January 20, 2011

Peace Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1, go here.

Peace in Stressful and/or Difficult Times Questions
-What are some practical ways to find peace in stressful times?
PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE- yes, exams are important, but we are not our grades, no one is going to ask you in a year what that Chemistry final exam grade was. Even for getting into college, you are assessed on more than just test scores. “When you stand too close to a mural, you don’t really get it. But as you step back, you see the bigger picture.” Caleb Chapman

GOD’S PLAN- remember that He has a perfect plan figured out for us, we aren’t in control. "God’s grace will never take us where God’s Will will not protect us." Believe that God can draw glory out of any situation and turn it for good

-How do you deal with those times without taking it out on others?
KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS- Know yourself, what sets you off- when you feel that coming on, find a way to remove yourself from the situation. I often need to be alone to process things, explain that to your parents if that is you- that if you need to take some time by yourself to get in control, it will help you continue the conversation etc. in the way you intend

HAVE A FRIEND OR TWO TO GO TO- Sometimes I need to process things outside my family, with someone who may have a more objective outlook. Go to a trusted friend, a small group leader, guidance counselor at school, etc. Someone who you can safely vent to- but then also be productive with- this isn’t “throwing up on your friends.” Sometimes it can be easier to hear something you need to change from someone else as well.

-If it is a stressful time, how come you can have peace about it?
BECAUSE GOD SAID SO- Turn to His word- we can have peace because He’s given it to us for all time. 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Philippians 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

-What do you find is the easiest way to de-stress?
PREVENT IT- Take time outside school and work to do things with friends, or by yourself to refuel. Get enough sleep, pray, work out, eat well. Take time to DO NOTHING. Then it won’t seem like such a HUGE deal when some little stressor comes in to your life

Breathing/Prayer/Music/Write-keep a personal running document, journal, etc.- get things out so they don’t stay pent up- read and reread- what were you thinking- what set it off, what were you doing when your life seemed ok? Take the anger out in a healthy way- Working out/sports is a good one, as is putting that negative energy towards something positive, take a drive or a walk to cool down, Jettison technique

Use your resources- it is not a sign of shame or weakness but a sign of strength to ask for help- family, friends, trusted adult- teacher, coach, counselor, youth leader. The strongest people I know are those that have gone through some sort of therapy to learn about themselves

-Do you have any specific prayers you find useful when stressed?
Listening to Christian music/Worship, Praying in the Spirit, "Jesus I trust in You," Serenity Prayer- "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…", Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight while you keep silent.

-I was also asked- what about Peace in long-term times of difficulty? 
It's something I work at- daily. It's definitely getting easier but it's not always easy. I find more peace in suffering/hard times when I accept it instead of trying to ignore it/spend all my energy fighting it away. *I say this in reference to crosses the Lord has given us- it doesn't mean I don't fight, I do- everyday! but by accepting our crosses, and trusting Him (that trust thing again!) it makes it a lot easier to have peace. The passage from Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe sums it up well. (You'll find it in my next post)

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