Second Week of Advent – Peace

Matthew 3:1-17 & Isaiah 11:1-10

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

On the 27th of November 2019, I received a phone call from my mom. This was abnormal, as the time difference between South Africa and America is more difficult of a concept for Americans living in America, than Americans living in SA, understandably so. So, as I see that my mom is phoning, I think this is either serious or a butt dial. It was more serious than I could have imagined. My mom was calling me to share the news that she has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. I had no idea at the time, just how serious of a diagnosis this would turn out to be.  – peace of God-

With that call, my cute little family (Jay and Jensen) and my large, just as cute family (LIV Lanseria) gave me, at the time, 2 ½-year-old Jensen, the blessing to spend three whole months with my mom while she was still well-ish. My mom went from using a walker in the first week of December to being confined to a wheelchair and losing her ability to speak by March. Jensen and I took full advantage of the extremely difficult circumstance of this quick deterioration with daily trips out and about, beach trips, and mostly just enjoying life together. The illness did not shadow us in our time; we felt the present and accepted it for the gift it was to us.  – peace of God-

The season following my mom and I’s first goodbye (which I assumed would be my last) in March 2020, it was challenging to “pray and petition with thanksgiving” for an incurable disease. It was hard to present my request for a miracle to God. I wanted to believe it could happen. In December 2020, I received a call from my brother, saying, “Get home; she doesn’t have long.” There was a short break in the lockdown regulations of COVID, so I came to spend my last month with my mom. This time, my mom and I simply enjoyed each other’s company as the disease had taken everything from her physically. She could still smile, be the strongest human I know, and still LOVE. – peace of God-

I didn’t stop praying for a miracle of my mom’s physical healing until July 14th, 2021, when I received another rare and very serious phone call from my mom’s husband that my mom had battled her last day.  It took me a year to truly grieve my mom’s passing, the hurt that she wasn’t physically healed, the sadness associated with loss… but it took me a year to trust in God again. Because I could not truly trust God, there was a hole in my heart where peace used to be. On July 14th, 2022, I was able to dedicate the day to surrendering and finding that peace that comes in the restoration of the joy of my salvation (Psalm 51). When I truly grieved and healed, when I took time to stop… listen… trust… I felt the hole be filled with peace again. – peace of God-

I am reminded in this advent season to stop, listen, trust, and heal with the peace promised to me in Christ Jesus.  The world’s peace is based on the world’s thinking.. up and down, selfish, fleeting, and full of holes. The peace of God is steadfast, long-suffering, overshadowing the world’s anxieties, big or small. This is the peace I am reminded of and celebrating this Advent season. I pray for this peace over all those hearing my story of peace. May His Kingdom come into all our hearts, and may our hearts and mind feel guarded by the one who Loves us to our core.

– Megan Strydom

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This