Peace with Oneself

Updated: Jun 14


"Lord, make me a channel of thy peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love…" -Prayer of St. Francis

Occasionally I take a mental walk through the decades of my life. It resembles one of those Hall of Mirrors, with random distorted images of events long gone by. Some reflections are pleasant or funny. Others are cringe-worthy, and some just make me shake my head. Self-doubt and a lack of confidence tend to appear in many of the reflections. Where such a jaunt would have once been crippling, today I have found peace and a love of self, though it didn’t come easy.


In college (which was quite a while ago), one of my classmates announced that he would someday stand in line for an autograph of one of my future books. I had no intention to write or be published and laughed it off like a joke. To publish a boIn college (which was quite a while ago), one of my classmates announced that he would someday stand in line for an autograph of one of my future books. I had no intention to write or be published and laughed it off like a joke. To publish a book was out of the question for someone like me. There was nothing on the inside willing to accept that I possessed an ounce of talent. Nor was I able to accept the compliment or value he saw in it. I was broken and didn’t know it.


Instead, I used his well-intended words to create a false ego. I couldn’t let anyone get too close, find out my secret, discover those terrible learning disabilities. This pattern turned into a vicious cycle. Ego on the outside filled with anger, pain, fear, and a broken identity hidden within.


Turns out I wasn’t so good at hiding this. The ugliness inside began to seep out. The mask faded. Keeping up appearances became too much of a struggle. At the ripe old age of thirty, I was miserable, and the world knew it. By thirty-nine, complete despair swallowed me, and I cried out in surrender. ok was out of the question for someone like me. There was nothing on the inside willing to accept that I possessed an ounce of talent. Nor was I able to accept the compliment or value he saw in it. I was broken and didn’t know it.


Instead, I used his well-intended words to create a false ego. I couldn’t let anyone get too close, find out my secret, discover those terrible learning disabilities. This pattern turned into a vicious cycle. Ego on the outside filled with anger, pain, fear, and a broken identity hidden within.


These pleadings weren’t met with instant answers. Slowly, a channel of peace rested on my broken spirit and began to lead me from personal torment to brighter days and a sense of fulfillment. The journey from self-loathing to self-appreciation had begun.


This change, the surrender, was slow and steady like the current of an easy river. Sure, I wanted a speed boat but that wasn’t up to me. I needed to stop, unpack all I was harboring, breathe the clean air and take in my surroundings. I learned to re-frame those gremlin-like thoughts when they came. To silence the congress which met in my head took some practice which eventually has become a habit. Fortunately, meager attempts are all that God requires, the effort is enough, and God makes up where we lack.


From my surrender to today, I have found a sense of comfort and self through the tender care of a loving God. Each subsequent day since that first moment of surrender and willingness He has revealed more and more of His plan for me. Through His grace, I have not only published one novel but have several more on the way. Due to the fun experience of aging (sarcasm intended), I may not recognize that classmate or he, me, but on the off chance he finds me, it will be an honor to present him with the novel he predicted...signature and all.


If you struggle with your past, present, or who you are behind the curtain and away from prying eyes. Know that He is the source that will lead you to wholeness.


For I hold you by your right hand--

I, the Lord your God.

And I say to you,

'Don't be afraid, I am here to help you.'

-Isaiah 41: 13 NLT


-From the Fire Ring Blog, Vol.1, No.3

Revised 06/2021


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