It seems (by accident) I’m beginning a series of posts on the amazing ways that God made some changes in my life in 2010. Realizing and reflecting on some major shifts in my perspective or myself.
I posted yesterday about being gifted the joy of Christmas with some advent traditions this year. I was also given something along a Christmas theme- and that was real true Peace. The peace that Philippians 4:6-7 talks about. The kind of peace that surpasses all understanding. That means it’s not the kind of peace that’s common. Not what is expected.
For me to say I am at peace, is definitely surpassing understanding..at least the understanding of those who know me.
I’m not really what one would call a quiet and peaceful person. One of my best friends has experienced my outbursts of unpeacefulness often. She knows that my tendency in stressful situations is to kick into high gear and panic. I even had a year or so with rounds of hives two weeks prior to some recurring stressful situations. During my not so peaceful moments, she often reminded me to “be the swan”. Being the swan simply means to float and glide on the surface of life looking elegant and peaceful all the while kicking furiously below the surface in the dark water. At first, I thought that really didn’t fit well with my entire attempt to take off my mask & acrylic nails. However, the concept of being real and being serenely calm actually can go hand in hand.
Well, as much as I willed myself to Be that DANG Swan. I wasn’t. I could say it over and over: “Jess, be the Swan!”
And then I would scratch my hives.
Last summer, I truly felt that God granted me the ability to start to catch real glimpses and experiences of Being The Swan. Again, it was purely Jesus’ blessing for me.
When I went on bed rest with Justus which began at the end of August, it was tough. Not gonna lie. I was already in a lot of pain from the pregnancy and could barely walk across a parking lot without feeling like I was going to end up doubled over on the ground. So going on bed rest with a 3 year old to take care of, was not exactly expected to be peaceful. So, I was amazed. Like I said, nothing about bed rest was easy, even though our family and friends took amazing care of us. Yet, I only had a small handful of major meltdowns that I can remember. I wasn’t thrilled with trying to communicate from a horizontal position to everyone on how to keep Austin entertained (we were in a very crazy discipline phase with him where he really need intense structure and he was seconds from a tantrum all day long).
Yet, somehow I was given the grace to surrender to auto-pilot. But, it wasn’t my auto-pilot this time. I wasn’t willing myself to Be the Swan. Yes, somehow propped up in bed for almost five weeks, I was the swan. There was a peace that passed all kinds of understanding. Even when I was talking in tones of stress or irritated by situations, it was there only on the surface. Inside, the majority of the time, there was a new resolution being born-the peace. Excuse me, I mean The Peace. The one that surpasses all understanding.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
It’s amazing to feel as if I am being the swan- even though that just what Jesus said he will do. It’s still amazing to my simple heart. It’s his Word not ours that holds the truth. And I thank Him for helping start to experience that Peace more often. I am so grateful for my swan moments. I still have lots of days where I look more like a Canadian goose honking along side the shore than gliding gracefully like a swan. However, the days that I am gliding like a swan in a peace that passes all understanding are more frequent and I thank Jesus for that.