Lenten Devotion, Saturday, March 13, 2021: By Dr. Larissa Fletcher

LENTEN DEVOTION 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Peace that Passes Understanding
By Dr. Larissa Fletcher

I read all these “uplifting” posts about how people are finding the “silver linings” in 2020/2021. Some have binge watched shows, or learned a new hobby, or baked bread, or spent lots of quality time with their core family (and enjoyed it!). This has NOT been my experience.

I had to go to work every day, and work was busier than ever. A few months into the pandemic, our salaries were cut system wide which meant I had to pick up extra shifts and work MORE to bring home my regular salary. My oldest started virtual kindergarten – and navigating virtual school with a five year old while working full time and overtime while being the only parent was DIFFICULT (which is being put mildly). 

My kids are typical and get irrationally upset at small things like their crayons breaking or running out of screen time. I will shake my head and think aloud “you need some perspective!” I took time to embrace perspective in the weeks prior to turning 40 at the end of 2020. I reflected on all the things I had done during my 30s. I got engaged and married my first husband. We had our first child after an infertility journey. I survived my husband’s stage IV diagnosis and his subsequent death. I had our second child on my own almost two years after his death (thank you infertility journey which made this possible). I met my now fiancé and got engaged just weeks before turning 40. 

My faith was really tested when two of my closest (non-SMBC) girlfriends had a close family member die by suicide early this year. I hugged them and listened to their anguish and their palpable grief and cried with them. I don’t have answers for either of them. It was that same week I got an email from the Discipleship team asking me to write this very article about how God is working a miracle in my life – and I LAUGHED – and started to email back and say “thanks, but no thanks” – but I didn’t. 

The next morning on the way to daycare my youngest Elliana Joy asked me to play HER SONGS – which essentially is a playlist of every song that has the word “Joy” in it. We got to the song “I’ve got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart...” In the song the verse played: “I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart.” I stopped, and listened, and teared up because I had my answer. 

I’m now forty and like my five and two year olds I don’t have the full picture – but I KNOW Someone who does. I was reminded that God has never left me or forsaken me. I’ve been through tough times and God never left my side. He won’t leave my two closest friends’ sides either. I don’t have all the answers – and I’m not supposed to – but I KNOW who HAS been there and I can have the peace that passes understanding way down in my heart.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:5b–7

About the Author
Larissa Fletcher is a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital. She is the mother of Emma Grace and Elliana Joy and is engaged to SMBC member Nathan Moeller. The two plan to get married this summer and will have a blended family of three little girls–Kinley (6), Emma (5), & Ellie (2). 

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