Mid-year of 2011 our family faced the 5th death in a 2-year period. A mother, father, brother and two significant friends were gone. We were sad, disillusioned, tired, overwhelmed and depressed.
So many losses.
It was difficult to keep our heads above water; we felt like we were drowning. Yet, my husband and I had to keep moving forward as we needed to raise our three daughters, go to work and try to find some normalcy. Thinking that if we found it (normalcy) our pain would be lifted.
While my husband was in deep depression, I was numb, dazed and felt like the “life” had been sucked right out of me. I was dead on the inside, existing only as a hallow shell.
I didn’t have any want to read (I was an avid reader), study the Word of God, connect with friends or do anything fun.
Life was heavy.
I asked for prayer from friends around us and committed to continue talking with a friend weekly. (We have met weekly for almost 13 years now) Over time, 3 insights nuzzled within me. I’ve found them life-giving and want to share them with you.
1. My relationship with God over the years had burned with passion and enthusiasm. After the losses, the passion sizzled out. I was frightened and disillusioned.
In its place, I relied on what I knew to be true about who God is and who he says I am. All the years of bible study and learning about who God is, helped me through this barren time. I relied on my “head” truth/knowledge, not my (heart) feelings.
My feelings are not always founded in truth or reality. The truth is, even though I couldn’t feel God like I always had before; God was still there. He hadn’t gone anywhere.
2. One day, I was sharing with a friend how “blah” I felt. How I missed feeling God’s company. I didn’t have any wish to read or get into scripture. She said, “I know you don’t have much faith now, so I’m going to let you borrow some of mine”.
My friend would tell me what she was discovering about God. She shared her experience, strength and hope with me. I borrowed her faith until I got mine back.
I felt so taken care of and loved because she let me borrow something that was so valuable to her. What a gift!
3. When I got into the Bible one day, God revealed amazing truths in Genesis 2:7. I have read and heard many teachings about this scripture over the years, yet this extraordinary day God came alive!
Genesis 2: 7 The Message Bible Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground (body) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit) and the man became a living being (soul).
I pulled this scripture apart (studied it) so I could fully grasp it’s meaning. I wanted to know what this scripture meant for Laura Longville. How did this apply to me?
This is where God became the Author of Breath. God literally breathed (it means to puff or blow) himself into me. God breathed his breath, his Spirit into me.
he breath of life is literally God’s own breath. It’s the first place that God joined His spirit with the people He created. I thought, “how amazing, mind-boggling and marvelous to know that God loves me that much that he gives me His own breath!”
I became a living being that day. It felt like my soul, spirit and body was renewed! There was a new spark of vitality and purpose again.
United with God.
I’m alive again! I realized that my source of comfort, healing and purpose was literally in every breath I took.
Breathing took on a whole new purpose!
I had been “holding my breath” through all the losses we had endured. I would find myself holding my breath throughout my day.
Do you hold your breath? Are you overly busy and overwhelmed? Do you have losses and are grieving? We all hold our breath for many reasons and it harm us in so many ways. (In fact, that’s a whole other blog post that I’m going to write soon.)
I encourage you today. When you are down, forlorn, anxious or feeling any other emotion that is challenging for you: BREATHE.
Do a breathing meditation like this.
Feet lightly touching the floor, hands at your side and eyes open or closed.
Breath. Focus on your breath; breathing in and out.
Focus on your breath.
When your mind wanders (it will!) bring it back to your breath.
(If you are prompted by God to learn more about breathing meditation, click on the 2 minute video below)
This may sound a bit silly or simple; it isn’t! It can be challenging so don’t give up. Give this a try 2-3 times a day. You can do it quietly in the morning or evening. In fact, you can do it anywhere; in line at the grocery store, in your car, walking or talking .
Remember that God is in your breath; literally in every breath you take. He fills you will Himself; love, peace, life and purpose.
I notice my breathing or lack of it more often now. I intentionally practice mindful breathing and my life has slowly come back to me. I feel refreshed and complete to live life to the fullest. I can deal with my grief, loss and have hope for the future.
A Prayer for You
May you find Him in your breath.
May you unite with God .
May you find Him now.