Seizing the Day
A few years ago I began to be vigilant about staying in a place of peace. Having to journey out of post-traumatic stress disorder and weakened adrenal glands I had to become proactive in reducing stress. One day I had this ah-ha moment. It was a Saturday. The sun was shining and my husband and family were all home to enjoy. Something painful in a relationship had happened during that week and I realized by mid afternoon that I had just lost 8 hours letting that situation steal what could have been a wonderful day. All because I processed it over and over in my mind trying to find a way to fix what maybe couldn’t be fixed. I remember standing in my kitchen and I made this declaration saying, “you will not take the rest of my day from me!” It turned out to be a great rest of the day!
We create a lot of unneeded stress simply by the worrisome or fearful thoughts we allow to occupy the inner world of our minds. We can so easily create our own chaos in our homes, marriages or relationships, when it doesn’t need to be there. So I began to consciously become very aware of my thoughts. Whenever I felt peace leave my heart and mind I would stop and ask myself, what thought, circumstance or relational issue just stole my peace? I began to notice that I would give away energy and peace far too many times. I would allow painful situations to linger in my mind and I would allow my joy to be stolen. I made a choice to begin to take back my life, my joy, my peace that Christ died to give me. I began to repeat this verse to myself day after day.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
I was the only one who could open the gates of my inner world to let peace escape. Others could try and come and open those gates but they only had the power to do so, if I let them. I would actually practice letting others around me be in their own place of anger or chaos without it touching me or sucking me into their reality. This would all be internal and no one would even notice I was doing it. Situations or people did not have to steal my day away from me, even the situations from years gone by that resulted in my post-traumatic stress in the first place. I was not going to be a prisoner of someone else’s actions against me. I chose to trust God with situations at deeper levels. I sought help when I needed it. I processed pain in healthier ways. I took captive lies I believed at a much quicker rate. I invited the Prince of Peace into every area of my inner world. I chose to enjoy the moments in my days even if it was in the mundane, repetitiveness of life. This process was a choice and act of my will. It has proved to be one of the most beneficial things I have done. We live out the thoughts we believe. What we focus on becomes our reality. If it was a thought that stole my peace, I would take it captive as quick as I could. Some of the storms in our lives are only storms because of our unhealthy response to them. We can let our places of suffering and frustration become obstacles, pits we sit in like victims, or we can see them as opportunities for the power of God to be displayed in our lives. It’s our choice. We don’t deny painful realities. We grieve what needs to be grieved. We let go what needs letting go of. We forgive when hurts and offenses come our way. I actually found that when coupled with an inner peace I could grieve losses that needed to be grieved in a deep way, because Christ who is peace entered into the grief with me. Those moments were strange realities of a deep peace yet a deep grief all at the same time. It will take time to reap the rewards, but it is so worth the investment. I encourage you to embark on this adventure of inviting the Prince of Peace to transform your heart and mind, and you will begin to see color where there was only grey, you will begin to laugh and delight in the smallest of things, and you will become someone who seizes the day.