This post took longer than anticipated, but I believe someone needs it. I hope it helps.
Many years ago, a doctor told me that I was unintentionally holding my breath. She asked me to be mindful of it throughout the day, and when I did, it shook me.
I was subconsciously NOT breathing.
They say it is a coping mechanism, part of the “flight” in “fight or flight”. I started doing deep breathing exercises. It improved greatly, but there are still rare occasions when I have to slow down my pace and remember to breathe.
Grief is an insatiable consumer. It takes all you have to give, to share, and to keep for your yourself. It will snatch up even the remnants of peace you set aside to get through tomorrow.
It is the unstoppable drain.
The bottomless pit.
The unquenchable thirst.
There is no Richter scale that can register the full magnitude of its’ impact on your life, and the circumstances that bring about its’ existence none can escape.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalms 42:1
Whether the loss of a loved one, loss of love,
loss of finances, loss of health, loss of friendship,
loss of the life you once knew,
or loss of faith,
grief is a cross that we all at some point have to bear. It is a part of life,
and it takes our breath away.
I could never fully understand your grief, and you could never fully understand mine.
But there is one… one who understands our suffering to the full. It is the One who carried the cross of death and all its consequences up a hill.
His name is Jesus, and because our sin took His breath away, we can live with Him in the eternal and everlasting.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Only He can give you back the breath your pain has taken away.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:16-20
Pneuma, the root word for “pneumonia”, is a Greek word meaning a current of air, a blast of breath or a breeze. It is used to define the Holy Spirit - God’s breath of influence. It maneuvered the waters at Creation, filled the disciples at Pentecost, and it will shift the atmosphere of your heart if you let it.
So… breathe. Breathe in the breath of God.
Inhale your favor. Exhale your praise.
Find your blessing in still existing.
Do not give up. Fight for every breath. Even shallow breaths will suffice for the moment.
JUST DON’T. FORGET. TO BREATHE.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 42:5
Let the Spirit minister within you. Practice breathing until your lungs become full of earth’s oxygen and Heaven’s comfort. But don’t hold your breath. Your release, your praise, your exhale is a testimony that you’re still here. Let it fill the air and the hearts of those around you with the patient expectation of God’s peace.
Your loss is genuine. Your pain is genuine. Let God’s breath of life restore in you what life took away.
Pray this prayer with me:
Lord, your Son traded His breath for mine.
Now, I exchange my anxiety for His peace.
In this moment if Jesus is all I got, then Jesus is all I need.
Help me to breath Him in deep.
Loss can make us feel as if God is not with us.
That’s a lie.
God is not only near… HE IS HERE.
Right now, between you and me. Sitting in between the lines, resting in every breath.
You’re carrying enough. Allow the Holy Spirit to suffocate your suffering and create an open space where God’s goodness and your memories can live.
I end with what matters most... His peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27
See you next Tuesday.