So Much Peace

In every situation, You reign.

In life, we encounter good times and bad. Great seasons of hope and provision, as well as, difficult seasons. How easy for us to look forward to those 'seasons' or times in our lives in which we know are going to be exciting, full of adventure, and joy.

Think about it.

I hear entering motherhood can be quite exciting. I'm sure soon-to-be moms day dream of the day they'll finally be able to hold their baby in their arms. Or have you ever ran into someone who's newly engaged? Nothing you can say will get the smile off their face as they share how excited they are to get married. Landing a new job can be pretty exhilarating. As you think of the new journey ahead I'm sure it gets harder and harder to focus during that 2 week notice you gave your boss. We all look forward to those good times that are coming. That's normal.

But sometimes, the season or situation approaching is hard.

And we dread it.

You know what's not normal? Having absolute peace and a steadfastness during those difficult and trying times.

I'm 24 years old. Most of the times I disagree, but I've had some people tell me, I've 'yet to live and experience the trials of life'. Well, if losing a close family member is one of the trials of life of which they speak of, then I guess they're right.

I've never been here.

(I've lost my grandfather and a few uncles, but the uncles I never met and my grandfather lived pretty far south that though I knew him and remember his words of wisdom, I hardly got to see him. I mourned his death along with my family but this time it's different. My grandmother is passing and I've been closer to her than anyone else that's passed. Grandma has been diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer's. Her lungs are full of fluid and the congestion is blocking her breathing.)

I've never had to learn to begin mourning for someone who hasn't passed just yet but is close. To see her in the hospital was hard and now, though she is at a 'comfortable' state, to see her in hospice care is still hard. On Saturday we were told my grandmother had 24hours to live. (Can I just stop here to say, I shared these news with friends via text, calls and social media and the response has blown me away. Thank YOU for your sweet words, thoughts and prayers. I've been greatly encouraged.) Well, she's still with us today and I thank God for her life. Now the Houston Hospice Care is telling us anywhere from one to three weeks in regards to her life span. Her breathing has slowed down tremendously and she has kept her eyes closed nearly this entire time. If you know about the stages or journey of dying, this is normal and like I said before, she's close.

Yet the strength and peace that I have within me is, first off, not of me, but of God and second off,

i t         h a s n ' t        f a i l e d        m e.

I had a church member pray over me on Sunday after the service. I will never forget what she prayed. She prayed that God would give me that 'peace that surpasses all understanding' and to the point that I'm so at peace that I almost start feeling guilty at how at peace I am with the near death of my grandmother. See, as a believer, I can experience that peace because my grandmother is also a believer. I know that without a doubt, she will be with God after this life. And only HE can supply that type of peace. The peace that overwhelms you, strengthens you and constantly reminds you of each and every single promise your Source offers. Like that He is sovereign. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will always love you. He will strengthen you and never give you more than you can bear. He will be constant, even when everything around you may be changing. And many more.

Now I'm no superwoman. Nor do I wish to make you think I am and that the death of a family member couldn't possibly ever effect me. I have shed tears and I know I will shed more. I have cried out to God, I have tried getting away (driving up to ETX for a weekend), I have gone on runs, practiced yoga, painted, worshipped, reflected, etc. Everyone mourns or 'deals' with things differently.

But even in those hard moments, even in those life altering situations, here's my challenge, or yet, the lesson I'm learning:

I need to be ruled by the peace of God.

Because when we are, we can praise Him. When this peace rules your heart and mind, you can sincerely thank him. When He is the source of your peace and strength, you can gladly serve him, despite whatever difficulty you may encounter in life.

And when His peace rules your heart and mind, resentment is gone, fear is gone, guilt is gone, hopelessness is gone, stinky attitudes and foul motives are gone.

So let's rest in the peace He offers. I can't express how much the peace of God has helped me these past couple of weeks. 

I will miss my grandmother's sense of humor, her amazing cooking, her laughter, her hugs and kisses, her stories and forever appreciate her love of fruit and the flowers God gives us daily. She has lived life well and seen so much. I love her dearly and will forever be grateful for her prayers and constant reminder of the importance of seeking God and His righteousness. For without that, I would have never come to know this peace that is helping me now and will continue helping me mourn her and celebrate her life.

As in other blogs, I'm ending with a worship song. I've played this over and over as a reminder that

in every situation, God reigns.

Song: God, I Look to You by Bethel Music

Thanks for reading (and praying),

               - CRYSTAL -

               - CRYSTAL -


PS. I will post all the exciting updates of the church, Calvin and I, etc. I guess I just needed the space to share everything. Calvin and I are doing great, we are still learning so much. And the church is doing well. :)