I have started and deleted probably ten blog posts in the past few days. Things have been a little crazy in my little world, and I find myself wanting to talk about all of it, to really hash it out in my own words, in my own space… But when it comes down to it, that isn’t what I want. I feel like I have been running defense, responding to the things others say, correcting misinterpretations or misunderstandings, explaining my point of view, trying to validate myself over and over on so many levels… This makes me automatically want to go on the offensive. My natural response is to blast out WHO I AM and what I think is the absolute RIGHT answer to ALL THE THINGS, but… I stop. And I start. And I stop.
I think the stopping is what I need. The stillness, the simple knowledge that I am enough, my family is enough, and peace is available.
I don’t speak about my faith all that much just in daily life. It’s something intensely personal to me, but also something I think should be evident by the way I conduct myself. My own version of Christianity may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me. My focus has always been on the relationship with Christ, on the support and comfort I find in the Holy Spirit, and less so on the semantics… I have read the Bible cover to cover, I have read books analyzing it, and have always been interested in it, but it’s secondary to me. It seems to be the primary part of Christianity to so many.
A song I haven’t heard in a long time came into my head this morning and I couldn’t even tell you who sang it. It’s probably from the early 90s, contemporary Christian. The lyrics that have been following me are “He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.” I have really been finding peace in that today. The verse it was taken from is Isaiah 61:3, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified,” and that somehow seems less poetic. I generally prefer the NKJV of every verse, but… Less so in this case.
When I was younger, my parents tried out a bunch of different brands of Christianity. We went to an Episcopal church when I was very young, and after that mostly some form of non-denominational church of varying severity before winding up at Grace World Outreach for most of my life at home. I’m not going to get into a play-by-play of my church history or anything, just a little background for the one thing I wanted to share. When I was maybe 14, there was a visiting group at our church, speaking about prophesy. A ton of people from other area churches came and it was kind of a big deal (my memory isn’t crystal clear on this, so feel free to correct me if you know better than I… I may have been older or younger, it might not have been that big of a deal, but it was in my mind). During this, I was prophesied over. The woman who spoke to me said that I had a deep, deep well of peace inside me, and that I could draw those around me into so that they might be covered. I don’t know if it’s true, but it comforts me at times like this. I hope I can spread a little peace here and there, anyway.
Take time to enjoy just a little stillness, if you will. That is my personal battle.