What to Do When Everything Comes Undone

By Anna Fothergill

Photo by Janelle Pol

Photo by Janelle Pol

What image do angels conjure up for you? Perhaps the classic picture of impossibly beautiful people in white robes, floating effortlessly on clouds, plucking harps, halos ablaze, and enviably untroubled, unlike us mere humans.

How nice to be a storybook celestial being, so at peace with everything. Much more zen than being an overbooked, overworked, frantic New York girl, swinging at life’s curve balls and trying to keep all the plates spinning.

The last few weeks I had not been feeling peaceful in any sense of the word. With much to do, as I checked off one thing, seven more would pop up, like a hydra to-do list: texts to answer, friends to make, work projects to conquer, exercise to struggle through. As I dropped plate after plate, the chaos in my mind grew. I scrambled to find that moment of ‘peace’ where everything would be done with no more to do. Ever!

Who am I to write about finding inner peace in this life, when I can’t even find time to do laundry?

WHEN THE CHAOS COMES TO A HEAD

I laid awake one night, my frantic mind scrolling through all the things waging war for my attention. I couldn’t understand why I was in this turmoil, because these weren’t new problems. Suddenly, it all became too much. I burst into tears and did the one thing I could do at 1:00 a.m. I reached for my- Bible, recently neglected until this point, and turned to Psalm 34. The words leapt out at me:

Make “peace” your life motto. Practice being at peace with everyone. The Lord sees all we do; he watches over his friends day and night. His godly ones receive the answers they seek whenever they cry out to him.

In the chaos and unrest — the distinct lack of peace I had been feeling — I had not been going to the One who, the Bible teaches, is the source of true peace: a man described as the Prince of Peace; Jesus.

GOING TO THE SOURCE OF TRUE PEACE

Peace is not simply a destination of tranquility we reach once everything is done. True peace remains even when the storms of life lash against us.

I had unanchored myself from the source of peace, so no wonder I felt like I was drowning. As I surrendered all my striving to God, an unexplainable peace flooded over me. I understood a loving God cared for me. The problems of tomorrow had not changed, but my perspective had. I finally fell into a restful sleep. The challenges of the next morning miraculously diminished, because I did not face them alone.

That night — I kid you not — I dreamed two angels appeared and prayed over me. I awoke feeling renewed, centered, and you guessed it — peaceful.  

Do you need more than peace and quiet, and long for a true and lasting peace? How do you practice being at peace? Make it a daily choice to believe, no matter what, there is a loving God who is more than equipped to handle your struggles. Take your striving to him, and he will give you a peace that outstrips stress.


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Anna is British born, South African raised and 6 months into becoming a New Yorker. She currently works as a Visual Merchandiser for British retailer The White Company and resides in Hell’s Kitchen. She enjoys cupcakes, kickboxing and colourful earrings.