I woke up feeling hopeful this morning. Hopeful is such a strange word to use in a time like this; an even stranger feeling to feel in a time of uncertainty, fear, and chaos.
I can’t explain it really, except I feel like all this stripped down way of living is something my soul has been longing for… something our society and even our very world is desperately crying out for, and we didn’t even know it.
Don’t get me wrong. If I let my mind go down the path of the unknown too long, I find my heart starting to race and my mind beginning to question with phrases that start with “what if” and “how will we.”
Last night, as we put our kids to bed, we prayed over them and for the world. For those who are sick and full of worry. We prayed for safety, healing, recovery, and a return to normalcy in God’s perfect timing.
During that prayer, my daughter whispered, “mommy, please don’t talk about the Coronavirus while I’m around… it scares me.” And I remember being her… a young girl and afraid of the big things happening in the world – the Columbine shootings, 9/11 attacks, and the many political issues that never seemed to go away. I didn’t understand them, but I knew it consumed adult conversation. I knew it was everywhere I turned and I could sense the fear in the voices of those who had authority over me. It was scary and it made me want to hide from it.
I reminded my daughter that our Heavenly Father is in control and that we have been given a spirit of power, love, and of sound mind. I wanted her to know there was nothing she had to be afraid of because no matter what, she is loved by a Holy God and held safely in his arms now and for all eternity.
To be honest, I can relate to my daughter, though. I’m coping with the uncertainty in many ways. Some moments I feel stress and others complete peace. I notice the stress is heightened when I consume myself with news beyond the appropriate stage of just making myself informed. I notice the stress heightened when I let my mind wander down the path of uncertainty, allowing fear of the unknown creep in.
I notice peace, though, too. Peace through and after prayer. Peace when my friend calls me out of the blue to ask me about the exciting news I just heard. Peace when I look at my kids and see how happy they are with the gift of extra time. Peace when I decide I want to bake and realize I actually have all the ingredients to make cinnamon rolls. Peace when I journal… when I get it all out and let my feelings come alive on paper for a little while. Journaling gives me a view into the bent of my soul and allows me to feel and be in the moment. It’s like a sweet release of all the good and bad, stripping myself down to a holy rawness.
The more and more I experience all these feelings and actually name them – good and bad – the more I unravel my exterior to get closer to who God has made me to be.
Last summer our family was processing some big changes and navigating a season of waiting. I wrote about that season often, but on one occasion, I spent a week away with the kids unpacking a great deal of what this particular season of unknown was teaching me, and it feels rather poignant today.
Here’s an excerpt from that:
“I went away last week. Not just physically, either. I took my soul, mind, and body and set them still in the mountains for a few days of refuge.
I read an entire book in 2 days. I hiked and walked the hills with my mom every morning, and then sat outside in the middle of perfect nothingness with the only goal of being still.
I read, prayed, wrote, and listened to my kids explore the earth with their cousins, and for a while, my soul took a break from the life-noise.
I’ve been weighed down by a decision lately that has brought on some stress. The decision has been made and now it’s just a waiting game. But in that waiting, it’s easy to allow your mind to wander. To contemplate the what if’s and the maybe’s, and get lost in the pending realities of the coming repercussions of the said decision.
But when you’re just still – when you walk away from a decision made or a decision left and leave the unknown to God, there’s a freedom that comes with that; a weightlessness that’s shed. And sometimes you have to walk away from things physically to experience them spiritually. Sometimes you have to accept the peace being offered to you, not frantically look for it.
And in all of this being and resting, I was reminded that these experiences are what connect us to holiness. Holiness is found in the unforced rhythms of grace where we truly let go of anything we claim control over and choose instead to rest in a Holy God who wants to refine us to be like Him from the inside out.”
And there it is… holiness; the source of my peace. I’m realizing that the current situation forcing people across the globe to go home and do less is where I’m finding the very holiness of God and that’s where the peace resides.
As I sit in this truth, I wonder if, instead of the constant chasing and driving that we’ve become so accustomed to, perhaps home is where we were supposed to be all along.
So today, I urge you to embrace what it means to be home. And I pray God’s perfect peace as you discover His holiness among the simple seeds of goodness He is planting in our current reality. We are in this together, dear one.
About the Author
Danielle is a co-founder of The Brave Collective, writer, creative director, and speaker. She is a wife of almost 16 years, mom of 2, and is passionate about championing women to develop and use their voices, which are so desperately needed.