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How I found (and kept) peace.
There is a very practical way to get peace and joy. And I think a lot of people think that peace and joy are fleeting emotions tied to circumstances or big life events. That’s what I had always thought… without really consciously thinking that… I was soooo wrong.
A few years ago, when I started to pursue peace and joy… but especially peace very intentionally, something amazing happened!
Quick background so you know where I was at vs where I am now….
I was struggling with depression and anxiety. So many awesome things were happening in my life. We were building our house, making beautiful jewelry, enjoying success with my store, spending a lot of time with my young first born son, I had really close friends. I mean in retrospect externally, I really had it all.
But I was depressed. I kept thinking it would lift, it would lift if this happened or that happened. And eventually I was actually ministering and praying for someone else concerning the exact same thing I was struggling with. And I felt the Lord tell me “Paula, if you follow your own advice that you are giving to this young woman, your anxiety will leave you.”
So I got serious about taking my own advice and I NEVER looked back. I realized right away… in my mind was where it started and that’s where I was going wrong. A lot of my thoughts were negative. I was always dwelling on the things that could go wrong or the things that I fear. And it was making me anxious which led to the depression. And I was also wrongly thinking that my emotions and thoughts could not be controlled.
Let me just quickly say… things can and will go wrong in life. But you don’t have to dwell on the possibilities of scary situations or pain that could come to your life…
Also, those fears might not go away. But again…. not thinking about them and assuming everything is going to go pretty good is really the key.
When I started to think properly and not constantly assume that something bad is going to happen…. that’s when depression lifted. Anxiety left me.
What happened was… I was listening to and reading a lot of Joyce Meyer. She is constantly talking about how to get peace and joy. One of the tools that she uses is scriptures and meditating on those scriptures. This is so that you have a place to direct your thoughts when they start to get all crazy. You can’t just be like “Don’t think that… don’t think that!” You have to direct them somewhere.
SO that’s what I did. This took me a lot of discipline and a lot of reworking. I actually find that I am currently having to re-visit some of these things. I need to meditate on what is true and not allow things that are untrue or just of lesser value to hijack my thought life. So many people think they can’t control their thoughts. I was one of them… but I have now learned otherwise and I am so so grateful.
So this is really really simple. When I notice anxiety creeping back in… I take the time to stop and look at what I have been thinking about. And then I start to insert positive thoughts and scriptures that are in my arsenal. One of my favorites is….
“For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 TPT
I am obviously coming from a very faith based stand on this. Because my reality has been that I can’t have peace without Jesus. Maybe some people have been able to have that but honestly, I haven’t met anyone like that. I don’t know how to have peace aside from the teachings of Jesus and having relationship with him. So if you want peace outside of that… I might not be your girl. Love you all the same, though.
One of the biggest tools that I have used is called Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers. This book teaches you how to take those negative thoughts captive so they don’t turn into habits or mindsets. You can actually take hold of your thoughts and rewire the pathways in your mind to solve problems.
Pretty soon as you do that again again and again….. I can’t stress for you enough to have consistency with this. If you fail one day, just get up the next morning and keep working on taking those thoughts captive. One day of failure doesn’t matter, as long as you keep after it! Keep practicing this and I promise you… your thoughts will change which will change your outlook and your emotions and literally your life.
There’s always hope to be peaceful. even if you fail a couple days… it doesn’t mean that you failed entirely. You can just keep getting up as many times as you need. But just keep getting back up… you know what I mean?
Even though this feels like it’s a long road….use my life as a case study! I promise you this works… and it will bring peace and joy to your life. You can read all the self help books in the world… they are good and I love them and read a lot of them… but nothing really has helped transform my whole life like Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind. So if you want more peace and joy in your life… you need to get this book.
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