Peace

9:46 pm | |

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *