Peace is… a French Chateau? {Not Alone Series}

Beautiful NAS ladies, can I ask a favour?

You love these weekly linkups on life and faith and singleness, right? Well, have I got fantastic news for you!!! A friend and I are creating a new linkup in honour of the Sacred Heart this First Friday!

I would sooooo love if you could write a post – or link to an old one – on the Sacred Heart. Because come on, the divine Heart of Our Lord deserves a little blog-love doesn’t He? 🙂

Check it out at OMostSacredHeart.com! (More info there) And I hope to see you over there this First Friday!

not alone5

About six months ago, I wrote a letter to God.

I told Him I had depression.

Admittedly, this wasn’t exactly news to Him. Nor was it particularly surprising to family and close friends. It is something that’s been part of my life since my early teens. But still, I’ve never owned it like that.

I was too afraid to. I treated it as a moral failing on my part and evidence that somehow I was irredeemably flawed. I didn’t treat it like what it is:  a very complex illness with both psychological and physiological elements, an illness where the fears of my soul collide with crappy synapses that just don’t work like they should.

Now, I am clawing back my peace as grace of God works more and more in my life. And it is marvelous.

Cliched as it sounds, I have learnt so much about myself and, wonder of wonders, have even learnt to accept me: emotional, determined, clever, soft-hearted, fearful little me. It is such a freeing feeling. (Like seriously, I just wrote nice things about myself. This is what winning looks like people!!!)

It’s what I imagine flying in a hot air balloon over the chateaux of the Loire is like. I can see beauty and I can feel the wind and I am not afraid. I know sunny days and cloudy days will come, and I know sometimes I will be so scared I will scream “just let me down you, crazy ballooning Frenchman!!!” (I am scared of heights after all.) But I know all things will be well.

This is what peace is to me.

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Chateau de Chenonceau

Peace is feeling brave. Peace is having a bad day – but knowing that that doesn’t make me a bad person. It’s not crying when I wake up every morning, nor sobbing alone at 3am because I can’t get to sleep. Again.

Peace is not living with a constant tightness in my chest or ache in my jaw or gnawing sadness in my soul. It means not wondering why a building couldn’t just fall on me and get it over with. Or a bridge. Or what if that truck careened off the road, would that do the trick?

Peace making choices, not letting fear make them for me. Peace is wanting to leave the house, and being able to do so without 1/2 hour of talking myself through it, praying frantically, calming techniques and above all, bribery (usually chocolate). Seriously, these days I’m like “See ya later housie! You ain’t the only safe place in the world! I got me some adventures to have!”

Peace means the waves of shame and panic still, but they come as occasional visitors. And then they leave. 

Peace means  trying new things, making plans, going to the gym, applying for jobs, having dinner with friends. It means writing, and giggling, and smiling because as I look out my window, the sky is royal blue, the clouds look like ermine and I’m imagining the whole earth is draped with the robes of a French king, the sort who would drink wine and eat cheese in one of those chateaux.

Peace is knowing there really is a great king, “who sits enthroned above the circle of the earth… who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent.” (Isa 40:22)

Peace is considering the lilies of the field. “They neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (Mt 6:28-30)

Peace is living as a daughter of a great king.

If the kings of France were privileged to clothe themselves in lilies, in the fleur de lys, how much more precious to be clothed in the love and peace of Christ? And if they sat in their chateaux sipping the finest wines, how much more wonderful is Christ who made “peace through the blood of his cross.” (Col 1:24) (And yes, it would seem that peace is getting a little carried by the ancien rĂ©gime… shades of French Military DefeatsVictories perhaps?)

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Chateau d’Amboise

Peace is prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Peace is making my requests known to God. Peace is in the confessional. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:7)

This is peace.

And it is marvelous.

Head over to Morgan’s blog Follow and Believe for the link up and more fantastic posts!

Also! I liked the picture above so much I made it into a pretty quote!

Heaven in my throne

Also Also! We should follow each other on Pinterest because I love Pinterest!

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