choosing peace

I know I've said a lot lately about how weird this season has been -- you'd think that after living with myself for almost 26 years, I'd know how to anticipate my reaction to a season of change, but no, still a surprise almost every time.  Actually, in this case, I did sort of expect it, but my timing was off:  I thought everything would be weird immediately, as soon as we got here.  I was off on the timing, and so therefore completely thrown off when the weirdness finally hit me.

We just made this big move to a new city, and with that comes so many opportunities + exciting things: new places to explore, old friends to connect with and new friends to meet, the fun of settling into a new vibe + a new routine.

I had fun with that for the first month we were here, and I certainly anticipate continuing to have fun with it.  But right now, I am in the middle of dealing with what hit me like a cold brick wall about three weeks ago.  I am trying to discern who I am here.  What it means to be myself, here.

I've been, like I said before, running around like my hair is on fire, trying to do everything I can think of just to see what sticks.  Here is a taste of my inner dialogue over the past couple of weeks:

"Am I still a calligrapher here?  Maybe I should try to be a stylist, too.  Or maybe I should design stationery.  Or, I could get a part-time job at Anthro.  Probably not a very good idea, though, because I'll just buy everything and have to start kon-mari-ing my life all over again.  Maybe I should be a blogger!  But what kind of blogger?  Maybe I should get a full time job at a law firm so I can wear pencil skirts.  I only have one pencil skirt.  Maybe I need to buy some more.  I could also wear the pencil skirts if I went back to school.  I could always go back to school!  But, I don't really like school.  I would have to make sure it was for something I really loved.  What do I really love?  What am I actually good at?  What is my purpose in life???  Am I supposed to be a calligrapher?"

OMG.  I'm so tired of it you guys.  It's on an infinite loop + I can't turn it off.


In tandem with my never ever ending crazy self-talk, there is a small but steady voice.  Underneath all of this junk, that I know is madness, that I know is leading nowhere.  This voice is the one I want to follow, and stop and listen to, but it really is an uphill battle to ignore the questions and the distractions brought about by purpose and obligation.  I know it is worth my effort, though, so I strain to listen through the chaos.

This undercurrent voice is not demanding, unlike all of the fearful thoughts that hover above it + run in circles around it.  It is something that is the opposite of fear.  It is something like peace.  Deep peace, everlasting peace, coming from the only place that true peace comes, the Prince of Peace.  "God is not a God of confusion, but of peace," 1 Corinthians 14:33 says.  In John chapter 16, verse 33, Jesus says, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world."

I once heard someone described their inner state as a bird on the water; calm and collected on the surface, but paddling frantically under water + out of sight.  

This is not how I want to operate.  If there is peace available to me -- and I believe there is -- I want to access it.  I want to do everything within my power to silence the voices of fear and control, and listen to the calm, still voice of peace.  Trouble is a promise.  But so is peace, from he who has overcome the world.  It will never be one without the other, but there is always a choice to let one win.

Choosing peace over troubled waters today.  I hope you'll join me; may you find the strength to do so.