ADVENT21: Testimony on Peace

by Nikki Pereira, illustration by Annemarie Lim

“Peace be still

Say the word and I will

Set my feet upon the sea

Till I’m dancing in the deep

Peace be still

You are here so it is well

Even when my eyes can’t see

I will trust the voice that speaks

Peace peace over me”  – Peace Be Still by Lauren Daigle and The Belonging Co

The chorus of this song so aptly describes what the peace of Christ looks like to me.

Amidst a Season of Change

A few months ago, I found myself in a season where many changes were taking place in my life. I had just started on a new job, and at the same time was invited to discern, and eventually stepped up as a shepherd in my community.

“Why me, Jesus?”

While taking on new roles and responsibilities at work and in the community,  I began to feel overwhelmed. I started to question Jesus’ plans for me in this season. “Why me, Jesus? Are you sure this is for me?” – were the thoughts that often came to mind. Along with the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt like I had been thrown into the deep to figure out how to swim on my own. My heart and mind were constantly filled with anxiety and it frustrated me greatly as I could not clearly articulate my struggles. Admittedly, I allowed  the enemy’s lies and the uncertainty amidst this season of newness and change to steal my peace.

Like Peter… Sinking into the Deep

Taking my struggles to prayer with the Lord, He revealed to me my fear of failure and of uncertainty that had been weighing me down. These fears that I carried in my heart were barriers that prevented me from experiencing the peace of Christ, and led me to constantly doubt God’s goodness. I felt very much like Peter, hopeless and sinking into the deep waters of despair as I took my eyes off Jesus who was calling me to Him. Yet, the Lord never withdrew His hand from saving me and pulling me out of the water.

The Lord’s Invitation

As the Lord continued to draw me to Himself in prayer, He invited me to be still with Him and continued to assure me of His presence. In re-learning again how to be still with the Lord, I was prompted to make more a conscious effort in my day to day routine to carve out pockets of space and time to be with the Lord. This meant making the effort to pray consistently throughout the day, and not just in the “spare time” I had before work or at the end of the day. Instead, I decided to commit to praying Lauds, the morning prayer of the Divine Office, before starting work each day and praying the rosary at lunch after my meal. With each day that passed, the Lord continued to anchor and root me in prayer and in His Word. Over time, my heart and mind re-learnt again to rest in Christ, and in the assurance that He is with me.

Fullness of God’s Peace

As I look back on this season, I see more clearly now how the Lord desired to give me the fullness of His peace. The peace of Christ is not just a momentary pause in my struggles and fears, but the assurance of God’s goodness and presence that follows me no matter where I go. Even though my eyes cannot see past the uncertainty of change, I know now that I can truly trust the voice that says to me, “Peace, be still.”

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