I didn't announce that I had written "Day 3: Being in control" until today - the day after I had written and posted it. You see, as far as I know, no one knows my blogs are here unless I share the link on Facebook and Twitter and such, so, as far as I knew, Day 3 was here but not being viewed and I was happy with that. My insecurities were up and running on full power, and their cries of "RUN AWAY" and "HIDE!" was heard by my soul, loud and clear.
In Day 3 I opened up my heart and revealed my greatest fear to you, and that, along with circumstances coming to alter nearly every step I aimed to make during the day, had me wrestling my old inferiority complex even more, and, in doing so, I needed to find peace again - and that wasn't in being seen by others. Day 3 was, for me, a major wrestle.
When I first started posting blogs such as these online, I did so with the desire to pass on to others what God had given to me: Love, Acceptance, Hope, and so much more. I did so not to gain anything, but to give something, and in way of reflecting my love and appreciation for a God who has proven His existence and love to me over and over again. And each blog I post, in His name, for the above purposes, I have done with fear and trembling and breath held - because I have been, for the majority of my life, a shy person.
So... yes, I lost peace over yesterday's blog - and all that was attached to it. Yes, I was tested on what I wrote regarding peace. Yes, I had to set anxiety aside and find the sunlight again - and, yes, that took a lot of effort! And, yes, I would've preferred to surrender to negative emotions rather than fight for peace. :)
Actually, the best way to describe what I experienced yesterday is this: It felt as though I were being haunted - internally.
Not only did circumstances slip beyond my control in nearly everything I aimed to do yesterday, but sharing my greatest fear as I did - AND LIVING IT, left me feeling more than a little insecure, which opened the door for Fear, Anxiety, Inferiority, Intimidation, Self-Loathing, and a number of other things, to come in and play. I see now each one of those things need to be dealt with in my life. My thoughts need to be renewed and corrected in many ways, in order for negativity not to consume me that way. But through it all, I still believed that peace is obtainable no matter what, and I never doubted God would straighten it all out for me somehow... even though I did want to take control from His hands. :)
This morning, after playing with my "friends" last night, I had to force myself to go and sit in the sunlight - as I delighted to do in Day 1. There I sat, with coffee, reading a few verses from my Bible, and still using thought to fend off that which was haunting me, with the morning sunlight reflecting nature's beauty around me. Where was my peace...?
...Peace is not found in our circumstances. At least, if that's where we find it, as soon as something is not as we desire it to be, our peace slips away. My circumstances haven't changed from Day 1 to Day 3. Everything is still the same, really. The only thing that really altered during that time were my thoughts, actions and reactions to certain things.
I wrote yesterday, as a last note, that "The thoughts and images that worry, doubt, anger, depression, and fear speak to us do not bring peace; they do not set free... But God's word does... " and then these things all but screamed at me for the rest of the day, night, and following morning.
We could pause here and say Satan works to stop me from doing what God has placed on my heart to do, and that may be true, but that fact, for me, fades into insignificance in light of how great and powerful our God is. There is nothing and no one stronger than God, yet, because He doesn't physically walk beside us, and because He does allow trials in our lives, and because circumstances/consequences born of wrong choices - be them ours or those of someone else in our life - do wound our spirit, we forget He'll turn all things for good.
It's so easy to believe what we hold (our emotions) over God, whom we can't see let alone touch, ay.
Yesterday, I seriously wanted to throw out Day 3 and skip over it as though my day never happened. But, truth is, I've always had to step over fear to post my blogs, only, this time, I was blessed with the responses of some very dear and beautiful friends, who made the wrestling of Day 3 worth the effort. And now, with a little courage, born of knowing God goes before me and will reach those He seeks to reach through what I write, no matter what fear and insecurity yell at me, I can dare to step out again, and am a little stronger for the experience. (And I pray, with ALL my heart, that God blesses those who came to lift me up, with encouragement, as they did. Ladies, Yvonne, Mandy (aka ozzywoman), Christy and Colleen, THANK YOU!!)
Right at this moment, I am reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (New King James Version)
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." (New International Version)
The different versions of this verse really appeal to me right now, because of how one interprets it "sound mind" and the other "self-discipline." It appeals to me because that's what I believe God is trying to get through to me: Peace is born of a sound mind - and that often takes self-discipline... and God has given us that ability.
I write from experience, but often when I write I am also soon tested on it. At least, I used to feel it was a testing. Of late, I've started to view it as training. So, as I said at the beginning of Day 3, when Tim mentioned being in control, I knew the trial/test/training would come, and it did. And trust me, it wasn't mind over matter. I didn't live what I expected. I planned my morning, and Life altered it for me - even to the point of me going out of my way, from where I had intended to go for a peaceful walk with daughter and camera, to fill my petrol tank because Tim needed the car in the afternoon to drive to a town over an hour away, only to find that the petrol station was so full the last car to enter literally blocked the driveway. lol... Circumstances were out of my control. Nothing fell into place as I wanted it to. But it was my greatest fear being touched that truly unnerved me, and allowed insecurity to haunt me for the rest of the day.
I lost my peace. But I see now how important a sound mind is, and how we need to control our own thoughts in order to let peace have its way.
I never realised until today how powerful peace is. It can calm the storm in our lives - or, at the very least, it can enable us to dance in the midst of the storm, knowing the sun will shine again; knowing God will work all things for good; knowing 'this too shall pass.'
Peace is more than a passing feeling. It is a power - and one worth fighting for.
We all know life can be pretty darn painful at times. We all know one thing or another can work to break us, to overpower us, to weaken us... but Peace has the strength to set us back on our feet, square our shoulders, still our minds, empower our hearts, and enable us to keep going, no matter what... but peace has one power greater than it: Us... Our thoughts. It won't work for us if we don't will for it to.
We have power over peace... We can, if we are willing to use self-discipline, release that power into our own souls - and not just ours, but into that of others, also. And, oh, imagine what Peace can achieve when accompanied by Faith and Love... :)
We may have to wrestle certain things in our life, but even when we are weak God isn't... and He gives us power to rise again. Right now, He offers the power born of Peace... but, as it is with all gifts offered to you, it's up to you whether or not you choose to accept it.
I hope you do...
All my love and respect, and gratitude - seriously, thank you SO MUCH for being here...