Peace is not the absence of chaos but the presence of a Person.

As I sit down to write this, I am aware of the chaos surrounding my life. Numerous things left unfinished, amidst the storm of sickness ravaging my little family. I have a hard time finding peace throughout my day, especially when it seems like life is constantly bombarding me from every angle.

I have spent the better part of my life attempting to pursue peace despite the storms. I’ve attempted this in three ways; Numbing, Escaping and Changing my Circumstances. I’ve numbed out with Netflix, social media, or stuffing my face. I’ve chosen to escape, by running away from difficult relationships, or life altogether. I’ve also spent a great deal of energy fighting to change my circumstances. As an avid planner, I make action plans, filled with to-dos to fix the problems around me.

Although none of these coping mechanisms are inherently wrong, the fact that I lived for the next vacation to escape, or the next night alone to binge watch and numb my anxious heart became unhealthy.

I had forgotten (and honestly, still do at times), that the one who is Peace was inviting me into continued relationship and dialogue with Him. If the fruit of the Spirit includes peace, then His presence must have Peace. It doesn’t mean that the storms around me cease to exist, rather my focus shifts to relentlessly pursue His Presence. I want more than a religion, but a relationship in which I hear His heart in the midst of storms. I want to hear Him speak identity over me as I move from one crisis to the next. I am slowly learning the truth that Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake me in the midst of my chaos. I need to actively trust and declare that to be true. As I pursue His presence, my atmosphere begins to shift. When I’m living Loved, (in true heart connection with Holy Spirit), I’m living in peace.

As we walk through life, may I encourage you to pursue Peace (not the circumstance, the person). May we choose like Mary, to sit at the feet of the one who embodies peace. When the storms of life become too much, may we be people who step out of our busyness and sit in the Presence of the Prince of Peace.

Tryphena Perumalla-Gagnon is a second Generation Indian-Canadian. Tryphena was born in Scarborough, and raised in a Home with two educators. She graduated from York University (Sociology and Education) in 2010, became a teacher and worked for numerous years in the TDSB. Tryphena is married to a gorgeous French Canadian – Marc, and together they have two beautiful children. In 2012, they felt called to plant a church together in Toronto and recently God has moved them to Guelph Ontario as Marc accepted a role as a teaching pastor there. Tryphena has a heart to help people step into the fullness of their calling and destiny by encountering the presence of God in their day to day life.