Living Beyond Yourself – Week 5

by Janice

The Peace that comes from God

“I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” Job 3:26

My greatest struggle in life is with fear. Anxiety has tormented me since I was a young child. I think my twin and I arrived here on earth worrying.

We worried about everything from our mother leaving us with a babysitter to our grades at school. My mom would get us to write out different passages from the Bible about worrying and God’s peace and get us to carry them with us to help us when we got scared.

As I got older, the worrying didn’t ease, it just moved on to new things. In fact, I would say anxiety is a constant part of most of my days. When I got pregnant with Jackson, I developed an anxiety disorder and a nice case of post partum depression. (Lovely – now I am a complete basket case.)

I often think about the quote “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” And think “Yeah – and fear is the most frightening thing there is!”

In fact it is the fear of not being able to handle the future that brings on my anxiety. How will my family survive if critical illness strikes? How will I cope if something happens to my son? How could I handle the death of my husband, twin sister or mom? What will happen if our financial resources run out? How can I ensure my son follows Christ?

It sounds crazy, but my mind can spin out of control, devouring my peace as it runs through countless visions of future calamities.

And it isn’t just the big stuff that gets me down. Little stressors can trigger it too. So even if I am being careful to keep my mind in the here and now, something small can get me worrying.

So what can I do? Is it hopeless? Am I left helpless to deal with this anxiety disorder for the rest of my life?

Yes and No.

Yes – I believe that I have a medical condition that, although helped with medication, will be a weakness that I might always have to fight against while I am on this earth.

No – I am not left helpless. God can rescue me with his peace. I know He can because in the middle of trials, I have been filled with peace.

When I was doing Beth’s study this week, she said that most of us could testify to a time when we were in the worst of circumstances and yet experienced peace or in the best of circumstances and lacked peace.

This has certainly been the case in my life. When I was in my teens I developed a health condition that is still with me today and barring a miracle will be with me for the rest of my life. In my late teens and early twenties I was very ill and basically bedridden. My twin sister was at university and I was sick and alone with hope for a life of motherhood and babies fading quickly.

But God’s peace was so strong in my life. While I cried and grieved the life I had wanted, I met my present suffering with joy and peace. I had everything taken away and I realized that it didn’t matter, because I had the Lord and He would sustain me as I prepared for my eternal homecoming.

Now, a decade later, I am stronger and healthier than I had thought I would be. I was able to marry and even have a child. I got to work as a youth worker and teach young people about God. And now I even have the strength to work online with my mom and sister. The illness remains a thorn in my flesh and does make daily life a struggle, but God has granted me so many blessings.

So, one would assume that all is perfect now. She learned her lessons and then God blessed her. She lived happily ever after.

Not quite. Two things happened.

First, when I received earthly blessings I began to worry about losing them. I placed too much comfort and joy in the temporary blessings of the world and not on the eternal blessings that the Lord has given and promised.

Second, and perhaps most important, when I was in my sick bed I had all day to meditate on the Lord and be filled with the Holy Spirit. God was my best friend and constant companion and I had the Fruit of the Spirit because of it. Now, in the busyness of motherhood, my focus blurs and my eyes fall off of Him. I begin to become distracted by the daily demands of life and my soul suffers. Satan seizes the opportunity and runs wild, wreaking havoc in my spirit, stealing my joy and peace as he torments me with anxiety.

I really appreciated Beth’s study on peace this week. It reminded me that I need to constantly refocus on God and be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to fight against Satan and anxiety. As Beth said, Satan the accuser delights in destroying our peace. And he will steal our joy if he can undermine our peace.

But I can with confidence call on God for His peace. It is “the peace that transcends all understanding” (Phil 4:7) and it will not fail me. Christ has offered this peace to me through his Holy Spirit. What a blessing – I am not left to battle anxiety alone. Christ can conquer it and I can live in His Peace.

“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

Dear Lord, thank you so much for your merciful peace. Keep my mind steadfast and my spirit surrendered to you. Thank you that I do not face my fears alone – that you are greater than all of them and that you will lead me through them to my eternal homecoming.

Addie Heather* Carol
M Rach Jeana
Jenn Amanda MamaB
GiBee Boomama Maria
Blair Heather Nancy
Janna Flipflop Robin
Sherry Patricia Tara
Lauren HolyMama! Faith
Christy Eph2810 Karin
Leann Rachel Janice

This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links
to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for
the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm – Saturday 8am.
Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is
welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live
beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of
His Word.


Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria April 29, 2006 at 6:34 am

A lesson I, too have learned this week. Concentrating on God and His glory, as with Peter walking on the water, will keep me from worrying and stewing so much more. Thank you for your testimony and thoughts.

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2 Janna April 29, 2006 at 6:39 am

What a thoughtful post. Peace in our minds is the hardest part to have. I keep thinking of this verse for you:

Phillippians 4:8 …whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

I’m sure that you’ve probably got it memorized!! Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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3 Heather* April 29, 2006 at 10:04 am

I feel you. It is SO HARD to let go of your anxiety. I know, I’ve been there. But, there is NOTHING that is in your power. It’s all in God’s. I really have to keep focusing on that basic principle. :)

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4 Addie April 29, 2006 at 10:37 am

Great post Janice.

I have a family member who battles depression and she takes medicine (which I think is a good thing.) But yet she still battles it. You mentioned that even with medicine which helps, you will still battle this. Isn’t it interesting how with all our medical advances, we can’t ‘fix’ ourselves completely? God, loves to be able to be the one to rescue us. I love that he does this for us!

Thank you so much for your openess with this. A great testimony of God’s continued leading us in these areas. I just love reading of how God is working and moving in our lives through this study!

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5 Patricia April 30, 2006 at 12:04 pm

I hear you! For several reasons, fear was the emotion that controlled my life for many years, but one that God has given me victory over. There is hope, trust me! I also understand chronic illness…and anxiety for the future. One of Beth Moore’s earlier studies – I believe it was the one on the tabernacle – she talked about manna being the provision for the day and how she believed that God’s grace was like manna – that he would give us the grace we need for the moment to handle whatever crisis in the future that we are anxious about today. Janice, I’m not sure why you weren’t able to find my LBY study at my blogger blog…it was about 2 entries below the one where you commented…but I have resolved the Firefox issues with the other one, so you can visit either one. Blessings! Patricia

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6 boomama April 30, 2006 at 2:25 pm

“I begin to become distracted by the daily demands of life and my soul suffers. Satan seizes the opportunity and runs wild, wreaking havoc in my spirit, stealing my joy and peace as he torments me with anxiety.”

THAT is exactly it, Janice. I have been there, too – and fear is probably the biggest spiritual battle that I fight, day in and day out. I can get “seized” by fear of what ifs – and there’s just no way that’s of God. What I do when it hits – and you know that feeling, that feeling of your stomach being somewhere in the vicinity of your knees – is to pray against the enemy, to ask God for a hedge of protection around me. And it works! I might have to pray that prayer 16 times in a day – but in every instance, it works!

Thanks for the honesty and openness of this post, Janice. It blessed me.

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7 Nancy May 1, 2006 at 6:16 am

You so accurately described how we weave off the right path in our daily lives. In fact, I just thought of an illustration of it….I think I’ll post it today. Thanks for the inspiration. I am sorry that you feel so anxious; my brother suffers from depression and I understand that the illogical worries are more real than reality. Know that I will keep you in my prayers.

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8 Faith May 1, 2006 at 7:19 pm

I am sooo with you. My mind spins out of control constantly! I have to do alot of praying! ;D

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