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Peace: You’re Not Alone

We are a military family.  It’s no secret that for most of us we get to move every three to five years.  Finding peace in the middle of picking orders, setting dates, collecting records, tying up loose ends…. and children… conclusion of activities, leaving friends, packing toys, and possibly leaving family…. is hard.

Moving across the country for anyone would not be the easiest of tasks, but when you add in the military-factor, there’s always a source of anxiety that comes with it.  Yes, we can suck it up, and just do it.  That’s much easier said than done and even the nay-sayers know that in the back of their heads.

I have struggled with finding my own inner peace for many years.  Having depression and anxiety for my entire adult life has not always been a pull-myself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of event.  I have dealt with dark days, tears, fear, anger, screaming, and silence.  I have also flourished in my faith and grasp of the reality only God can provide.

Through this moving-season that I am in the middle of, I came across a verse in my daily reading and thought that talking about peace for a few days would really help me come to grips with the only peace that truly exists.  That is the peace that God provides.

John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God gives a peace like no other, and even grabbing on to that fact one does not always feel at peace.  It’s sometimes hard to grab on to. Outside of a move across the country or the world, just in the middle of hectic schedules, babies, school, homes, carpools, service, church…. we need to turn and rely on the ultimate peace provider. Jesus took the hectic and replaced it with the peace. We just need to let it in.  It’s hard, yes, but it’s always there for us.  Always…. He never let’s go.

Anxiety. Sometimes it’s just something we accept and wear around our necks. It’s not something we want, but sometimes it makes us feel like we’re alive. It’s something that we can feel as a constant. It’s a suffocating enemy who is always there. The cross snuffed out this enemy long ago. Take it off of your neck and place it at His feet. I know that sometimes we are “gifted” with a disorder, but we can learn to move away from it as we move closer to God.  I know this as fact.  I was living in a pit for years.  I sometimes stand over that pit and hover one foot, but I keep going back to the savior.  He filled in that pit years ago, and what I am seeing is only the label I am left with.  I do sometimes feel the definition of that label and maybe it will always be there, but about three years ago I realized that the label doesn’t have to rule my life.  The only label that has to rule is this: Child of God.  Faith, hope, love, sacrifice, and truth.  That’s what rules my life.

Philippians 4: 6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When you feel alone, when you feel like you’re falling, God catches you. When anxiety becomes too much, He picks you up. It may not be in ways we want, but always in ways that are needed.

Psalm 94: 18-19 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Praise be to Jesus, our great comforter. In times of great need, the only one to truly rely on is Him. He is there, always. Anxiety, depression, sadness, or any thing that may be overwhelming is never too great for him to conquer. We may feel lost as we are deep in a pit of despair, but He’s holding out His hand. Once He grasps on, we are the only ones who can let go. Don’t ever let go, because He never does. Peace is with the LORD.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God..

Back to my move:  We are quite excited to embark on another new journey as a military family.  The over-whelming feelings I have don’t trump that.  It’s just that the piles of garbage, donations and precious heirlooms really have me feeling closed-in.  Sad parents and reluctant children have me feeling guilty.  Movers making faces about the amount of stuff that we have makes me feel heavy-hearted.  These are feelings that most military families have when faced with this grand opportunity.  I think that when you have a special circumstance such as a mental disorder, you are put into a unique situation in how the whole adventure is processed.

With all of that said, I hang on to the above.  Jesus saw me here and He will see me through it.  He is holding on to me and I have to just remember that I want and need to hold on to Him.  Praise be to my Lord and Savior.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Sometimes a person who suffers a mental health situation doesn’t know how to word her feelings or speak of his thoughts.  Sometimes things come out all jumbled even when feeling at their best.  I would say that most of the time people cover up their situation pretty well.  I have for many years.  When I talk about it, a lot of people don’t understand or don’t believe.  It always makes it very hard for me to sympathize with others who are going through the same thing because of the lack of acknowledgment from the general public.  I will never dismiss those who struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic, or other transition disorders.  I can understand, to a point, people who suffer with each of these unique situations.  I may not always seem so, but I do understand.  22 Veterans kill themselves per week because of untreated mental ailments.  I have good friends and family members who have panic disorders.  Mental illness is rampant and often scoffed at so that leaves a lot of people not willing to seek the help that they need.
Please, do dismiss what you feel is “The Blues.” Seek treatment.

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