…the absence of conflict
…something gotten by always agreeing
…gotten by sweeping the truth under the carpet
…found in people, things, or places on earth
…where rainbows and fairy tales and princes on white horses rescue their princesses
…where only sunny days, mountain views, or bubbling brooks fill our days
Face down on the kitchen floor with your heart poured out to God – your face and the floor wet with your tears, seeking answers for what seems so hard or just out of reach – hopeless. Everything you thought was true about belonging to the Lord – answered prayers, financial provision, healed relationships – falls to pieces at your feet and your faith feels tested, weak, rapidly failing. A life shattered by the brokenness of sin – what happened to you and what you did in response.
Sexual abuse rocks the world of every woman it touches. Up is now down. Left is now right. Over is now under. Reality has forever been warped and twisted. Your emotions are a ball of fear and anger and bitterness wrapped up in a tight knot sitting heavy in your heart. Desperate to survive, you strive for a place where there is no danger, where feeling nothing is preferable to feeling too much. You are always ready for the other shoe of pain or destruction to drop. You do not feel you deserve better – you are being punished for some flaw. Your world is precarious, anxious, and unsettled by what you cannot control, don’t have courage to change, or wish was different. The fragile bubble is always on the edge of bursting open, revealing the truth of just how really messed up you are inside. When it does, the consequences feel as devastating as the abuse. We crave rest from the exhaustion of holding it all together. It always seems to escape us.
Where is His peace for YOUR storm?
In that place of struggle and unrest, the Lord comes and begins to make Himself known to you. Your heart slowly begins to learn truths about Him. He loves me. He understands rejection peacand unjust wounds. He is for me and working to make things right. He will not rest until all things are made right that were destroyed by the Fall. The cross was the first step to drawing me back to Him. What He did there for me freed me from my own sin before God. It then enabled me to see my everyday need to make peace with my past and also live forward with a sense of His peace for each new layer of healing and surrender.
You see His peace flows from His perfect love, holiness, justice, power. I can have His peace because I am loved in a way that meets my greatest needs – never in want, never needing to strive to fix the world or provide for myself. His holiness tells me His standard is guarded by what is pure and right. I do not need to fear what comes. God’s justice assures me He is at work making all things right – no one got away with anything. His power cannot be overcome by evil men or demons. I can have peace WITH God and FROM God because He is now for me and no one can defeat Him. His peace gives me courage based on who He is, not the size of my foe or the difficulty of my life.
“He keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on Him, because they trust Him.” These were the words of Isaiah in verse 3 of chapter 26. Isaiah met all kinds of resistance. His life was hard. He was threatened and ultimately horrifically killed for the life of righteousness he lived and the words of the Lord that He spoke.
The Apostle Paul had peace in the midst of shipwreck, beatings, trials, because He knew His God. God’s resurrection of Christ from death sustained Paul through it all, giving him the hope that God would also raise him from death if that were soon to be his end. He fixed his eyes on what was unseen and eternal, not seen and temporary. This is peace from God that drives out fear, and sustains through the storm. (2 Corinthians 4:13-18)
God has not changed over all these millenia, from Isaiah to Paul to the present day, where I am sitting, typing out this blog for your encouragement. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He will never leave you or forsake you, walking with you through the valley of the shadow of death, providing satisfaction for your cravings to finally sit and rest in the One who will never let you go. Your circumstance may not change and the scars might remain tender for years. But your God is faithful to keep ALL His promises to you through the power of Christ working in you and for you.
Sit down. Breathe. Search His Word for who He really is. Let Him work. Learn to trust His timing and ways. And the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) May He be where you run to so you can finally find the His peace for YOUR storm.
God of peace, above all conflict,
High and sovereign Lord alone,
All complete in Your well-being,
Robed in splendor still unknown,
Yet You came into our conflict,
Bearing all our sin could bring,
All our anger and injustice,
Death with all its bitter sting.
Wrapped in peace with God Your Father,
You were more than flesh could be,
Perfect weakness, perfect power,
Perfect love and purity.
What a Gift to helpless sinners!
What a word You shout abroad!
You are peace, complete, forever,
Peace within and peace with God.
Peace will fill the earth and heavens,
Peace You bought with such a price,
Bought with love and rich forgiveness,
Bought with pain and sacrifice.
Give Your peace to those around us
Though the price is still the same.
Make our lives the fragrant offering
With Your love the mighty flame.
“Growing Beyond Your Wounds”, a secret Facebook page for abused women to share, heal and grow beyond their wounds, is now available for you or for someone you know whose heart needs that safe place. Contact me to be invited to it: “Contact Coach Kristin” or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org