Calm in the Chaos

God is not a God of chaos, but of peace.

Do you ever feel like you are completely unequipped to walk down the path in front of you?

Do you ever feel like God is about five steps in front of you and you can still see Him there ahead of you, you can make out His shadowy existence, but you can’t quite tell which exact path He took to get to the spot He wants you to follow Him to?

 God is not a God of chaos, but of peace.

Those words keep running through my mind.

Every time in my life that I have come to a point for decision or fork in the road, these are the words my mom has lovingly spoken to me. Except they didn’t seem so loving at the time. See, all I wanted was for her to tell me what to do, tell me the right answer, tell me that if I took a certain path it would be the one that would lead to the most happiness and contentment. I mean, isn’t that what moms are for?!

I thank God for my mom.

I thank God that instead of choosing to tell me what to do based on her own imperfect, though certainly well-intentioned, wisdom, she pointed me to Scripture. She pointed me to the Lord. She taught me that I have just as much access to my Savior as she does (even though I still maintain that she has a direct dial prayer line to God, which I make requests for on a daily basis haha) if only I will choose to seek Him.

God is not a God of chaos, but of peace.

Over the last month, I have become certain of only one thing:

I have no idea what 2017 is going to bring.

Even as I write those words, my breath catches in my throat, warm tears well up in my eyes.

Why, God?

Can’t I have a year of certainty yet? Can’t you please stop asking me to step out on faith? Isn’t time for me to get to settle down like I’m watching so many of my closest friends get to do?

2016 ended in a whirl wind of life changes and travel and joy and then it was like January 1, 2017 clicked reset- back to square one. And can I be honest with you? I’m really struggling with that. I’m really struggling with starting a new year and looking at the 11 months ahead and feeling a sense of excitement and purpose. And for someone who is incredibly goal oriented and a semi-crazy (ok fine, full crazy) planner who worked hard in 2016 to learn to embrace change but is still falling short – that is less than ideal. It’s draining actually.

God is not a God of chaos, but of peace.

What does that even mean to me? Sometimes, it pops into my mind and – full disclosure – makes me a little agitated. If those words are true, then why do I feel lost in my own story?

As I reflect on this and how it applies to my life, I begin to realize that even in the chaos, there is peace. My world may feel like it is spinning around me at dizzying speed, clarity about my future slipping from my grasp at every twist and turn, yet in the midst of it there is an indescribable calm. It is peace. It is a quietness in my soul that cannot be put into words. Sometimes it forces my mind to shut off when I start to run away with my emotions. It is the stillness inside me that refocuses my desires to align with God’s daily plans for my life instead of my own aspirations for achievement.

The thing is, I have to choose to acknowledge that peace – His peace.

Right now, I have so many areas of uncertainty in my life that I am praying over it’s not even funny. No really, it’s not funny – control freak, remember? But God is working in that, too. Even as I write this I think of how God has graciously challenged me over the last year and as a result I am stronger and more resilient.

I have no idea what 2017 is going to bring.

Deep breath.

I have no idea what 2017 is going to bring.

I have hopes. I have fears. But when I listen to that quiet voice of peace, it whispers love.

This year, I want to love others with everything I have. My heart physically aches when I think of all the people around me and around the world who are hurting – after all, there is so much hurt in our world. I want to love others with a love that can’t be from my own goodness (because it’s flawed and selfish, believe me) but only points to a perfect Father from whom I receive undeserved love.

I want to be unwavering in my commitment to Christ and His love for the world. As Jim Elliot prayed,

Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.

I want to abandon fear and doubt. I want to stop living shackled to my lack of trust in His perfection. He hears me when I call to Him. He only asks me to be willing to follow His lead. Which is a big ask, admittedly – but not if I truly believe that He is a good, loving Father.

I want to be brave. I want to be confident in the decisions I make because I have grounded my faith in prayer, quiet, time spent in Scripture, journaling, and the wise counsel of others who are seeking Him with even more consistency and passion than I am.

God is not a God of chaos, but of peace.

When my mom said these words to me growing up, I just wanted to scream. That’s not helpful, Mom!

But my mom loves me. She loves me too much to deprive me of the pain of crying out to God to save you in a way only He can, and the joy of experiencing His faithfulness first hand.

Sweetly,

Alyssa Leigh

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