Over the week, I fell down a hole. I'd spent too much screen time reading the news--tax reform, sexual harrassment cases--a new one each day. Every bodily symptom I had, leading me to a new article on Web MD--the cancer probably back. It was almost as if I was consumed, touching my phone screen to link after link. I felt the fear and anxiety seeping in, my tendency to "catastrophize" knocking on the door of my heart. Cue to run in the opposite direction. Cue to run toward peace.
One of the ways I choose to run toward peace is to remember coping tools that have helped restore tranquility in my life. I needed restoration, not dysregulation. I headed for the Psalms. My ears are filled with the sounds of promise. Good people will prosper like palm trees, grow tall like Lebanon cedars, transplanted to God's courtyard, they'll grow tall in the presence of God, lithe and green, virile still in old age. (Psalm 92: 13-14~The Message). I connected almost instantaneously with the phrase, My ears are filled with the sounds of promise. I decided to begin a search through my journal over this past year and read the words and promises from God that surfaced on the pages. My journal that I call Morning Pages (inspired to begin writing by one of my favorite authors: Julia Cameron) is not neat and tidy. The pages are hand written and stream of consciousness. There are scratch outs and writing in the margins, sketches and drawings that are not very good. Yet I love what rises up from the ink when I go back and read what's been written. There are prayers and the longings of my heart. Scripture. Enclosed are some of the promises that filled my ears once again over this past week. I invite you to use the words in any way you see fit, praying that they lead you to increased peace. (All Scripture taken from The Message)
So my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all His creatures. ~James 1: 16-16-18.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. ~Psalm 23:6
For the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. ~I John 4:4
This is God's message, the God who made heaven and earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: "Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." ~Jeremiah 33: 2-3
I will give you a thorough renovation. I will work a true healing inside and out. I will show you life whole, life brimming with blessings. I'll restore everything that was lost." ~ Jeremiah 33: 6-9
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, the path of peace. ~Luke 1:79
When life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job...this is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.~ I Peter 4: 12
I"m not afraid when you walk by my side. Your trusty Shepherd's crook makes me feel secure. ~Psalm 23:4
You know all my desires and deepest longings. My tears are liquid words, and You can read them all. ~Psalm 38:9 (From The Passion Translation)
God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God of angel-armies protects us. Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God of angel armies protects us. ~Psalm 46; 1-3 and 10-11
Your very hands have held me and made me who I am. Give me more revelation-light so I may learn to please you more...for your words are entwined within my heart ~Psalm 119: 73-74
It seemed as if the verses came spilling out from the pages. Like a river. I was a celebrant, reading each one out loud, declaring the mercy and grace and goodness of God. It was as if the Creator Himself used a paint brush to restore the shadowy places in my life--removing the debris, filling in the empty, fearful spaces with His light and life. His peace.