Jul 1, 2015

Peace vs. Relief, Part 1

Years ago I had a house to sell and the Lord told me to "wait." I put up a "for sale by owner" sign, did a few open houses (I drove from Raleigh to Maryland to show it on weekends), and then did nothing. As it sat for months, I had complete peace about the lack of activity. But others counseled me to get a realtor and just get it sold, if for no other reason than to stop making house payments.

As time went on and God stayed silent, I started to get restless. When I prayed, I still had peace about doing nothing. But then I allowed my logical, analytical mind to take over.

The advice from others – who also said they had prayed about it – was practical and reasonable, so I hired a realtor. Then another realtor when the first didn’t produce results after almost six months. With both, I had zero showings. Zero.  

Eventually the second realtor suggested putting the house up for auction. As I thought about it and prayed (aka, explained to God why this was a good thing), I felt a huge relief that maybe I’d finally sell the house and be done with the whole process. Others agreed, so the auction was a go.

The house sold for a ridiculous price, and I immediately regretted my decision. I realized my peace was gone, and the relief I felt had also vanished, crowded out by second-guessing and remorse that plagued my mind. But hey, no more house payments! I kept trying to talk myself into believing it was the right thing, and justifying my decision with logical, practical reasons. I continued to pray / explain my position to God.

But nothing brought back my peace. 

Here’s an excerpt from my book, Intentional Fitness, on peace:
From [many examples in my life], I’ve learned that one of the most certain indicators that we are not walking in God’s will and with His guidance is when we don’t have His peace—the  peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I’m not talking about a feeling, but a deep down “knowing” from the Holy Spirit that you are in complete agreement with God and with what He wants for you at that moment. You may feel anxious, nervous, or even a bit afraid, but deep down you know that it’s what God wants you to do.

I lost my peace because I allowed logic, reasoning, and the opinions of others to be my guide instead of obeying Jesus. I went my own way. I was really, really sorry, and confessed that to God every day, sometimes in tears. My peace started to return as I received His forgiveness…although I had no idea what to do next.

Thankfully, the story has a great ending because God is amazing. 

To continue reading, click here for Part 2.


  1. Thanks for sharing so honestly. This difference is quite poignant and fits right in with my message for Sunday. :)

    1. Thank you, Tina! Part 2 coming..stay tuned!

  2. And, Tina, I love hearing how God is speaking the same thing across His body. Underlines the importance of the message.

  3. Boy, can I ever relate to this, Mary! Many a time, I set out on my version of what I believed God wanted me to do, only to end up an emotional wreck. At first I repented of the action I'd taken but still found little peace. Only when I realized that I needed to repent of my stubborn will did I find rest. My actions reflected the state of my heart and my heart needed healing. Once I surrendered to that, God restored my joy and peace.

  4. Yes, Sherry...lots of emotions that have worn me out before I get to the surrender part and I'm ready to repent...and sometimes lots of head beating against the wall trying to make a way. He is so patient with us!


Thank you for your G-rated comments!