“Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow”
Julie Conway Sword of Gainesville, FL, USA
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. -Isaiah 54:10
It was the fall of 2003, and an unexpected phone call alerted me that my oldest son, Steve, had just experienced a seizure. Soon after, he underwent surgery to remove a glia blastoma brain tumor. The surgeon said that his earthly time might be short. Weekly, family and friends spent time with Steve, in case he might have another seizure. Often he asked for the elders to pray for him.
During most of the last seven weeks, Steve and I prayed, played games, cooked fantastically spicy meals, and laughed over the “Three Stooges.” When another seizure resulted in a period of hospitalization, Steve finally insisted, “Take me home,” where he peacefully passed in April 2004.
When I returned home, church members and friends comforted me. However, one person counseled me otherwise: “You’ll never get over the passing of your son, Julie.” After some deep prayerful thought, I replied, “Has God changed? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Doctrine and Covenants 165:6c says, “And, always remember, the way of suffering love that leads to the cross also leads to resurrection and everlasting life in Christ’s eternal community of oneness and peace. Trust in this promise.” I knew that God had guided me through the passing of my husband some years earlier; I felt sure that in time, God would see me through this life-changing transition, too.
Now, during this pandemic period, when so many have and are living through passing on times, we are assured: “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).
“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).
Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.
What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.