The Great Pursuit
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
“They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:11
As far as finding peace, we often hear "be still.” It really is sound advice. There are times when I need to just shut off my mind, leave my solutions, and let God work. Nevertheless, there are days when I've given it all up, and peace is still a struggle.
1 Peter 3:11 tells us to pursue peace. Until recently, I thought peace was something you had to sit silently to seek, but I'm realizing sometimes peace requires a fight.
In the last few years, there has been a spiritual war on peace within my household. My husband and I both struggle with finding peace and contentment in the midst of his work and raising a child that needs a little more care than the average kiddo. The days have been full of triumphs, but we are constantly fighting the spirits of fear, frustration, and even FOMO. That's what the kids call the “fear of missing out.” Our life is much more restricted than the lives of our friends, and it's hard to ignore the isolation.
Since this struggle with peace has gone on so long, it has begun to feel hopeless. I start to think if it hasn't changed by now, we will always live in this chaotic bubble of loneliness and frustration. It was not until the last couple of weeks that I've been focusing my prayers on what I can do. Instead of taking deep breaths, counting to 10, and waiting, I'm desperate for a push.
So, what is God saying? Well, to sum it up, "Kendra, mind your own life and the rest will come.” I have this fun habit of seeing my husband's faults and focusing on all of the things I cannot directly control, and those things make this all look like a losing battle. On the other hand, if I take this time to pursue God, to read my Bible, to assess what is good in my own heart and mind, maybe the peace can start with me.
So far, I'm still hurting and struggling with the ways life feels out of sorts, but I have a plan now. I can feel deep within my spirit this life has prepared me for good work in God's kingdom. I know these struggles have made me so much more understanding and compassionate. It's just the unrest in life that's holding me, and my little family back.
In the coming days, I'm going to try my best to see where I need to move and grow. I'm going to run after peace and bring it back home with me. There is passion and purpose hidden behind these cloudy thoughts, and I desire nothing more than to be a force for God once more.
If you are struggling to feel peace and contentment, girl, you are not alone. I grew up in church, take the family every week, and talk to Jesus daily, and I still feel like an incredibly imperfect creation. And, those feelings don't make us any less chosen or loved. Pursuing peace is just self-care for the spirit. It's a Bible, a journal, a cup of coffee, and maybe a bit of prayer warrior. God is leading me on the path to peace, and I hope He is guiding you as well. Praying for you daily, my friends and sisters!
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.