Peace that surpasses understanding

Around this time one year ago I was sick. Really sick. The following is a short story of one of the many things I learned during that time. Since God faithfully brought me out of sickness and into light just in time for Easter Sunday last year, I decided it’d be fitting to share about the truth that still stirs my soul to this day. 

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I laid there on the thin, plastic mattress for what felt like hours. My arm was propped up on a pillow so as to not pull out the IV that the nurses already made a mess of trying to get it in place. My body was hot. My head was clogged. I couldn’t hear anything due to the ear infection. My heart was racing, my body was weak, and I couldn’t calm down due to the 103 degree temperature I was running.I remember lying their feeling numb to it all. I didn’t care anymore. I was desperate to get better but my body was too weak to fight it anymore. After the nurses started the emergency IV drip of medications and fluids, I had nothing left to do but lie there, helpless and alone. My mom was on her way to the hospital but it’d be two hours before she’d make it there. My friends were all at class and none of them even knew something horrible was raging through my body. I didn’t even have a computer or TV to keep me company.It was just me, in the room, alone with my thoughts.

And I was so scared.

At the time I thought for sure I was going to die. My mind started to panic about things like “What if my fevers never go down?” “What if they can’t figure out what’s wrong with me?” “What if I never feel what it’s like to be healthy again….what if this never goes away?”

It’s crazy how your mind can run wild at desperate times like that.

I remember at one point the IV fluids were running through my system so fast that I felt short of breath and dizzy. I happened to be talking to my mom on the phone at the time and I remember not being able to make complete sentences all of a sudden. My chest felt heavy and my speech was slurred. I didn’t know if it was a reaction to the medication or what, but feeling that way made me panic.

Every little thing was making me panic! I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t calm down. I could text or talk on the phone. I couldn’t do anything because I was so overwhelmed with sickness and fear. It was the first time I truly thought to myself that I could die. It was the first time I realized a sickness could take me and there was nothing I could do about it.

As a last resort to get myself to calm down, I grabbed my phone and turned up some christian music.

And then something happened to me that can only be described as a “Jesus moment”.

Have you ever some say they experienced a “peace beyond all understanding?”

It’s indescribable, really. I felt this peace settle into my heart. My body relaxed and my heart stopped racing. I didn’t feel dizzy. And I wasn’t focused on my current circumstances. As I laid there, now on my side facing a window, I began to smile. Somehow, in spite of all my pain and nervousness, I was able to find joy. I didn’t care so much about what was going to happen to me. I wasn’t concerned with my health issues and I was in a perfect state of peace.

So what was it exactly that caused me to feel this peaceful bliss?

I knew in that moment, if I were to die, I would finally get to be with Jesus.

That’s it.

It didn’t matter what the world did to my body. My soul has already been claimed. Even if the fevers kept spiking and the illness kept spreading, I knew that none of that could seperate me from Jesus. Knowing that I could be in a place with no more suffering or pain; in a place where joy runs rapid, my mind was at ease. I wasn’t afraid anymore.

After this “peace beyond all understanding” settled in my heart and mind, I was finally able to rest.

I can still hear the words of the song that got me through it:

If you go through the valley
and the shadow comes down from the hill.
If morning never comes to be
be still.. be still.. be still.

Be still and know that I’m with you.
Be still and know that I am here.
Be still and know that I’m with you.
Be still and know I am.
– The Fray

It’s easy to forget small, simple truths like this. It’s easy to say “I know where I’m going when I die” and yet live like Heaven isn’t in the picture. The fear and pain of our current circumstances tend to cloud out the simple fact that no matter what happens, I’ve got Jesus. I could lose everything: my health, my friends, my family, my career, my status, my money. But I still have Jesus. I still have eternity. I still have God.

Without this hope, we’ve got nothing.

Live in this hope, my friends.

Love,

Lottie

How Psalm 121 helped me face my fear

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. Psalm 121

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I was laying there, in my open-backed gown, waiting for the nurse to put the IV in my arm. I was so nervous that I felt a little dizzy. I could feel my heart beating so intensely, I was almost embarrassed by it. It was just a routine procedure. Nothing to be afraid of. But I was scared. I just was. I was afraid of the outcome; I was nervous about the anesthesia; I was nervous by how nervous I was…that’s how bad my anxiety can be at times!

I went to grab my phone from my purse to send out one last “wish me luck” text, and that’s when I saw it; the small, white, leather-bound bible I keep on me at all times. I opened it up to Psalm 121, a verse that was previously discussed during church that past Sunday. As I read it, I felt a sense of peace. I felt calm. Those words jumped off the page and sank right into my soul. I knew I was going to be fine. God gave me assurance that He was going to stay by my side through it all and handle everything. He promised me that everything was going to run smooth and be okay.

And it was. It was perfect.

In fact, it couldn’t have gone any better. Not only did God come through with the procedure, but the results came back better than ever. I have never had a more positive outcome after one of my many, many procedures.

What I’m constantly remind of now days is what my pastor said at church that Sunday when he preached about Psalm 121. I don’t have the complete transcript, but what he said went something like this: God never promised that this world would be easy and we would be free from troubles. But because he sent His son, and because Jesus died on the cross, we will never be completely overcome by the evil of this world.

Will we have troubles? Yes? But because of what Jesus did, no evil can ever overtake us. We belong to God. And nothing can take that away.

The reason I was so comforted by this verse was because the truth of God’s deliverance and protection rang true in my heart. His word says “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” and “in this world we will have trouble, but take heart, for he has overcome the world”. Because of this, no evil can overtake me!

This world sucks. A lot. There is a lot of evil and injustice and pain and suffering. It’s not fair! Sometimes I feel like evil is going to swallow me whole. There are times where I feel like I going to die in my fears. Or sickness will take it’s toll. Or the corruption of this world will sink it’s teeth into my flesh.

But my help comes from the Lord.

Not from the “hills”. Not from temporary fixes and imaginary solutions. My help comes from God alone. Without Him, I wouldn’t make it out alive. Because of Him, we are overcomers and no evil can overtake us to the point of taking our souls out of His grasp.

Just remember this one thing, guys. No evil can overcome you. Ever. When your His, your His. And He won’t let you go.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

All praise to God,
Lottie