How Do You Rescue Your Peace When You Just Want to Scream?

Does your peace pack up and move out when you lose it?

. . . like when your baby (or in this case, my dog) gets diarrhea and your family shocks you with its dynamics. Then a hospital misdiagnoses your loved one and doesn’t believe you when you give them important information. Instead, they tie him up and move him to ICU and talk to you about life support. You go home to an empty house and find the door ajar. The cops assure you, “Your Mom probably left it like that by accident.”

Do you sleep peacefully?

With all that going on, I didn’t recognize myself. But instead of pulling my hair out, I learned how you can rescue your peace in these four steps:

How to Rescue Your Peace, Step 1: Let Truth Tackle the Lies that are Messing with You

I’d stopped picking up the phone because I didn’t want to say something I might regret. Tossing and turning in bed, I reached for my IPOD, life preserver number one. I didn’t trust my thoughts so I asked God to show me what to listen to and got a strong desire to hear the book of Hebrews from the Bible, so strong, I couldn’t pick anything else.

Over and over, Hebrews reminded me not to harden my heart. In my funk, I didn’t want to hear what might be doing wrong. I almost turned it off, but I didn’t want the voice in my head to take me down. 

I longed for peace and I don’t even use the word long so I kept listening.

Thing is God does not condemn, but He does convict. In His gentle way, He showed me what I was doing wrong but didn’t trigger me like a person might have done if they’d said the same thing. 

Instead, God made me laugh at myself.

Finally, I softened and agreed. I didn’t want to harden my heart, so I asked God to help and then drifted off in the peace that had seemed so elusive before.

Step 2: Break Off Any Word Curses You’ve Spoken

As the issues compounded, I started calling everything a pain in the butt. I might have actually said ass. No, I definitely said ass, really loudly, lots of times, as well as a few other words I haven’t said in a while. 

Weirdly enough, as I repeated the phrase, sciatica attacked my butt so badly I couldn’t stand straight. I limped.

So I wrote to one of my Jesus-with-skin-on friends, Lisa Gillit. I don’t know about you, but I love having God/Jesus/Holy Spirit in my life. But I still need friends to remind of things when I lose it.

Lisa said, “Why don’t you repent of the word curses you’ve spoken over yourself, just in case?”

What are word curses?

Lisa and I came up with this definition: any negative thing you say that is hurtful or destroys yourself or another.

Once I started calling everything a pain in the ass, a habit formed.

So I prayed: God, I’m sorry! Will You forgive me? Will You please heal my body and help me to stop saying that?

I know, not everyone believes in stuff like word curses, but I’d gone through a similar experience before. Prayer fixed my problem. So when Lisa suggested this, I knew it was worth a try. 

Our words have a lot more power than we realize.

Step 3: Focus on the Good Things

As I prepared to spend the day in the hospital with Dad, I got a call from my sister who wanted to talk about family. I couldn’t, not if I wanted to get to the place where I needed to be to take care of Dad.

I think I told you? Dad’s on the spectrum. He says he doesn’t have Aspberger’s but he does have the symptoms listed in the DSM manual

I don’t know how much you know about autism and, of course, everyone is different.

My dad is extremely bright when it comes to intellectual subjects but not so good at social graces. 

He used to pick me up at the airport and take me out to eat. Instead of catching up, he’d whip out a magazine while we waited for our food. Over the years, his refusal to converse, or what I perceived as a lack of a desire to know me, hurt my feelings.

Then I learned about the diagnosis. It’s just how he is.

In ICU, I knew Dad was feeling better when he asked for a magazine. When I gave him one, he opened it and shrieked, “I can-n-n’t see!” 

With all the changes in his body, that could have been the last straw, losing his sight. As it is, he only has one eye. Thankfully, I realized the problem. He didn’t have his glasses on. I smiled as I put them on his face, wishing all the other problems came with such an easy fix.

Watching Dad read, I learned that doing something familiar is another way you can rescue your peace.

If you look closely, you’ll see the magazine is upside down. Still, holding it settled him down.

With all that in mind, imagine how I felt when Dad sent me this:

Years ago, my friend sponsored me to go on a retreat. She’d written to Dad and asked if he had a few words to share with me. That’s what he sent.

Of course, I saved it.

Before I went to the hospital, I’d read it because it gave me not just peace but a little excitement to spend the day with him.

Step 4: Ask God If He Has Something to Say

Words like those of our earthly father bless us, and so do those of our heavenly father.

A while back, another friend gave me a copy of this: 

Every single time I’ve prayed it, you know what? It works. 

It’s a logos word. That means it’s a word God said to us in the Bible, a quote. 

There’s also something called a rhema word. Those are words God says to us specifically, like when we read a Scripture in the Bible and it grabs us. We know we need to apply it to our current situation. Or maybe it comes as a one-liner that turns into an inside joke between us with God. There are a million ways God tries to communicate with us. We just don’t always understand it’s Him.

This rhema word came to me through Lisa:

I can’t believe how much the words pulled me up off the ground. They not only gave me the oomph I needed to get back to my own Jesus-with-skin-on self, but they put me back in dreaming mode.

Related Post: God, Give Me Peace, Ple-e-ease? 

Dreaming is an Important Form of Self-Care

Do you remember how I started this blog a couple of weeks ago? The first post is called: Do You Have a Burning Desire

See how fast life can take us from chasing a dream to a loved one’s bedside.

When I’m in a low place, dreaming lifts my spirit by taking me somewhere I’d rather be. It helps me visualize how I might get there because I know I’m not always going to be in the place I am now.

I hope not, but maybe you’re about to pull your hair out. Hang on, you may just need a new do!

Or, maybe I should have waited until my friend could help me dye my hair. It’s just that after a long day, I needed a bit of color in my life right then, a little self-care, so I did it myself.

That’s the thing I want to take away from this experience, care. I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be in a tough spot because there’s always someone who is, someone who needs a little color in his or her life, someone we can help by lightening a load.

Did you see this story about all the people who came to entertain this sick little boy?

It may sound selfish, but doing things for others can not only rescue your peace but fill you with joy.

What else, what helps you to get your peace back?

Related Post: How Do You Hang Onto Your Faith in a Time Like This?

And How Can I Pray for You?

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  1. Ya know sometimes for me it’s order in my chaos. So cleaning out a closet or reorganizing a kitchen drawer, along the way I talk to God asking He give me perspective on my situation. Asking to help me remember what’s important. He ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS listens to me, I love that. Thanks for sharing your struggles & your joy.

    1. Oh yes! In fact, I think that was in one of my rough drafts. That’s what I do, too, I clean. It’s something I can control when all else feels uncontrollable. I can’t believe how clean the house got last month.

      I love that, too, Ang.

      There is something about driving and walking, too. It’s easier for me to hear God in those places. It’s like I’m not in His way somehow. Does that make sense?

    1. I hate that so many of us are in a funk. Maybe we need more life-preserving? Just thinking about that term jump-starts something inside me.

      Yes, hearing someone’s heart talking is definitely life-preserving, isn’t it?

  2. I love this! You are a person who continues to grow in grace and the knowledge of God and, as a result, touches the heart of all of us. Thank you!

  3. Great read. I love your blog. Your writing is exquisite in capturing large numbers of life’s happenings in a single sentence. You are doing a great job. I love the letter your dad wrote. I would keep that forever and ever.

    1. Thank you, Sandy! I’m still working on how all the ideas chatting together over coffee in my head affect us as our own little group. I’ve got a lot of vision but I think it’s going to take a minute to get from here to there. So I am soooo glad you are enjoying the journey! xoxo

  4. I love this! Thank you for sharing some useful ideas for drawing us back to center when we start feeling stretched to snapping!

    Stepping back and praying is always wise advice. Thank you for the reminder. We CAN do all things…

    Thankful dad is improving, thankful for your sharing, thankful for you!

    Ps- love the new pic!

    1. Yes, I should write that one out on a sticky–we CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens us! And I love the other promise God gave me to stand on in this season: God works ALL things together for good for those who love him, and are called according to his purposes. (Romans 8:28)

      Annnd, I love you!! Thank you, Dianna 🙂

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