Originally posted on The Well Written Woman, “Defending My Peace”.
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on – “Let It Go”, Disney’s Frozen
Lately, I have been surrounded by situations that provoke my helplessness. Even more so than my helplessness, though, they provoke my desire to take care of things, to help, to fix things, make everything okay. I have thought, I have written, I have prayed, and I have indeed found guidance and followed it as best I can. So everything is supposed to be good, right? Everything is supposed to fall into place, isn’t it? Yeah, not so much.
I feel like a storm, a maelstrom, is roaring around me, and, every time I think it has abated somewhat, that I have made progress or taken a step forward, it blows up in my face again, roaring and bashing against my heart and mind. I take step after step forward, trying to do what I feel convicted about, what I feel God has laid on my heart and led me to do, what’s important and right. When I follow through, it brings me peace. But then, as I try to walk forward, I feel like my feet sink into the snow, into the mud, and the cold. My peace is threatened. I war against my own mind, my own tendency to doubt myself, to doubt my worth, my actions. But that peace glows and warms me like a coal, a feeling that is often so fleeting in our lives these days. I don’t want to lose that, so I have resolved to defend my peace, to fight for it. And that involves something that is very difficult for me, something that is hard to admit and even harder for me to say to myself.
My peace does not depend on others. My peace depends on me doing what my heart has been convicted is right, what I need to do, and resting in that and in God. My peace is on me, not them. While it may be true, it is something that takes me reminding myself every day, moment by moment, prayer by prayer. But those prayers are not just for me; they are also for those in my life, those in these situations. Prayers for peace for them as well in whatever capacity in which they need it.
There are days, the not-so-great days, when my peace is threatened by things inside and outside of these situations, but I will continue to fight and defend and hold on to my peace. It’s a constant work. Worries threaten, as they always have, but I am working on weighing them out. The things that I can control, I will do the best I can with them. The things I cannot control, I have to just let them go because they are not mine to deal with. And it’s hard to let go; specifically, to let go of my desire to fix the things around me and make everything hunky-dory. I can’t do that. It’s not my place nor my job to fix everything. I can deal with things in my own life, in my sphere, but I recognize that my emotional and mental tendency is such that I want to fix everything for others, too. Family, friends, the people who I care about in my life. Admitting that I can’t, that sometimes I am helpless to affect such a change or a fix, is hard. But, if I constantly worry and fear and flail, all I will do is cause myself pain and guilt over something that I realistically had no control over in the first place. Control, true control, over our lives may be an illusion, as some have suggested, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to grasp at it, to not feel quite so helpless in it all. Endeavoring for balance is where I find myself at one point or another in my life. “Let go and let God” is the saying that comes immediately to mind, and that is where I am right now, as I sit in the dark of my quiet house writing this while everyone else is asleep.
I find myself praying more and more lately, when my mind turns towards the maelstrom, when it threatens to drown me again and I feel helpless. That helplessness swells up so strong and hits without warning. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going or standing on my head or my feet, where to turn or what to do. It’s why I follow my gut, that voice within, when I feel led by God to do something, when I feel that sense of direction in my heart and my soul. I follow it because, in that moment, the next place to put my foot is clear to me. Maybe just that next step and only that next step, but it’s there. When I feel that it is the right thing for me to do, it’s not a sense of control necessarily, it’s a sense of “yes, this is right” and that’s where I try to step. It might not make sense to anyone other than me but I believe that it is God’s metaphoric thumb in my back, which I cannot ignore, or, at least, I try not to. When I follow through on that leading, the peace that comes with it more than amazes me in its comfort. I don’t want to lose that.
So, to echo Elsa, here I stand, and here I’ll stay. Let the storm rage on! The cold may bother me but I won’t let it beat me. I won’t let it, let my peace, go.