A Peace that Surpasses All Understanding
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
Peace. Peace is something that we all desire in the depths of our hearts no matter what road we travel. It is something we search so desperately to find in places, in other people, in books, in music, in art, in energy, in movement, in scenery, in God... anywhere and everywhere. We are knocking on the door asking is this a space that I can feel a peace that surpasses the brokenness of this world, of my life, of this situation... Of my heart.
Many of us imagine that when we obtain this peace that seems impossible to grasp, that all will be pleasant. That we will feel inspired, pure joy, enlightened, unoffended and the satisfaction of our life lining up with our believed and perceived purpose. Or maybe you imagine walking in nature, singing and dancing freely with not a care in the world. That all and everyone in your care circle is well and you are meeting all needs and all of your needs are being met. We all have an idea of what it means to have peace! But why does it seem so impossible to obtain? Why is it that we spend thousands of dollars for others to try to show us where to find this peace? Or we try to discover the magic formula so that the peace we all imagine will manifest? Or we lose hope in the existence of peace because it just seems like the shelf in which it sits is just too high for our reach... no matter how much help we try to get.
Peace... Is there even such a thing?
My brother was a victim of gun violence and was taken from us on Oct 6th, 2019; just a little over month ago from when I am writing this. I was very close to my brother, closer than many may even realize. In this last month I have experienced a deep pain and hurt than I have ever experienced before. The loss of my brother has completely changed my life, my priorities, and even some relationships. I have experienced anger, disappointment, hurt, pain, sadness, grief and… peace.
I know... I know. That last sentence may sound confusing and have you scratching your head. It's even hard for me to understand and try to articulate. Even with all the tragedy, trauma, and drama, deep down in my heart I do feel a sense of peace that I cannot explain. For me, I am convinced it is my faith that informs and sustains my peace.
Whatever you believe or faith you subscribe to, I believe it is a change in mindset that will make space for the peace we all desire to have. What I am learning in this season of deep grief is that it is a BOTH/AND not an EITHER/OR. Peace is not the absence of pain but the ability to believe in greater hope and purpose in the midst of it. Peace exists in our understanding and in our hope despite our circumstances and the brokenness that shows up in our lives.
I invite you to re-imagine what peace looks like. I invite you to stop your search for peace outside of yourselves, as a thing to obtain but instead see it as a state of being that comes from a larger understanding of purpose. That it is not realized in the absence of pain but it coexist with ALL of the emotions that come from living in a broken world. The peace we all so desperately desire doesn't exist in an unreachable place but instead among all of the dreaded realities and truths about ourselves and our lives that we must face but often avoid to work through... peace lives right next to healing, grace, and accountability.
I encourage you to stop the search for peace in external things but instead face yourself and work through the hard things to uncover the peace that has already been gifted to you among the pain. And as we do the deep heart work, we will feel the presence of peace in our hearts even while we are going through. It's not an either/or... It's a both/and. Give yourself love and grace through the process. None of us have arrived, we all experience pain but I pray our eyes will be opened in the midst to see light in the darkness.
In Love & Light, Jaralyn Roberts