Where Is Your Peace?

Jen’s Gem: Seek the peace that surpasses understanding.

Yesterday I put my son and his best friend on a cruise ship to the Bahamas. As I kissed him goodbye at the port in New York City, I felt a wave of excitement. He was about to have his first solo travel experience. I was about to have my first week without him since middle school. 

I have had peace in my heart about this trip almost from the get go. It appeared that my helicopter mom blades had finally spun to a complete stop. Shocker! As we drove to the port, my son made an interesting statement as we spoke about the logistics of the trip.
“I’m not ready to put on my adult hat.”
After a brief chuckle, I informed him that once he got through the check-in process and settled into his room, he could remove his adult hat and return to his comfort zone. He seemed to find solace knowing that the adult-thing was temporary.
At nearly 21-years old, my son towers over me at 6-feet tall. He works a part-time job and goes to a local community college. He is nearing the completion of his Associates degree, yet like many his age, is unclear of his future. He started on one path to become a sports broadcaster but is now undecided.
My son has a clear Type-B personality and at times, my daughter and I, (the two Type-A females in our home), unnerve him. He just doesn’t get us. He doesn’t get our planning ahead or going above and beyond mindsets. He is content to get his tasks done when they are due and deliver what the requester asked for – no more.
While this approach drives me nuts, he is content. He claims on a regular basis that he is a happy person, he enjoys his life, and “it’s all good.” Does my son know something my daughter and I don’t?

When he was born, he didn’t make a sound which freaked me out immediately. He simply looked around at his surroundings as if to say, “Ok, I can deal with this.” My mother said he looked like a “wise old man.” Perhaps she was right.
He has an inner knowing and peace that escapes most. He doesn’t read books to find it. He doesn’t talk to anyone about what they do. It’s just there. If you were to simply let him be, eventually he’d figure everything out and it would be fine.
As I learn more about my Christian faith, it is clear to me that my son is living his life as it was intended by God. He trusts everything will be ok. He does what he needs to do. He has peace and is happy. One might say that some of this is because his helicopter mother has orchestrated his life to remove the typical stressors. While this is partially correct, my son’s DNA can’t be changed.
So many people today lack this peace. It’s evident in the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last week. Whatever their demons were, they got the best of these gifted individuals. It breaks my heart.
I recall many years ago – perhaps more than a decade – telling someone that all I wanted was “peace.” My life at that time was so far from a calm existence that it seemed nirvana to just be able to have a quiet moment or two to myself, for things to just be taken care of, and for stress to be removed. The burdens of single motherhood, working full-time, and “life” were at times too much for me to shoulder.
On the outside, I was SuperMom and I wore this badge with honor because I was wired to believe my value came from what I accomplished. The more I did, the more valuable I was. This belief led me to miss out on creating more family memories because I put my work before my kids. It led me to not pursue finding a husband because I wanted to use that time to be with my kids. It led me to a level of stress and inner turmoil that has taken me over a decade to unravel.
When I look at my son, I realize that he will never be like this. He will never feel this level of stress. He is a constant reminder to me that the things I tend to worry over are pretty minor. But more importantly, he reminds me that my worry has always been for naught. We have always been taken care of. Despite some crazy financial ups and downs, we have everything we need.
“I will always take care of you,” was a resounding message I received over 15 years ago when a crystal clear vision of Jesus appeared to me early one morning during my divorce process. I may forget this message from time to time but the fact remains that it has been and will continue to be true. Therein lies my peace. It comes not from this world, but from Him.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to identify your source of peace. Does it come from a completed to-do list or a more reliable source, like the peace of Christ? I guarantee that seeking His peace will result in smooth sailing all the days of your life.

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