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Peace at Last
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As a child of a stressful, violent home, I only recalled unhappy memories. Family vacations couldn’t be remembered, but thousands of hateful words and actions flew into my mind in seconds. Sadness and anger dominated my emotions – peace ever alluded me. This idea of peace appeared so abstract to me.
I decided I would search for peace. Others have found peace, I’d think. Why not me? Maybe if I  filled my life with the actions of peace I’d be happy. I’d sit by a stream and listen to the sounds of the earth’s song. I would garden, paint pictures, take long car rides, and read inspirational books. And yet, in doing all these things, I still hadn’t acquired peace. For a few moments I did feel peaceful. but put me back into real life and I was a mess.
I felt totally miserable and frustrated, unable to bring those little moments of peace into my everyday life. One day I broke down in tearful prayer. I yelled and cried to God not to give up on me and for Him to bring me peace.
This started my peace journey with the Lord. He led me to His Word. Scriptures of peace were my Everest. “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace” (Job 22:21). “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Tap into Him

Wait. What? I don’t need to search for peace? Jesus provides that peace. His Word is my guide. I just need to tap into Him to find that for which I long and to make peace with my past.

Then and only then I discovered I could remember some good things, about my childhood; not just the bad! I recalled being a toddler, and looking out the window at the baby birds that were given life on the limbs of the mighty oak, or watching the rain bounce off the large leaves. Those happy memories brought such great joy to me!
God has taught me that peace is not an object, or an idea to behold. It is an experience with Him. It is finding that during the toughest of times I am not alone. It is through His grace, His love, His forgiveness, and His ultimate compassion that I know peace. “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).

I still seek solitary moments of quiet; they bring me great joy. But now I know what I never thought possible, that peace can be mine wherever I go.

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By Jessi Hodges. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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