Here’s another guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC and also my sister. Read her first post on Becoming Unstuck here.
I’ve realized that I’m an expert on surviving Life Altering, Faith Shaking, Foundation Crumbling, Worst Nightmare events.
I’ve lived through so many tabloid-worthy crises that I should have a PhD in preparing for, walking through and recovering from life’s train wrecks.
Find joy and peace in life’s storms.
Thankfully, I am blessed that God has brought me, or more accurately dragged me kicking and screaming, to the point that I finally know better how to find joy and peace in life’s storms.
Just as importantly, I have learned how to enjoy life in between the trials because, let’s face it, storms are a part of life. That is why learning to find and celebrate every opportunity for joy in life is Essential!
My friend and I were talking today about how we have finally learned that during life’s storms the secret to peace and joy is often doing the opposite of what we intuitively think we should. (She, by the way, has also faced amazing loss and challenges in her life.)
Be Dependent on God
Ok, how many of us have been taught that it is good to be dependent on anyone or anything? Dependent is not something that most people want to become. It’s almost a dirty word.
When I think of who we are encouraged to be in our culture, I think of words like – Independent, Responsible, Self-sufficient, Self-made, Unstoppable.
That was the person I wanted to be, and there is a place for these character traits, but it’s not in our relationship with God. This is the one place where we are called to be childlike forever.
Instead of shouldering our own burdens, we are asked to lay them at Jesus’ feet and trust that He’s got it. We are told to rely on Him.
And instead of hearing “You made your bed, now lie in it,” we experience Grace – God’s unmerited favor – and learn the true meaning of unconditional love and forgiveness.
Once we experience this supernatural love and grace, it’s much easier to feel peace and joy in the midst of life’s challenges.
Relinquish Control to God
Once again, what independent, responsible adult wants to relinquish the remote control much less control in any critical area of life?
Many of us who have been brought up to have a relationship with God may think when we hear this that it makes sense. After all, He’s the all-powerful Creator of the universe!
But when we’ve done all we can do and there is truly no human hope in sight, instinct says hit the panic button and try to get control of the situation in any way we can. All the while God is saying, “Do not fear.” “Be STILL and know that I am God.”
The moral of the story is that God is always right. The right, effective response is praying, doing what has to be done, waiting on God for everything else, and trusting Him.
Staying calm and focused on God and His immeasurable Love and Grace may require energy, but it will be energy that produces a positive outcome of peace and joy.
Trying to retain control in life is like swimming upstream. We may think we are capable when the current it gentle, but when we hit the raging rapids, we will quickly fail in our own strength.
And trying to take life on our own or trying to take the lead and leave God in the dust only leads to exhaustion and ultimately crisis.
Peace and joy can be found when we give up trying to swim the river on our own, take God’s hand and climb into His boat. Then, we are no longer fighting the current but have caught the flow of God’s amazing adventure for us.
Kathleen Gawlik received her BA in English and MA in counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She completed her ICF-approved training as a Christian Coach through Christian Coach Institute and founded Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC. She now helps women weather the storms of life and find their value, unique purpose, and peace as Christ’s Beloved. She is a Christian Coach, Counselor, Consultant and Motivational Speaker.