It all welled up again. Anxiety that had become all too familiar.
A simple routine scheduled appointment began to loom larger than a square mile on the calendar. The lab numbers. The “what if’s” and the decisions that might ensue.
2020 proved to be no short walk in the park and after continued, sustained stress to my nervous system, this recurring anxiety over health issues was threatening to bring on a tsunami of fear and panic attacks.
I prayed. I cried. I walked it out with Jesus for miles and miles …yet again. I talked it out with my husband and those I love who have chosen to love me through these cracks in the emotional surface. The ground was still shaking beneath me.
Somewhere in the middle of the storm, a life-raft was thrown out over the mental air waves.
When I had wrestled over this same fear in the past, where had God given me peace to land? Go back to that place of peace.
As I entered that “place of peace,” I was reminded again how I had agonized and wrestled in prayer over the best decision to make. God had given specific peace at that time which allowed me to walk confidently in making a decision. Peace had come in God’s presence and in the Person of Peace — the Holy Spirit.
Going back to the place of peace and Person of Peace, peace came and pushed aside the fear. We had been around this bush before and had already come out on the other side. There didn’t need to be another round. It had been settled.
In the moments that followed that refilling of peace, I realized the culprit. The enemy wanted to swallow up my peace with fear and anxiety and rob me of any joy. He wanted to overcome my thoughts with so much fear that I couldn’t concentrate or even recall any earlier “place of peace.” It’s what he does best and he’s awfully good at it.
Finding Your Place of Peace
Let’s face it, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had enough stress in the last year to fill an ocean. COVID-19, isolation, quarantine, violence, racial unrest, political tensions even in our own families, navigating a new normal with work, longing to gather with family and friends like we used to, conspiracy theories running amuck, and divisions among families of faith have left us threadbare and soul-worn.
At times like these, we have to work hard to find and secure that “Place of Peace” and return to it often …daily.
This might help…
If it’s a particular recurring fear, go back to your journals or conversations in the past.
- What did the Spirit tell you then?
- How did God get you through?
- What were the lessons you learned that you took mental note of so you wouldn’t listen to that same lie again and end up in that same spiral again.
- What words or phrases did the Holy Spirit speak into your heart as a promise or comfort?
Rehearse the truth that the Holy Spirit gave you then. Write it out again if you have to. Speak it out loud to yourself and a trusted friend. Hold on to that no matter what other voices may speak differently.
Rest in that.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”
Okay — I need your help as well to stay in this place of peace. In the comments below, share any helpful things you’ve learned. We all need each other to get through this season.