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Choosing peace in the middle of the storm

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are truly in some stormy times in our lives, society, and world. This year alone has been filled with rumors of wars, natural disasters like never seen before (like the earthquakes in Puerto Rico and the wildfires in Australia), impeachment trials of the U.S. president, the death of a global superstar and his beloved daughter (alongside the tragic loss of many young people and their families during this horrific accident), and now the global pandemic we face in front of us. And the year is still just getting started -- whew! And, I imagine each of us have individually also had to weather our own personal tests and trials. Some more intense than others.  It's hard to say, but no one seems to be immune, both literally and metaphorically, to the hardships we are encountering. However, regardless of your belief system, I am almost  certain that the majority of us crave some level of peace, especially in our minds, as we brace for every stormy uncertainty that may come our way. I am even brought back to musings that I penned while writing Visionary Nurse, when I was encountering, what I thought at the time, a pretty hard place in my life:

Day 22: Storms You know you‘re entering a major breakthrough in your life when, after seeing a glimpse of your potential, vision, or goals achieved, you immediately encounter harsh storms. But, it's not the storm that blocks or propels your success; it's how you react to it. And, yes, you will also eventually see that following the storm, comes a beautiful gift to remind you of the hope of new promises and joy.

Wow, even I didn't know the foresight these words would hold at this point in time, and within this season of life. Believe me, when it seems everything is crashing around you, it's hard to find any semblance of peace, purpose, or direction. However, I have also found that even if you can't seem to control what's going on around you, who's directing situations, or the end result, you do have control over how you choose to react to whatever the situation may be. And, in the middle of that peace, in the middle of that determination to not be swayed by fear, uncertainty, confusion, or chaos, is where you find the clarity, wisdom, and direction you need to take your next step, if only one.

It may be spending more intentional time with our loved ones. It may be confronting those issues you've been avoiding (within reason). It may be reminding yourself of your true purpose and identity. And for many of us, that next step may even be just being still.

So, how can you choose to look at the crisis at hand differently? How can you choose a perspective that leads to proactive reaction versus negative distraction?

However you find yourself encountering these storms, I encourage each of us to choose to keep our minds in perfect peace today. Be intentional about giving yourself a moment of pause, even if just internally, to reset in the middle of the crises. Be willing to step back from the expectations that may be unrealistic, and choose to be okay with not everything perfectly falling into alignment. Choose to not be caught up in the bombardment of facts that may overwhelm you, even if you desire to stay informed. And, know that as you make those choices, whether it perfectly happens every time or not, the new promises of joy and hope will surely arise from the storms.


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