How do I find peace in the chaos?
It’s a question that I’ve pondered over the last few months as my family has started on multiple new journeys and begun to fulfill God’s call on our life.
Just over a year and a half ago, I felt God calling our family to a ministry that is unique in this day and age—he called us to start a home church. Over the next few months, God started to refine us, me especially, in preparation for the road he was leading us down, and when the time was right, God started opening doors to his purpose for our life.
In April of this year, we held our first service. It was small and informal, but it was clear from the beginning that we were following God’s plan. Over the next few months as we continued to follow God’s direction, he called us to fulfill other duties, and each time we added a new responsibility, the weight of our crazy lives started to feel more overwhelming.
I started to wonder: Is this really what we’re supposed to be doing? Is God really calling us to operate in what feels like chaos?
These types of questions flooded my mind because when we started our home church and ministry directives, nothing else in our already busy schedule went away. We still had four kids who all had different activities. We still worked long hours at our day-to-day jobs. We still homeschooled our children. My husband still attended graduate school.
Our schedule didn’t change, but our call did.
I asked God to reveal what we should cut from our overflowing schedule, but nothing major left our calendar. However, God did show himself powerful when I turned to him instead of relying on my own will.
With my own will and strength, I quickly found out that my schedule is not sustainable. My life is not sustainable. In my own will and strength, I don’t have the ability to keep juggling 20 things at once.
In my own will and strength, I don’t have the time to keep up all the activities and follow God’s call on my life.
In my own will and strength, I, honestly, don’t have the ability to do anything because everything I’ve been given, I’ve been given by God.
So, if none of this is possible in my own will and strength, one of two things is going to happen: I’m either going to crash and burn, or I’m going to rely fully on God. There is no other choice.
I wish I could say that I’ve fully relied on God at every turn in the last few months, but that would be a lie. I’ve crashed and burned more times than I can count. I’ve tried to say, “I’ve got this,” when in reality nothing could be further from the truth, and each time, God in his loving mercy picked me up out of the pit of my own despair and set me back on my feet, and once again, gently guided me toward his purpose.
This month, as one of the ministry directives that God has called us to is coming to fruition, but not in the way we imagined, we’re, once again, realizing that nothing is in our control. No matter how hard we work or how carefully we plan, only God can control the outcome of our lives and efforts. And, I hear God saying, Trust me. This isn’t your battle to fight. Trust me.
In reality, if I would have listened closely enough, God has been saying that all along. Trust and know that I am God. Don’t worry; I’ve got this. Don’t worry; this is my battle to fight. But, my stubborn, selfish, controlling self couldn’t let go, and in doing so, I was telling God that I knew better than the creator of the universe.
So, here I am, once again, realizing that I have no control, and honestly, I’m starting to realize that I don’t want control because God’s ways are higher than my ways. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9, NIV), and his love for me has no end.
So, how am I finding peace in the chaos? I am learning to trust that he is God. It may sound like a simple concept, but for my sinful human self, it’s not so simple in practice, but the more that I do, and the more that I rely on him, the more peace that overwhelms my soul.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world,” (Psalm 46:10, NLT).