Finding peace

I think of myself as being a resilient person. I don't crave spontaneity, I prefer the same-old to change, but I can do both relatively well. But there are some things in my life that I still really struggle with, there are things that keep me upside-down and backwards.

Often as a child, after being out with friends or running errands, I would return home and get yelled at for changing my plans, lying, or being late. Most of the times, I had not done anything wrong.

Occasionally, a plan would change. My senior year of high school, we changed what restaurant we went to eat at after the homecoming dance. My mother went to the restaurant that we didn't go to, and when I arrived home five minutes late I got an hour's worth of yelling plus I was grounded for what seemed like years. Remember, there were no cellphones back in these days. I was in a group, and we did go to a restaurant.

From time to time, I would be like any child and be a few minutes late. I would be grilled and berated for my lateness for an hour. It was always an inexcusable offense. And the worst was when I arrived home on time from the place where I said I would be, and I would be accused of having never shared my plans.

Because of this past, even now at the age of 33, when I go on a trip (especially a spontaneous weekend trip out of town) I experience anxiety. I'm afraid that my trip has inconvenienced someone because I didn't tell them of my departure. I fear that I have forgotten some plans and will be leaving someone in the cold.

But I decided this year, I'm going to battle my fear and anxiety. We've taken a few weekend trips, relatively short notice, and I've prepared myself. I do self-talk, reminding myself that I am very responsible. If I have forgotten an appointment, it was not intentional. I also remind myself that as an adult, I do not need to ask my mother or others for permission to do things. And then I just tell myself that I'm not going to be anxious; I'm going to be calm and peaceful, all the while practicing deep breathing techniques.

Next weekend, we are going on one of these weekend trips. I am not going to have anxiety or panic. I am going to enjoy the trip. And the same technique is going to help me overcome other things.

Sometimes when I need peace, I just can't find it. It's then that I turn to the Prince of Peace:

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]" --John 16:33 AMP

Father, thank you for allowing me to rest in your arms and find peace. So many times I still struggle, but I know where I can always find you. Remain close by me so that when I am weak, I can fall into your arms and find comfort, peace and regain my confidence in you. In Jesus' name, AMEN.


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