I have joined an amazing campaign for Easter called #PrinceofPeace. It is all about how to find true peace in life.
In today’s world, there are many things to worry about–political unrest, increasing natural disasters, economic recession/depression–and more. There are also more individual issues like the loss of a child or loved one, infidelity, chronic health issues, job loss, mental health issues, and the list goes on. In fact, you are likely here on this website because you want to be better prepared for some of these things. We hope that our preparation allows us to forget our fear and find peace.
I commend you. I want to be prepared as well (obviously since I run this site). I want peace in my life, and to some extent preparation brings peace.
There is a type of preparation that sometimes gets overlooked, and yet I believe it to be the most important preparation we can make–the type that can bring enduring peace.
A Story of Faith in the #PrinceofPeace
I want to tell you a story about my son. He is afraid of being alone and afraid of wind and weather. When faced with these situations, his anxiety is debilitating and seriously affects our family. One way we have “prepared” for these anxiety attacks is by visiting a therapist and learning various techniques.
Well, one night when he was just 8 years old, there was a pretty significant wind storm, and he was panicking. He was certain it was a tornado (we have NO risk of tornadoes where we live) and that it was going to carry us all off. Nothing we could say would convince him otherwise.
He couldn’t stop crying (wailing really). His breathing was short and shallow. He was shaking all over. There was no way he was going to fall asleep.
Well, I was prepared! I had a pocketful of tools from the therapist I could use to “fix” this and help my son.
Only my tools didn’t work. He couldn’t calm down enough to even try them. It was heartbreaking for me as a mom and terrifying for him. He begged me to stay in his room, and I did for an hour or so. I held him and sang to him and did all I could.
I can’t remember why, but I had to leave for a minute or so–maybe to help another child–but when I came back, I was shocked to see him calmer. He was still shaking and crying a little, but he was breathing more deeply and not in full-on panic mode. I asked him what had changed, and his answer pierced me. He said:
Mom, I prayed to ask Heavenly Father to take away the storm. But then I felt the Spirit tell me that wasn’t a good idea. Heavenly Father wants me to learn from this storm. He wants me to learn how to be stronger, and I can’t do that if I don’t practice, and I can’t practice without the storm. Can you help me do the 4-3-2-1 thing we learned at Dr Gentry’s?
I realized that my son’s true preparation for this anxiety attack had come in the form of spiritual preparation. He prays to God every night and reads scriptures every night (well, let’s be realistic–many nights, not every night). We attend church as a family. We pray and read scriptures as a family. He is coming to know God and to rely on Him.
We had prepared in other ways. But it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. Dr Gentry wasn’t enough. All the techniques weren’t enough. Only God was enough. Only God was truly able to reach him and to give him peace.
But, importantly God did not take away the storm.
Instead, HE gave meaning to the storm–a chance to become strong, better. My son’s faith in God gave him the strength to face the storm. That faith brought him peace. He was then able to use the things he’d learned (his personal preparation) to work through the anxiety and become stronger.
Our Own Personal Storms
We cannot predict what trials we will face in life. But we can be sure that we will face some. Maybe it will be a natural disaster, maybe not. Maybe it will be the loss of a child, maybe not.
But it is important to remember in our own lives that God will not always take away the storm.
Why? Well, in the words of my son, “God wants us to learn how to be stronger, and we can’t do that if we don’t practice, and we can’t practice without the storm.”
Christ is the #PrinceofPeace. (Isaiah 9:6) And He tells us:
“Be Still And Know That I am God” (Psalms 46:10)
God! KNOW that He is God!–All knowing. All powerful. All loving–And he commands us to be still.
He can command that because He knows when to calm the storm and when to let it rage. He knows how to help us grow–to become more like Him. We simply need to have faith in that.
We Do Not Need to Be Frantic
It was this concept that allowed me to start working on emergency preparedness peacefully instead of frantically.
God has asked me to prepare just as He did Joseph of old. I don’t know and can’t predict all the reasons why. But I do know that He is my Father and that He can–and will–turn all experiences to my good if I let Him. He can use the storms in my life to help me become stronger. That brings peace.
No longer do I have to be frantic and overwhelmed about preparing for everything and anything. I simply do what I can when I can and then trust. Small steps are okay.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
Peace Is Found through Christ the #PrinceofPeace
My son’s faith reminded me of this late that night. True lasting, enduring peace is only found through Christ. My son’s faith in Him during a personal crisis taught me that on a deeper level.
God so loved that world that He sent his Son (John 3:16), and His Son provides peace from all the various storms that the world can throw at us.
An Invitation to #PrinceofPeace
This Easter season, I’d like to invite you to participate in #PrinceofPeace and spend some time introspectively developing your relationship with Christ–working on your spiritual preparedness.
What You Can Do
1) Pick an attribute or two you want to develop that will bring you closer to Christ and better prepare you to rely on Him during the storms of life. There are examples of Christ exemplifying these attributes that will be highlighted during the #PrinceofPeace campaign.
- Faith: Mark 5:36
- Compassion: Matthew 14:14
- Forgiveness: Luke 6:37
- Repentance: Isaiah 1:18
- Gratitude: John 11:41
- Scripture: Matthew 4:4
- Prayer: Matthew 21:22
- Hope: 1 Cor. 15:19, 22
#PrinceofPeace will focus on one attribute each day during Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday). But I would encourage you to ponder these attributes now. Pick one or two and then focus on developing them during Holy Week.
Beginning on March 31st you will find touching videos and ideas for developing these attributes on the Mormon.org website.
2) You can help spread the word by posting on social media (don’t forget to use the hashtag #PrinceofPeace). Focus on highlighting those people in your life who exemplify one of the 8 attributes. You can also tag me! I’d love to see your posts!
3) Download the printable below that I made for you. Print it out, frame it, and put it somewhere you will see it often. Allow it to regularly remind you where true peace is found!
- Download it in light aqua HERE
- Download it in yellow HERE
- Download it in dark aqua HERE
- Download it in pink HERE
I Love Music
Music is one of the strongest ways in which I personally feel Christ’s Spirit and come closer to Him. If you are interested, you can also join me (and many others) in a live stream of Christ-centered music on April 8th. You can learn more (and sign up to attend) HERE.
Will You Join the #PrinceofPeace?
I am excited to participate in #PrinceofPeace and come closer to my Savior so that I am better prepared to rely on Him for peace during my own personal life storms. Please join me! I would love to have you come back and share (in the comments) what you do–or something you learn–from this Prince of Peace activity.