“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
I’ve mentioned this before, but I grew up a pastor’s kid which means that our house was busy. We had people in and out much of the time, we were at church a lot, and there was always something going on in our lives. I got used to that.
My husband and I met in 1997 and began dating. We got engaged in 1998, married in 1999, and had our first child in 2000. For a period of four years, we were busy. And I got used to that.
Two children and three years later, we discovered we were pregnant again…this time planned by God. We celebrated Thanksgiving by announcing our great news, left two weeks later for a week-long vacation to Disneyland, miscarried the week we returned, tried to celebrate Christmas two weeks later, and then began the now eight-year journey of my husband’s then-undiagnosed illness. I got used to that.
I began to think drama was normal. I didn’t realize how bad it had become until one day my husband pointed out that it seemed as though our family wasn’t happy unless someone had an “issue.” I realized there was truth to his statement. Somewhere through the years, I’d lost my inner Tigger and replaced him with Eyeore, forever looking for my tail. Laughing didn’t come as readily. Smiling wasn’t as often. Living as though an emergency was waiting around the corner wasn’t the way I wanted to raise my family.
(Photo compliments of Stephanie Wittenrich)
God used my husband as my wake-up call. When I asked, God Himself started to heal the areas in my life where I needed healing and the drama was slowly replaced with peace. He reminded me He’s not the God of chaos. The evil one has that arena covered. He’s not the God of turmoil or tragedy or sadness or sickness. No. He’s the God of calm, freedom, happiness, and healing.
While He has promised to walk with us through the trauma, He never stated He was the trauma. He promised to hold us during the drama, but while He’s holding us, He’s showing us how we can have peace.
I realized how much I hated drama and that only I could choose to live my life differently. Changing my lifestyle begins with changing my mindset. When I made the choice, I started to feel peaceful. Peace brings with it calm…hope…happiness…and FUN.
I’m still undoing years of drama living, but I’m making progress. I realize, that despite a crazy schedule, not everything has to be done yesterday, usually people can wait for an answer after I’ve had time to think through my choices, and a soft answer is always best. I better finish learning what God is teaching me as I have an influential daughter starting middle school…and most of us realize that’s a whole new level of drama.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014