our calling to love one another. 

So, take a deep breath.  Breathe in Love God.  Breathe out Love Others.  And remember Jesus is coming soon, morning, night, or noon.  He is in control, and he will bring ultimate peace.

Peace

I can’t believe it’s the end of the month, especially this month.  Life has been chaotic, uncertain, and just simply crazy.  I should have known it was going to be crazy since it started with Michael coming home with the stomach bug (which I never, thankfully, got).  As I’m now in full swing of my second trimester, my brain is ready to make all sorts of decisions that are just not makeable at the moment, which brought some unneeded and definitely unwanted stress. 

While I can’t go into details about it, I wanted to share something pretty incredible.  One day in this month, I wrote out all of the things I was worried about, just so I would get them out of my head.  Literally, eight days later, all of the things I was worried about had some answer to them.  Granted, some of them were “wait until such and such happens,” but it wasn’t this big unknown void that I felt I was standing in front of anymore.  Actual plans and options started to materialize with little work from me.

This month, in our small group, we each shared one word needs that we could pray for each other.  My word was peace.  Well, Michael took that word and ran with it.  Every morning, he prayed that I would have peace in that day, no matter what was happening.  To say he’s been amazing throughout this pregnancy would be an understatement.  He goes above and beyond for me every day, even if his own day was particularly stressful.  Even though we have always been a team in our marriage, it feels like it’s morphed into this super-team.  Without a word, we just seem to pick up the slack for one another and support each other every day.  I’ve never felt closer to him, and I can tell it’s made a difference to me in my own life.  I feel more relaxed…more, at peace.

But this feeling of peace has gone beyond the circle of my marriage.  I feel it in my community as well.  Every conversation I have has been so uplifting.  We’ve received so many unexpected blessings from people, that I can’t even begin to recount all of them.  I have been encouraged in any future decisions that whatever I decide, I have a force of people surrounding me, ready to be in my corner no matter what.

Even though my husband and my community have given me more peace that I could have imagined, I know that all of this is really a gift from God.  He has answered my prayers over and over again.  He has made his presence known, even in my most oblivious moments.  I can’t glorify and thank him enough for the peace he has given me over these past two years, and continues to grant me throughout these transitions in my life.  I don’t feel like I deserve the things he’s given my little family this month, and I’m just in awe of it all.  He is truly the one in control, and for that I am totally thankful, and at peace.

An Announcement of Emotions

I have hesitated about making a formal announcement regarding this for a while, going back and forth several times.  But I feel like it would be best to come clean so that I’m not misleading anyone in future posts.  The announcement is I am pregnant, and I’m due in early Spring.

The day I got the positive test, I had three distinct emotions.  The first was, of course, elation – mixed with gratitude and excitement.  I remember being so happy that I started crying in convulsions.  My poor sweet puppy had no idea why I was sitting on the floor, leaning against the window in my office with tears flowing down my face.  She probably thought I was going crazy.

The next emotion was fear, but more like fear with hope and peace still attached to it.  I was afraid I would miscarry again, but it wasn’t for a lack in faith of what God could do.  It was quite the opposite.  I knew that God was with me in my last miscarriage.  The things he has done for me in the last year, the purpose he renewed in me, gave me unimaginable joy and a peace that passed all understanding.  It allowed me to speak to those who were silently grieving.  It opened my eyes to the injustices of life and who we can be to each other, both good and bad.  The biggest realization was that we are not guaranteed a certain outcome to our life, just that God will be there every step of the way.  If I had another miscarriage, I knew God would be there, that my purpose would still be intact.  If I was able to carry to full term and have a healthy child, God would be there also, and my purpose would be intact.  It was the not knowing which way it was going to go that was the problem.

However, knowing now that I am on a new path (every day is now new as I have never been this pregnant before), it has brought another emotion.  This final emotion is guilt.  When I opened up about my miscarriage and struggle, I was met with so many other stories from women who I respect and admire, who are still in that struggle.  These are women who I honestly believe will become amazing mothers some day.  However, they are doing amazing things with their lives in the present as well, showing me that purpose is not dictated by societal timelines, but by God alone.

Still, I know what it’s like to get the pregnancy announcements on Facebook, or in an email, or in person.  I know what it’s like to watch bellies grow as I felt more and more left behind.  I know what it’s like to have well-meaning friends try to connect with me, only to have the conversation turn to baby/kid talk unintentionally.  Not that I hated discussing the adorable children around me, it’s just that it made my missing ones that much more apparent.

I don’t want to blindly take hold of my mommy card and jump on this path to never look back.  I want to continue addressing this issue we seem to have with women without children, whether by choice or not.  We either use them up or treat them as useless.  They deserve neither.  They deserve to say they are tired or overworked without the constant comment or look that says “just wait til you have kids”.  They deserve to be included in conversations and activities because we are all women dealing with life together.  And ultimately, they deserve to be considered worthy in the kingdom of God.  Because they are.

I don’t know where this pregnancy will take me, but I know that if I am blessed with children of my own, I want to teach them that no matter what path they are on, God has a purpose for them.  Just as He has as purpose for all of you.