WOMEN in RECOVERY – A Peaceful Heart, Rosemary J. Gwaltney

A peaceful heart is a FULL-FILLED heart;

filled with LOVE.


a PEACE-full Heart

It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.

It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.


Rosemary J. Gwaltney shares …


“Particularly while going through a major life change, it is much too easy to worry, fret, and grieve. I know that God desires for me to live in peace. Yet it is in my nature to keep coming back to negative things, to chew on them some more, like a dog with a bone. But even stronger than that part, I also have a cheerful nature. Raising my children was the most wonderful thing I had ever experienced. I need to be needed. Being needed makes me happy. God must have put me together with that in the middle.

Having my children grow up, and leave home should have been something I was used to. After all, my older children who were able, had already moved away, gone to college, and were busy with their own lives. I was a bereaved mother as well. But when my younger children trickled away, suddenly I had the empty nest syndrome, in gigantic proportions. Within only a few short years, I found myself with only seven adult disabled children still home. Only two needed any special care from me. The others had many independent skills, and were busy learning more. They were busy with their own projects and interests. The house was too quiet. I felt like no one needed me any more, compared to all my adult life before. I felt as though I had become helpless and useless. I loved life the way it had been. I wasn’t done yet, raising children! But then, I guess I was, after all, because the time came when they were gone. Then I worried about all the things I might have done differently in my life; things I could have done to make things better. My youngest ones were gone. Had I done my best? Well, many times yes. But then no, I could see and remember many mistakes. Yet I couldn’t go back and change a thing. Time only moves forward. I felt tormented at times, by these thoughts. But then I began to think about the command of Jesus, not to let my heart be troubled.

* Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth , give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Gradually, I came to understand that this feeling of uselessness and worthlessness is of the enemy, and is like a black hole. It can spiral you right into the center of it, and has the potential of keeping you from finding, and following God’s NEW plans for you. If you let it suck you in, the farther in you get, the harder you have to struggle to get out. I began to fight against it, spending much more time with my Heavenly Father, asking Him to show me what He would have me do in the present, now that my time was so free, and my previous calling had grown very small. I told Him I still wanted to be of use to Him, to do what pleased Him, but I wasn’t sure what my new path was supposed to be. I believe He guided me to begin writing down the things He has taught me through all these years. The more I wrote, the more peace I experienced. I began to hope that in time, these writings might help others somewhere, and that this was perhaps at least a small calling.

* Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

For many months, I experienced a great peace. I filled the quietness of the house with Christian music, and the emptiness of my lonely heart with all the things God had taught me, shown me, and given me, through all the years. I wrote and wrote and wrote, about my children, and all the blessings God had given my family, during all those years when I was a single mother. God gave me enormous strength during those years, and for the most part, our family was very happy, and we had much peace.

* The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

Then there came a lull in my writing, and right away, I felt lonely again, and self pity came strolling by, walking right in when I wasn’t looking, and brought tears again. It didn’t take much time, though, to realize that this was the enemy once more, and not God’s will. I am where He wants me to be. I am doing what He wants me to do, the best I can. Then God brought this verse to my mind:

* And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:15

What an excellent verse! Just a few words, but I believe that God highlighted them in my spirit, just for this time. These words are not a request. This is a command. LET the peace of God rule in your hearts means we are NOT to allow misery and worry to rule in our hearts.So I went to the Lord, and asked Him to rid me of the evil, hateful, destructive thoughts of uselessness and self pity Satan was tempting me with. And there came His promise:

* And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet. Romans 16:20

A major change is often a very stressful time. But it is God’s will, for you to walk with Him, right through the middle of it, a day at a time, or a minute at a time. He will give you the strength to get through to the other side, where a new day awaits, and new joys are promised. He WILL lead you through the miry clay, and set your feet upon a rock. He WILL give you a new song. The Bible says so. Just let His peace rule in your heart. His peace does pass all human understanding, but He can and will give it, if you ask Him.“

* And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7


2004 Rosemary Gwaltney


PHOTO, Deborah Gilchrist
A Peaceful Heart, Rosemary J. Gwaltney

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