Are you still searching for peace in your life? Maybe you are like me and have searched for it in the wrong things.
Cue the song "Looking for love in all the wrong places" by Johnny Lee...do you have that tune in your head? Sorry if it's stuck now but switch out love and it's kind of an anthem to many of our lives. Looking for peace in all the wrong places...I know that was me for many many years.
I was an constant achiever. I liked to accomplish a lot in a quick amount of time. I liked to prove people wrong. I liked affirmation and validation while in the process of doing. I craved their acceptance. And as I look back I chased a lot in life, not because I always felt the calling to do it but I wanted the feeling that came from being the one who achieved something. I wanted to hear someone celebrate me and affirm me. I wanted the happy feeling that came with that because in my mind, peace in life would follow suit.
I know I am not the only one that has chased an identity, a career, a financial goal, a health goal or a life accomplishment with the real end goal of hope for peace in the rest of our lives.
None of this "chasing" and work is bad until we do it for the wrong reasons. I have written this many times. I chased a lot of the success for the affirmation and validation from someone else. I chased a goal hoping it would grant me peace in my soul and every time I chased it in that way, the peace never lasted.
We chased a financial goal to become debt free and we hit it.
We chased a goal to become net worth millionaires and we hit it.
I chased a health goal to run a half marathon every year and I did it.
I chased a career and climbed a ladder and become the news anchor of the most watched morning show in the 5th largest city in the United States and did it.
I chased motherhood and family and have 2 healthy children and a thriving marriage and did it.
I chased all of these things and in my heart thought "If we get all of these things right, we will have peace in all of the coming years."
I was wrong...
Boy was I wrong. Even with all these accomplishments, I would still grow weary, unsatisfied at times and wavering and unsettled peace in the uncertainty of what was ahead.
Here's some truth: Peace will never be found in any of these things. It won't be found in your bank account, in your career, in your identity, in your health. Why? Because these things can be fleeting. There will be uncertain roads with all of these things. Your health may challenge you, your marriage may need work, your finances may be tested, your kids may have years of hardships and your career may change over time. What I found is I put the quest to obtain peace in something that was always changing and always fleeting, instead of putting it in one thing that is always constant. Jesus. The one that can grow me strong so I can still walk in a storm with peace amidst the doubt or uncertainty.
And you might have just rolled your eyes and quietly snickered or questioning whether you even want to read the rest of this but give me a few more minutes. Deal?
NONE of these things we tie our hope in are forever. Why? Because this earthly life isn't forever. Our hope has to be tied to One that is constant and has been for thousands of years. A promise that absolutely leads to a road of peace. That is a relationship with God and a promise He made to us through the life of His one and only son, Jesus Christ.
I look back on those years of confliction and unease and worry in my life and I see how different my priority list looked. It was backwards. I held all of those things in high order above a growing relationship with God.
How could I understand His promise when I never gave Him a moment of my day? How could I learn to live selflessly and glorify Him when all I did was glorify me as I accomplished things? How could I possibly find consistent peace in an ever changing world with all different circumstances that ebbed and flowed in my life when I didn't stop long enough to bask in His light and give Him thanks for what was sitting in front of me today?
I was a wobbly Christian
I liked to say I let God lead but my own control didn't reflect that. I liked to rely on what others would say about me and beg for their affirmation as I performed instead of letting His validation reign as most important. My worry and anxiousness was a great light as to where might heart actually was. All of these things had me chasing peace that was never fully felt because of my own self and insecurities.
I knew living like that was not in alignment to actually living God's way but how do you just one day stop what you have done for so long? You don't cold turkey it...you slow begin to shift and reignite that relationship with God. You shift your priorities so it reflects Him first. You let your ego take a back seat and let God have some more control.
Undoing old ways is never easy
It's never overnight. And if you are like me and didn't grow up with a foundation built on Jesus, it's going to take consistency, effort and commitment.
But it's possible for everyone. Peace is a gift offered to everyone through Jesus. Something tells me if you are reading this, you probably feel a little wobbly lately. Whether you are a Christian or not, there is one thing I feel as if we can all agree on...we can not control every aspect of our life. No matter what you do to cultivate your life, there are some things that you just have no real say in. And that is a great place to start letting God in a little more.
Searching, chasing and wandering is exhausting. Especially when the end result of peace doesn't last like you had hoped it would after the long quest you have been on.
There is only One promiser of hope and through Him is where we will find that peace we have been desperately seeking for way too long.
You can have that. It's within reach because our God is that awesome. One step towards Him. One small commitment after another. Consistent action. A shift in priorities. It is all possible because He makes peace a reality while we walk this earthly life. Rest in that today, especially if you are trying desperately to be the creator of your own peace and hope.