This is what if feels like when God wraps you up in His consuming love!
Life hands us all pause and we have two choices.
Breathe in life-giving oxygen.
Refuse to surrender and forfeit the opportunity for God to do the miraculous.
Like breathing in and breathing out.
This is where faith begins.
In the middle of the hardest days of our lives~ That sorrowful, numbing blow to the chest that takes everything you know, have known. and implodes with the weight as your soul is suspended timeless. Breathless. That is until life reminds you to breathe when you feel you it will never be possible to EVER breathe again.
The police officer at the door, the frantic phone call from a family member, words like tumor, cancer, treatment, prognosis, no cure. The life-altering moment that shatters every inch of your ability to grasp words like death, divorce, we have done all that we can do, financial devastation, loss of a job, you make too much money to get any assistance, a barren womb, abuse, broken relationships, abandonment, a family divided, suicide, and words that are truths we experience so very real but we can’t fully prepare for.
We have to fight to be purposeful!
While there are always things that you need to get done, right? This weekend Monty and I purposefully checked off a few things that in all honesty were way down the list. Instead of laboring around the house, we chose to check on our little camper on Rocky Creek in Union Grove and get opened up for the season. A small detour was a much needed view before the coming weeks and months of travel for ALL the good and right reasons.
Truthfully- he and I needed to hit the pause button. Well, there is actually a 200 year old oak tree that decided a couple years ago to fall across the creek. Thankfully the wind blew it in the opposite direction of our camper.
Arrrgghh that old oak tree has become our arch nemesis and at the same time “group therapy” in the middle of one of most special places we have ever known. Our little spot at “The Mill” as locals call it has brought so much joy to our hearts. Family time. Respite. A place for refreshing. A blessing larger than we could have ever imagined.
We were giddy for sunshine and the great outdoors. The weather. Oh my the most beautiful weekend. We had accomplished most everything on our “list” by mid-Saturday and had so much fun in the process.
Well, that is until my friend and I went up to throw together a little lunch. Grill on, food prepped and then an agonizing scream from the creek. I knew immediately that it was Monty. The shrill pitch of his scream took my breath and almost sent me to my knees.
We both dropped everything and ran down the stairs to the creek. After we had gone up to the deck, Monty had wandered back upstream to grab a few rogue limbs. The creek water has been quite high this spring. Because of that, it had shifted rocks and the very character of its depth and width have changed. Sandy high spots and deeper pockets of water in places where they had not been.
After grabbing the branches and heading back downstream, he stepped into a huge hole and the stronger than usual current pulled him down and immediately filled his wading boots. The water was so cold it took his breath and for a minute he could not get up. His head was never under water but the moment he could breathe, he screamed for help. So thankful that he did not hit his head and get knocked out.
We made it to where he was just as he was staggering to stand up from what we would soon learn was his 3RD fall. 😳😳😳
Once he went down it stunned him, he got up, fell backwards AGAIN. He got up, leaned forward and then because his waders were full of water went headfirst. We arrived just in time to see his hat floating ahead of him. I would have laughed but it was soooo not funny. He finally made his way toward us and got up out of the creek.
While we have always had a safety rule that he is not allowed to work in the water, have his chainsaw or work on the tree without two people there. Uhm ✔️ There were 3 of us there. This was an unexpected “pause” and a reminder just how differently this could have turned out.
Needless to say, he is ok but all I can remember is the way my chest felt the weight of his scream, my heart dropped in an instant and I willed myself to breathe for what I might find.
The same weight of fear that swept over me throughout my life when I have received the unexpected, deafening words spoken.
It took a little while before I saw his body and mind shake off this moment. It has weighed on his heart too. So- you cannot say that I said this but it was equally scary for him! In time, we finally surrendered the rhythm of our souls to breathe in and out again but it has caused me moments of unrest even today. One small incident can turn in a moment and become a random accident with huge consequences.
We have counted the gifts more intentionally today. Water lapping over the creek rocks awakened us this morning with such comforting ripples just outside of our window. Tonight the sunset from our front porch was a beautiful day’s ending and a gift.
Friend- I am not sure what circumstances you are wrangling through today but I am keenly aware that people everywhere are hurting. Their yesterdays did not end as well as did ours. I pray I never forget that all around us daily are life-altering diagnosis’s, loneliness and isolation in someone else’s heart, loss that has changed lives forever and to always, always, always give thanks even in the middle of the hardest things.
Real faith and trust is built and written like DNA into the fabric of our souls by our Heavenly Father when we can surrender to the rhythm of who HE is, what HE is doing and how HE is bringing us through.
In this moment, no matter where you are. In a car (don’t close your eyes), outside, inside, by a hospital bed, giving thanks for a sunset, making plans for tomorrow, washing clothes, checking off the list (and like me- transferring it to be done tomorrow. Do you do that too? I get it.), procrastinating, praying that the kids will stop fighting, praying by the bed of your child, weary, tired- then get back up again or preparing for a beautiful days end…
Surrender: Right. Where. You. Are.
In the sacred few moments ahead of you… You’ve got time. You HAVE to MAKE the time for pause.
Close you eyes.
Breathe in as much air as your lungs can possibly hold and then breathe in some more.
Exhale until every bit of breath has escaped and left your entire being.
Now start slowly breathing in and allow God to blow IN the warmth of life as He fills you up with HIS love. Take in that moment and find every little part of who HE is- the great I AM- take it fully all the way in.
Then allow God’s love to blow freely and fully into the next beautiful moments of living.
Breathing out and breathing in. Yep. It makes a difference when we consider every little IMPORTANT part of living- breathing.
It all started in the garden- when God made man from the dirt and then breathed LIFE into Adam. The gift of God is ours to take hold of and it is a choice.
Sweet friend~ Just so that you know this tonight. Just in case you are wondering. Beautiful LIFE.
NO MORE WANDERING.
You are loved more than words will ever be able to paint. God’s love letter to you- The Bible is the way, the truth, the life. With the fullness of God’s great desire for creation, relationship and the fight for YOU through the gift of His Son Jesus, He is redeeming the moments of chaos as we speak.
Practice breathing every part of yourself OUT in order to breathe fuller, deeper, longer, enduring, the sweet breath of life that can only come through a relationship with the Father.
You and I both know there have been days, will be days and until heaven we will forever breathe in because of our desperate need of God’s love that wraps us up tight and secure…. until heaven.
Do not be afraid to breath out the emptying of your soul so that the fullness of HIM can sustain you when life’s hard days happen.
HIS LOVE IS ENOUGH~
Breathing out and breathing in alongside of you friend. We are one when we belong to Jesus. ✌️