My Illusion of Peace 


It’s been quite some time since I sat down to write. I took what was to be a brief pause and allowed it to become a hiatus from writing. Maybe it was needed and maybe not. However, in a quick Facebook scan, I saw that I still had time to submit an article for Garden Spices. So now I sit on my MacBook at 2:58 am, hovering over a keyboard after prayer and a losing battle with insomnia. How fitting this issue’s topic is on something I’ve learned to treasure and fight for daily: my mentality and my peace. You see, my mentality and peace work hand in hand. If one is disrupted, so is the other. It shows in everything I do and is a constant fight.

As with so many of us, these last few years have been quite the wild ride:

  1. We moved from Illinois to North Carolina to help with a church plant.
  2. Just 12 short hours after closing on our new home, we learned our second granddaughter was ready to make her appearance.
  3. Three weeks later, we settled into our new home. 

Shortly after this, our youngest daughter was married, but we suddenly lost my dad four days later. This tragedy was immediately followed by my circle of friends all going through life-altering events that left us stunned every time. We coined these as “Shit You Can’t Make Up” moments. Why? Because this was a season of life that evoked more change, stress, and chaos than any of us had experienced in years. 

My mental state and the peace I treasured so were shattered. Some days everything was good, and I had to talk myself out of bed on others. A TON of tears shed more than most who know me would ever believe. Yet I hid behind laughter and put on a brave face because being strong is generally expected of me. My immediate cures for all things mental, prayer, travel, and working out kicked into overdrive as I desperately sought to return to a better headspace. 

Just as I thought I’d regained some form of calm, here comes COVID. COVID was a hard stop and complete game-changer for everyone. It challenged us on every possible level-mental, physical, financial, etc. I mean, talk about life’s disruption and everything else I was managing. Then, WHEW! There is zero preparation for this, and the world stopped.

We could no longer be near each other. Those little things, a simple handshake or hug, had to stop, which was amazingly difficult for me, and I’m not even a tree hugger. I watched families bury loved ones, including several from my family. Parents and grandparents couldn’t be with their children, and I cannot even fathom the domestic violence statistics. These times went completely beyond anything I could ever imagine

With so much craziness going on, I took some time to reflect on my life and realized despite the season of challenges I was in, I needed to acknowledge and embrace that it was JUST a season. This was not my version of normal. But, it was probably the first step in truly understanding how crucial it is to protect myself. I’d lived with zero mental or emotional boundaries, and it had taken its toll.

I had quite the revelation. I spent so much time juggling the things life was throwing at me that I didn’t notice that I never really had peace. Instead, I lived under the illusion of peace while minimizing my mental and emotional needs. As a result, I managed to get lost in my own life. I’d allowed everything and everyone to take priority in my life without noticing. 

Right now, I lay out this challenge to you. As you read this, take some time to reflect. Take a good look at your seasons. What were or are your struggles? Is it possible for you to invoke change and reprioritize yourself? If so, how will you go about it? Don’t know? Well, keep thinking as you are most certainly worthy of living a life filled with all the peace you can handle. 


-Collette Jones

is a retired veteran, mother, young pretty grandma, (“Ask my husband!”), wife, and friend who manages the voices in her head by staying busy, upbeat, and “prayed up.” Follow her writing on ‘Voices from the Bleachers’ on Facebook.


1 Comment

  • Reply July 4, 2022

    Sheila Hayes-Smiley

    Collette, missed your writings. This article has made me do some mental views that had been pushed far far away.

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