Peace

9:46 pm | | Comment 1

When our circumstances remain the same and various obstacles appear insurmountable, can we still find the peace God promises? 

Is it possible to experience peace even in the midst of so much tension and difficulty?

Finding peace, like healing, is not a destination as much as it is a journey. 

Ultimately, total peace and healing will be achieved the other side of existence here on earth, for those of us going to heaven. However, until we get there, for most of us, it’s a journey.

Progress of the journey toward peace and healing may be challenging to measure because at times you may feel as if you are taking one step forward and two steps back. 

While as faith filled believers, we’re to declare the promises of God even when the natural circumstances don’t line up, sadly, we have an enemy that is lying to many and bombarding them with feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment because they aren’t completely healed or able to maintain peace in their day to day lives. Worse yet, is other believers judge them as they gloat from on their prideful positions because they demonstrate weakness.

Mixed Media close up of a horse by Julie the Artist
“Peace”, Mixed Media close up by Julie Shematz 1/28/19

We have an entire generation of believers leaving the organized church because of craziness like this. People are afraid of being authentic and transparent for fear they will be looked down upon, totally misunderstood, judged as weaker, or worse yet, viewed as unfit to be in leadership. So instead of openly sharing our weaknesses, confessing our sin to one another in relationships of unconditional love and acceptance, we have churches filled with people wearing themselves out trying to be who they think others will accept; who are actually fearful, hurting, and falling apart.

I’ve heard it said that the youth of today want authenticity and truth more than ever, yet they have no interest in church, likely because they are growing up with or are adults who have grown up seeing the hypocrisy of the church and they don’t want anything to do with it. I read that people my age are also leaving the organized church for the same reasons. We have an entire church culture now that is invested more in entertainment and being culturally relevant, emulating the world and Hollywood than being set apart.

“Peace” close up. Mixed Media by Julie Shematz 1/28/19

When you’re struggling with mental illness, especially depression, the last thing you want to do is go to a concert and be around a bunch of people. I personally don’t go to church when I’m struggling with depression because I don’t want to be fake and lie that I’m doing good when I’m not. It’s just me. I know I shouldn’t forsake the gathering of the brethren, but I don’t want to pretend I’m fine just to be seen and check off my Christian to do list of attending church. And if I’m meeting with believers regularly and living a lifestyle of worship and being set apart, why force myself to go sin?

Please don’t take this as me encouraging people to not attend church. I’m just being transparent about my life. I’m putting it out there that I struggle with depression, attention and being compulsive about things being in order. Trust me, I pray regularly the promises of God, asking for forgiveness, admitting my weakness, asking for God’s strength and help, as well as, declaring and decreeing the word with faith and thanksgiving for the promises of healing. For me, I’ve come to accept healing … like creativity … is a process … a journey that I’ve chosen to embrace versus fight or deny it exists.

Our progress toward peace, like producing art and even life in general, does not follow a linear path.

That path is not perfectly lined out. Truth is that we we may take steps forward and fall back. If you’re not, you’re not human or denying the truth.

When we face the storms of life and chose to focus on the Word and character of our Heavenly Father by feeding our spirit man the Word, He supernaturally gives us the courage and strength to go through things we never imagined we had the ability to endure, let alone, having peace in the process with the outcome of growth and intimacy with Him. This enables us to truly be thankful for the troubled and sorrowful times. What was meant for evil, He uses it for His glory. 

“And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”

John 16:33 TPT

Wherever you are on this journey of life … of healing, of creativity, of learning, and of getting to know our Heavenly Father, I hope to inspire you and encourage you to embrace it. To not fight it. Stop looking back. Stop comparing yourself to others or the past. Stop judging yourself and simply #embracethejourney one day at a time.

Know that you’re unique, loved, valued, and cherished.

Hugs,


For a glimpse into the world as I process it, especially through art, check out my instagram and facebook fanpage stories.

Comments

  1. Hi. Sorry about my blog eating your comment. Yikes. Thanks for reposting.

    Do I have any tips for rookie blog writers?

    1. It’s good to ask your followers (if you have any) what they would like to know that you can provide info on.

    2. Be real. We exist in a world where it’s rare to know people that are transparent, authentic and real and I think people desire that type of relationship. We get enough of the fake stuff and fake news to the point we’re not sure who to believe or trust. Don’t be afraid of being transparent and real. It’s likely that your readers will connect with you because they may be struggling with the same thing(s).

    3. Don’t just repost other people’s research on topics. Take the time to do there research and add your point of view.

    4. Yes, spell check and grammar check, but don’t get so carried away (OCD) on it that you hardly ever post. (This is part of my struggle that I’m trying to overcome.) Although, people appreciate a well written blog, I think the viewers and/or your community are much more forgiving than we are of ourselves. Just do it. Start writing and post it. Don’t get hung up on making it perfect.

    5. Use visuals. They are huge and eye catching. They are also very popular right now. No one wants to read just lines of text. The visuals break it up and can add emphasis to your content.

    6. Use a reputable blog website that is inexpensive and easy to use. Having a website that is problematic while trying to post content is super frustrating. Research the best and evaluate them. You can even try them out sometimes. I hate getting stuck with the techy stuff. I’m fortunate that my husband is a techie and problem solves the majority of mine.

    That’s a good start for tips that came right off my head, without researching what others say.

    Oh, also, check out skillshare.com, I’m sure they have content about writing blogs. You can sign on for free the the first 30-60 days. They have over 65,000 videos with experts (not just anybody like youtube) teaching in their speciality area.

    Let me know the link to your blog and I’ll check it out.

    Thanks ~ Julie

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