Creating An Atmosphere Of Peace In Our Home – This is a guest blog post written by Sandra McCollom. Sandra is the author of I Tried Until I Almost Died: From Anxiety and Frustration to Rest and Relaxation (WaterBrook Press, March 2015).
I used to be the queen of creating an atmosphere of anxiety and frustration in my home, but now, by the grace of God, more often than not I am able to create an atmosphere of peace.
What happened? I found out I had a truck-load of fears that were driving my negative reactions toward people and circumstances. There was so much turmoil going on inside me all the time that I would constantly react out of that turmoil.
But thankfully in early January of 2012, God began to show me His great and unconditional love for me. He showed me that He loved me for me, not for what I do. He loved me just because I was His daughter. This revelation of God’s love along with a true understanding of God’s grace completely transformed my life!
Of course, this transformation has taken time. It’s been a journey for sure, but one thing I’ve noticed from the very first day, is the more of God’s love I let into my life, the more fear went out.
1 John 4:18 says,
18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love aturns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear bbrings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. (AMP)
Once I started losing my fears, I also stopped striving to earn my way into God’s good graces and simply began to accept God’s grace on the bad days, as well as the good days.
My family noticed a positive difference in me and in our home. My twin girls were wondering where the old Mom had gone – the one who was often overly-serious and never had much fun.
Interestingly enough, when I began to relax in God’s love my kids did too! I was then able to help my girls track their wrong reactions back to fears in their own lives. For example: one of them was having a bad attitude during Math class. Instead of saying, “Stop it, you just need to stop it,” as I would have previously, I now realized that Starr’s attitude was coming from some kind of fear. I would stop her and say, “What’s wrong Starr? What are you afraid of?” Then we discovered that she was afraid of being inadequate, so we talked about how Jesus is perfectly adequate and that Starr can make the choice to put all of her confidence in Jesus, the perfectly adequate One, to help her understand her Math lesson instead of continuing to focus on her own inadequacies.
This really helped my girls when we started getting to the root of their wrong behaviors. Their confidence went up, up, up. Why? Because their confidence was no longer in themselves and their own ability, but instead it was in Jesus’ ability in them!
My other daughter, Angel, who had previously struggled with lying, has even stopped hiding the truth and has instead been coming to us on her own the last number of months to confess her wrong choices. She was scared to do this before for two reasons: she didn’t know how I was going to react and she did not realize that she was loved by God…unconditionally, even when she made mistakes. Again, when Angel began to let God’s love in, her fears went out.
Us McColloms—we’re not perfect by any means—but we’re certainly enjoying a much greater level of peace in our home than we’ve ever had before. Thank God for the transforming power of His love and grace!
Sandra McCollom is the author of I Tried Until I Almost Died: From Anxiety and Frustration to Rest and Relaxation (WaterBrook Press, March 2015). You can find her online at SandraMcCollom.com.