Every year since 2015, I have picked a word to focus on for the year. This year’s word is peace.
Last year was a difficult year for our family due to injuries and health issues. Sadly, it seemed it would never end. Then in September, our beloved conure, Pip, died suddenly after Teflon poisoning. Pip was the family bird, and he knew all our quirks. Later, there were more injuries for Joel whilst refereeing. Josiah also suffered health concerns. Finally, to end the year, I was diagnosed with diabetes on top of my other health issues. To be honest, I was glad to see the end of 2018.
However, there were moments throughout the year where my family and I were blessed. God provided for our every need. We were given enough money to get another conure, Jude which means Praise, who has become a dear member of the family. God provided a position for me in ministry I had never thought could be possible. I asked for early retirement because I had been off work for five years, but to be honest, retiring at 42 was a bit daunting and depressive. I am so glad God is not finished with me yet. He opened the right doors and I am loving the ministry he has given me now.
There are a lot of changes coming our way as a family this year. I know I can trust the Lord because he has always been faithful to me.
However, I still struggle with the “what-ifs” in life. I understand about not being anxious or worrying. I do suffer from anxiety disorder. The “what-ifs” and “what is going to happen” questions run over and over in my mind. I pray and pray and leave them with Jesus for them to pop up later and rear their ugly faces. God has been healing my heart from worry and anxiety, but it is taking some time.
I wasn’t even thinking of a word when “peace” came into my mind. I know my heart needs peace amid all that is coming up for us.
God gave me two verses to focus on in 2019; the verses are from Isaiah 26:3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT)
In order for me to live with peace in my heart, I need to trust the Lord and have my thoughts fixed on him. Paul says in Philippians to “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).
My desire this year is to focus on God and not the circumstances. I trust the Lord because I know he has looked after me and taken care of me well. I pray he will give me his perfect peace that surpasses all understanding in all things.
I need to remember God is in control. He knows the future. I just need to focus on what I can do for him today. The future will take care of itself. Besides, none of us are promised tomorrow.
I desire shalom which means so much more than peace. It means well-being, tranquillity, peace, and wholeness. However, shalom covers everything the Lord wants for me and for you. I am declaring shalom for me and my family this year.
God is my Rock and my Fortress. In him I put my trust. No matter what comes up against me, God is on my side. He may not still the storms raging around me, but he can indeed still my anxious heart. I am going to be relying on him heavily for peace this year.
Shalom Aleichem. Peace be unto you.