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John 2:13-22

My husband and I have been hesitant in sharing what has been going on in our life lately with anyone outside of our immediate trust circle. I mean we waited to share things with our parents until we couldn’t not tell them anything anymore. But now the stars have aligned, church leadership needed a last minute devotional, and here I am smack dab in the middle of my own #messypeace story.

Our oldest child has a lump on his neck. Will, being a physician, noticed this lump around October and has been monitoring it without worrying me with it. This past month, he noticed it had grown to a size that concerned him, so off to the doctor we went. During this visit, I racked my brain to answer questions about symptoms, habits, anything that was out of the ordinary or had become consistent. I wasn’t really worried because Will often suffers from too much knowledge. But with my family’s health history, let’s just be safe. I mean, we have great insurance; put it to work. We had tests ran, blood work, xrays, ultrasound, etc… and everything started coming back inconclusive. This result could mean lymphoma, but the lack of this evidence means it could all still be nothing.

The last few weeks I’ve had ample opportunity to crumple, to rage at God, to be so overcome with frustration that I can’t function. According to the scripture, overturning tables isn’t out of the question when you ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” But all my furniture is still intact, at least as well as it can be with toddlers. During these same weeks I’ve been planning music for the contemporary worship services and singing this one song on repeat, partially to learn it, but also cause it was just stuck in my head. It isn’t especially catchy, but there it was, morning, noon, night. I would find myself trying to put the kids down to sleep, and I couldn’t find the tune to the lullabies I sing them every night because this song was in stereophonic inside my head. I didn’t fight it. I just kept letting it play, because I obviously had no control over it anyway but, I also wasn’t freaking out when I should be. I’ve included a link

for you to listen to it, but the first verse and chorus is as follows:

“It's not the news that any of us hoped that we would hear. It's not the road we would have chosen, no. The only thing that we can see is darkness up ahead, But You're asking us to lay our worry down and sing a song instead.

And I didn't know I'd find You here in the middle of my deepest fear, but You are drawing near. You are overwhelming me, with peace. So I'll lift my voice and sing. You're gonna carry us through everything. You are drawing near. You're overwhelming all my fears, with peace”

I realize I’ve been at peace, not because there’s nothing to worry about, not because I even have the faith or the trust that God will get us through this. I have just been thoroughly overwhelmed by peace. In the middle of this mess, figurative and literal (you should see my house). In the middle of the deepest fear I didn’t even know I had until confronted with it, I am literally singing instead. In this moment, my doubts, my fears, my humanity all have been flooded by this overwhelming peace. And I can’t fight it. I can’t control it, which lends another level of anxiety to a control freak like myself. All I can do is sit in the anxiety and peace together.

- Elyse Heise plays the role of trophy wife on occasion, master of peanut butter and jelly for two hungry toddlers, and self-proclaimed professional philanthropist. A 4th gen Jones Methodist, she serves as the Communications director and lends vocals to the Praise team.

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