Thursday, May 28, 2009

Breathe

How long can you hold your breath before your chest starts to hurt, and your mind starts panicking for air?

For me it is about 15 seconds. That should tell you two things right there - one, I will never be joining the Navy, and two, I need to start amping up my aerobics to increase my lung capacity.

When I was a girl, I would play a little game with myself. I would lay in bed and think of different things, different people I was missing, or maybe a boy I had a crush on. Maybe I would think of a celebrity that was far removed from the life I knew, so far that they didn't even seem real.

And then I would hold my breath and count to 10. In those 10 seconds, I would tell myself, The whole time you are holding your breath, the person you are thinking of, missing, just breathed two times...three times....four....

A little, um....quirky, I know. But somehow just knowing that they were out there, still far away, but breathing exactly at the moment I was thinking of them, made them seem a little closer. A little more real. The fact that I was holding my breath right when they took a breath made for some strange little bond in my mind.

This past year I have been holding my breath. It's been a long year, a very, very long time not to be sucking in any air. Long enough that my chest started to hurt, and then my brain, and then I just wanted to shut down and lie on the couch and not think about any of it. It's the kind of feeling where you know you aren't going to die, but where you mind still goes crazy and you feel like you are trapped in a cave somewhere, claustrophobic, and it's hard to see past your immediate circumstances.

It wasn't just the whole not getting pregnant for two years thing, although that in itself knocked the wind out of me. It was a myriad of other things, like hubby starting his own business and suddenly being plunged into a world of financial stress. Worrying about house payments and bills and food. Stress. Stress. More stress.

So for awhile I quit breathing.

And then I found that sometimes holding your breath is a good place to be. Not fun. Not fun at all, but good.

Because you close your eyes and as your chest starts to hurt, you think about the One you need more than life itself. And in those moments, He is closer to you than you even realize. You feel Him feeling every pain, every fear, ever worry.

And you realize that you are still alive, even though you haven't been breathing for such a long time. You wonder how that's possible, and then you just know.

He's been breathing for you the whole time.

And even though your chest still hurts, and you want it to just be over, you know it's gonna be ok.

Because without Him, any breath that we take really isn't breathing at all.

30 comments:

Cheri said...

You brought tears to my eyes withyour much needed reminder that He never leaves us.

Praying for you.

Wendy said...

Wow. Just, wow. LOVE this post!

Lisa said...

"This is the air I breath...your holy presence living in me" I love that song and its so true what you said. Without Him we are not really breathing at all.

I know with certainty He's got a plan for your life.

Carpoolqueen said...

I think those times when we're out of breath and our chest hurts and our heart is pounding in our ears is when we are acutely aware of HIM and our need for complete reliance on His sovereignty and His power in our life.

Rach@In His Hands said...

Dear friend, you are SO right...HE is always there, always faithful, always leading us, always loving us, always unfolding His plan.

I can't wait to see what he has planned for you! Love you, girl!

Carrie said...

That's a great story...and knowing that He is breathing for us when we don't think we're going to get through it! Awesome!

Yes, I've been feeling that way lately...I really needed to hear this! I'm ready to slow down this summer, not worry about things and not feel anxious...aaahhh, deep breath ;)

Amber said...

I'm typing this comment through teary eyes. This was so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this and your heart. You have no idea how hearing your words inspires me and draws me close to our Father.

Love you, girl. You're in my prayers.

Krystal said...

Wow this post is awesome! It brought back so many of my "chest hurting" memories. Memories that just happened 18 months ago. My hubby too started his own business with a good friend and wow I couldn't breathe for months! I really think I was having anxiety attacks! YOu are so right. Those are the moments you know you will be taken care of. I still felt axious, but I knew HE was there.

I'll be praying for you my friend!
Krystal

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Jackie, I know the breath holding thing, and I know the importance of realizing how desperately we need him.

You are such an inspiration to me. I am so glad that I "stumbled" upon your blog.

I am praying for you. I know there is so much going on in your life. Things you blog about and things you don't.

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Jackie, WOW! What an amazing post. I know what you are saying. I have been there. I have been brought to my knees, broken. Only then did I raise my eyes to the One who could save me. The One who could lift me to my feet and support me like know one else could. I am praying for you with all my heart, dear friend.

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

Beautifuly put. Thank you for sharing.

H-Mama said...

Well spoken, Jackie.
(((((hugs)))))

Lois Lane II said...

So true...thanks for sharing. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I feel that the breath has been knocked out of me...and then I just have to take a deep breath and say, "God, I need you to take over. I can't do this by myself."

Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone in feeling breathless. =)

Jamie said...

Love this one!!! You said it so well. I have been in that place myself...but in all of it I have become more dependent on a God who loves me.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Incredible post, Jackie. And real for me on so many levels. Thank you for sharing this!

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

"...it's hard to see past your immediate circumstances." And the stress. When I was there, I wasn't able to think of Him and come out of it. I wish I could have. But all I did was wallow in it. And then go see my doctor, which was good and all, but why couldn't I go to the One True Physician?

You are an inspiration.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

This is the first blog post I've read in a very long time. You just reminded me of how very much I've been missing. Not only the dialog between friends, but also the consistent perspective check I get from my friends. I love you, girl!

"Rachel" said...

Best post you've ever written since I've been reading your blog. AWESOME!!!

Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey said...

Great Post, Jackie!

Rachelle said...

Crying...

Love you, girl...

Growin' with it! said...

jackie...have i ever told you what a beautiful person you are? i loved this post. really loved it!

sara said...

this was a perfect analogy. I think i have been holding my breath for a while. and you're right...sometimes it is good.

Tracy's Porch said...

Beautifully insightful. I love how you express your feelings through your writing.

jennifer said...

yes. i get that. absolutely.

thinking and praying for you...

SarahHub said...

Jackie, this is beautiful! A great revelation, reminder, that He is always there. That nothing is an accident. That His hand is guiding it all.

Praying for you...

Elizabeth said...

Jackie, this post is just so wonderful. The last year of my life has been spent holding my breath too, and I know it's been good simply because it's reminded me how much I need Him. You put it so eloquently. Just breathe. . .He'll take care of the rest.

Gretchen said...

Jackie, I hear Him so evidently through each post you write. It's so nice to slow ourselves down and realize that it's really true. What we believe--we can stand on that, baby!

Carla said...

Hi Jackie-girl!
Thank you so much for that post. I felt like someone was totally seeing into my heart and writing down what I am currently feeling, and that I'm currently holding my breath. Situations going on in our life right now are definitely not easy and thank you for the reminder that when I'm not breathing that He is taking every single breath for me. You blessed me girl! Thanks!
Carla

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ttm said...

Oh Jackie! You filled my eyes with tears. I wish I could give you a big hug right now!!!