Process to Peace

I was leaving a Voxer message for my dad while trudging through Costco with just my littlest love in the cart. I was about to wrap up my thoughts on surrender and hanging in the tension.  I just finished telling Dad that Jesus just hung there on the cross, and that I believe, while the ascension is primary to the Gospel, the Cross is the most sacred part.  Jesus hung there.

Then I saw her ~ this precious little girl around 8 or 9 years old.  She had a look of sheer horror on her face.  She was whispering to herself, “Granny, where are you? Please help me find you, Granny.  Where are you?”  Her face was all that was distorted at this point but her fear was visibly rising.  She was looking all around and beginning to pick up her pace.  I tried to stop her in the midst of the Voxer to my dad.  She wouldn’t stop.  I put down my phone and looked around for the whomever this girl could possibly be missing.  I started asking Holy Spirit to help me help this little girl.

I saw a random woman walking out of the cold room with her hands full of grapes, lettuce and other large items.  She didn’t appear to be missing anything or looking for anyone, but the Holy Spirit prompted me to ask.  “Ma’am, do you have a grand-daughter with you today?”  “Yes, I do.”  At this point the little girl was in an all out sprint in the bread and wine section.  All the people surrounding saw her and a few of the intuitive ones were beginning to put the pieces together.  “She is looking for you and she is pretty scared.  She went this way…”

I began to look for her pushing my basket leading the grandma.  Someone said she ran back towards us but on the other side.  I dashed away from the basket hoping to catch her because Grandma had her hands full.  I realized I darted away from my littlest.  I turned around and this precious grandad is standing next to the basket.  “I thought I should probably stand next to her so she wouldn’t be alone.” “Yes! Thank you!”

At this point the grandma and little girl were reunited in a huge embrace.  My heart was racing, and I spent the rest of my Costco trip blinking back tears and swallowing the lump in my throat.  I could feel her fear deep in my bones.  I know what it’s like to be lost.


Peace is a gift.  You know this if you have ever been without it.  It’s a deep feeling.  It is unexplainable when it’s from Him. Peace that passes understanding.  I have definitely had peace bestowed instantaneously in a time of chaos, but often my experience is that peace involves a process.

We have been in a space lately where we have felt no peace in regards to one part of our lives.  Our hearts have been jumbled and heavy and at times numb.  We had a moment just recently where were sitting together in church.  Just getting to sit together is a part of the process because for over 9 months one of us has been out of the sanctuary with our littlest. Ross looked at me, and I looked at him.  We were feeling the same thing ~ peace.  We were a little confused because peace has been such a foreign feeling, and we were beginning to think that we were never know this peace again in this space. There was a sigh of relief in the moment, a breath of Heaven touching our souls.  We didn’t say anything in the moment, but the minute we got in the front seat of the van, we looked again at each other. “I felt peace today,” he said.  “Me too. Deep peace.”  We really didn’t have much else to say other than to acknowledge its presence. We were grateful, but cautious.  Our hearts have been grieving, and grieving hearts are cautious.

I have felt like that little girl in Costco so often in the last year.  I have been composed just begging the Lord to show His face. “Where are you, Lord? Help me find you, Lord.” I have been the one in a panicked, full-out sprint looking for Him and grasping at all the places He could be.  I have ignored the help and comfort along the way that may get me back to Him.  I have been completely unaware of the community that is surrounding the others that are a part of my process (like the grandfather that stood next to my basket with my littlest).  And now that I’ve found Him, my heart is beating so fast from my panic, that I can’t believe that he is there and really meeting me.  It’s hard to believe I’ve found Him.  And if I really have found Him, will I ever lose Him again?

This is grief.  It’s a process.  You aren’t sure where you will land once the peace is found again, but you know the cycle to be so intense that you can’t imagine that you will ever let this happen again.  Then you remember we are in this world; in this world, you will have troubles.

I teach and talk to people about grief a lot.  A little while back, a dear sister shared this particular image with me about grief.  It is by far the most accurate image I’ve seen.

 

Grief is just this.  It is not linear.  The moments loop around, and you can experience them over and over sometimes.  This process can be quick just like the little girl in Costco, but this process can also take much, much longer.  Honestly, life is just one big grieving process if you think about it, but He is promised to us. He is here, and there is more.  Eternity and perfect peace are coming in full.  Just like that Grandma was there the whole time, He is always with us.  Peace is here.  It’s just a process to experience it.

I am embracing the process, believing that the process is just as holy as the peace itself.

2 Corinthians 5:

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

 

Kindergarten Tears

We took a couple of pictures this morning, finished wrapping up teachers gifts, and prayed the Lord’s Prayer on the way to school like we have done every morning this year.  The girls wanted to play on the playground before school.  I told them that we could play after school. Another mom heard me and said, “We have to say yes on the last day.” She has said “yes” a lot more than me this year.  I’ve hurried my girls past her and her little boy more times than I would like to count as she said yes to play and I said, “We need to go.”

My oldest doesn’t love transition. She likes to be prepared for everything. But, if I was going to be honest, she gets it from her mama.  Today was the last day of kindergarten. We chose a sweet Kindergarten that is a part of an early learning program here in town. It is four days a week from 9am – 2pm, but she is totally ready for 1st grade. I loved that she wasn’t gone every day, all day.  Neither of us were ready for that. However, she begged me for months to consider Stay and Play.  This gives them an extra hour of play at school.  I told her she could do it for one day a week the last month of school.  The last Stay and Play was Tuesday, and today was the last day. I wasn’t prepared.

The last week or so I’ve been feeling like the Lord was finally gentling something in my spirit.  Like I said in my last blog, I’ve been waiting for six years.  There is a grief that is coming with this gentling, though.

I wasn’t prepared for the tears that flowed as I stood on that playground.

I cried for all the times I was hurried and overwhelmed.  All the times I said “no” to playing.

I cried tears of gratefulness for the teachers that have loved my little girl this year.  They have seen the BEST in her.  I cried for all the times I’ve missed it.  I also cried for the way these teachers have taught me.  They have taught me to chill out, and they’ve reminded me as I have wrangled all three of my beauties that I will miss it. Today I really understood what they meant.   I cried for my gratefulness of the preschool teachers that have walked with me at another little ELC and continue to. They prepared me for Kindergarten and continue to love me well and give me grace.

I cried for the guardedness I feel towards the other moms ~ all my insecurities.  I’ve wondered for years why I feel so vulnerable with other moms.  I have been so fearful of not being liked or accepted or understood. I cried thankfulness of the other moms that have pushed past my boundaries this year and made me feel loved. I cried because I wish still that I had tried harder and not kept a distance.

I cried behind my dollar floral sunglasses for all the distractions I have surrendered to just to cope. Netflix, Facebook and all the other junk I waste my time doing.  I cried because the days really are long and the years really are short.  You really don’t get these days back.  I cried because it’s taken me six years to take that breath and see that.

I cried because I will miss that place and those people.  I cried because my daughter will miss her friends and teachers, and I remember hating that feeling.  I cried because it all went so fast.

I cried because you never know if what you are doing in parenting is the right thing, but we have a God who always knows.  Thank you, Jesus, that you KNOW.

Last night Ross and I were talking about parenting.  A walk and scooter ride turned into a lesson for my oldest last night. I told him that lately I find myself asking, “In the end, what do I want them to know and walk away with?”  This morning one of my writing friends posted on Instagram about her latest blog.  Her youngest is graduating, and she posted the same question: “What do I really want them to know?”

In the end, I want them to all know that Jesus is the only true way and that He is always with them.  I want them to know that following Him will always be for their good and His glory. I’m glad this is what her teachers wanted her to know this year also.  I feel like this is a stake in the ground for her and for me.

I finished my second year of kindergarten today.  I feel like a little girl all over again.  I feel vulnerable and sad and full of emotion.  I really hate good-byes, and I still hate change.  I also feel proud.  I’ve learned a lot…more than I ever thought.

There’s been a lot of tears this year.  Tears from a precious kindergartener and tears from her mama more than once ~ some days walking away from her kindergarten room.  But today’s kindergarten tears are not cried in vain.  There is deep purpose in these tears today.