and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. – Ephesians 6:15
I have been on a journey for a while now here and if I seem redundant, it is only because I am trying to be real and up front with the struggles of a real life warrior. Sometimes it seems like the battles we face will never end, but I want to assure you that God gives the promise of triumph. While I have been gaining the upper ground with Christ by my side in regards to anxiety, I have been able to try out His advice. To be a follower of Christ, you need to be ready. And not just ready, you need to have the kind that fills you with peace.
For a while, Chris and I have been living here outside of Philadelphia without knowing the future or even having a tangible plan. When we first moved down here from Massachusetts, we knew that the job Chris was walking into was temporary. The building that he is helping to manage will be closing at some point, possibly, and we don’t know where we will be going after that. Talk about unsettling! Our families worry about us, naturally. Oh, and we miss home a lot. That cool country air, those open fires in the backyard in the evenings, family all around, and friends we cannot replace. There are days when we really can’t take it anymore and then there are days that we are like, “we’ve got this!”
In the 4 years that we have been married, we have bought a house, sold that same house, and moved to a brand new place. All of those times in the past I had this peace for each transition. And not just literally move, but emotionally as well. During those times, we would ask God for guidance and He would answer with an assurance that gave us peace about our decision. At the same time, I did not realize that I would need to continually ask God for that same peace throughout our stay here. There have opportunities to possibly move and it has made me restless in my present situation. I would become resentful of my life here in Philadelphia. I would grow angry at the amount of traffic and times I have had to breathe in exhaust as I am taking a jog. My heart was ready to get out of here! But this is not the kind of readiness that God is calling me towards. He wants me to be ready for what He has planned for us with peace in my life!
While Chris and I have been looking to God for answers, I have had to seriously consider the condition of my heart. What gave me a clue was that I was afraid of disappointment. I was afraid I would be discouraged by what God would say and I didn’t like the feeling that I would disagree with Him. So I asked God to change my heart. I asked Him to align mine with His. What happened? When God gave us answers I was surprisingly calm. Even when it wasn’t what I originally wanted, He gave me a peace that made me move on and tackle what is in front of me. What at first could have been a disappointment, ended up being a relief!
I determined in my heart that I was going to live to the fullest in the home that I currently have. We have so much to do during our time here and I now realize that no matter where I am or will be, God is my fortress. If I am where He is at, then I am safe. I can thrive in making my dwelling a comfortable and inviting place for others to come in. Currently, I am working on making the gardens in our yard manageable and spending a little extra to mulch so that weeds don’t spring up. I even got this little lantern to light the path to the back patio. I don’t really have to, but it makes it a little more like home. Yes, I don’t know what the future holds, but who does?
In order to fit our feet with the readiness to do God’s will and fight the battles of this life, we need that peace that He can only give.
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. – John 14:27