As the anniversary was approaching I felt nervous and knew that the day was going to hit me hard. I woke up that morning and felt so emotional. I thought about what was happening a year previously, it had just started out like any ordinary day. I could feel the emotions rising and for some reason, I suddenly knew what I had to do, I had to go back to the place where it all happened. Off I drove in my car, trembling.
It was a safe, busy, place but as I walked through the crowds I was shaking and finding it hard to catch my breath. I reached the spot and stood there with tears in my eyes and I thought ‘Now what?’ I stepped back and leant against the wall, busy people passing unaware of how fast my heart was beating.
As I stood there in the place that brings back so many painful memories, all that was left for me to do was pray. I stood there and gave all those painful memories and all those fears to God. My prayer was so simple: ‘Please give me peace God’. I held those words in my mind for many minutes and asked Him for His help. Incredibly the tears didn’t fall, my heart gently returned to a regular beat and slowly the turmoil that I felt inside seemed to calm, like a stormy sea becoming still.
As I wandered slowly back to my car, I began to share with God, just the way I would share with a friend ‘God, you know how I’ve been feeling, you’ve seen it all. Please release me from this fear, and this hurt, please ease this pain. I don’t want to feel so churned up by it all the time.’ As I moved through the crowds I felt a weight lift from me, from my heart and my mind. I felt more peaceful, and for that, I give thanks to God.
When we experience pain and trauma it can play over and over, causing us to live in a state of anxiety and fear. But I believe that God wants us to live free from fear and in a state of peace, in fact, He promises to give us peace. Jesus said ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
He offers us a lasting peace, unlike anything this world can offer. THIS peace moves to the very heart of us and can heal that trauma and free us from pain.
Is there something that has been holding you, haunting you, hurting you? Speak to God, the way you’d speak to a friend – He knows you and what you’ve been going through, but on your invitation, He promises to give you peace and calm that storm within you.