on not being able to breathe

have you ever been unable to breathe?

have you ever been figuratively
hit in the gut with something
that has literally
knocked the breath out of you
and you can’t breathe?

this something
takes
your
breath
away

just when you were
learning to breathe again…
to inhale and exhale

your breath is knocked out of you

paralyzing
spasm
lungs are unable to inflate
nerves send pain messages to your brain

but.all.you.want.to.do.is.catch.your.breath

panic
anxiety
sets in.

any forward motion that you thought you had achieved
is seemingly erased with one blow to the gut.

what you thought you knew to be true
and right
is no longer that way.

those sharp, quick intakes of breath
seem like much-needed oxygen now

now you have more questions…without answers
your faith seems weak – but is it really?

hesitation
unsettled
not suffocating
but unable to catch a breath –
to completely inflate your lungs
so that live-giving oxygen is
transported to your starving
and atrophying organs
unable to feel completely –
your nervous system firing
S.O.S signals
instead of peace and problem-solving –

panic and anxiety
set in – with all of their relatives
and start to set up camp in
your mind…directly affecting
how you feel and what you do…

so…
what do you do?

perhaps you act – instead of responding
perhaps you don’t act – because you can’t
perhaps you just sit and ponder, even wallow

the ‘what-ifs’
knock on your door…
trying to sell
despair and gloom
and they just seem to be in a never-ending
line that loops around the block —
they are everywhere you look…

what if…
what if…
what if…

but
asking what if
even inviting him into your house
to sit with you and enjoy a cup of coffee
is not a bad thing, always

what if…
this is truly a part of this bigger picture
that no one can see?

what if…
this is truly part
of something greater than you could ever think or imagine?

what if…
the hurt
the questions
the absolute interruption
the unknown future
the unsettled present
what if during that all
you begin to know – to fully comprehend
and realize
that
even if…
not what if…

even if
God is still good

even if…

we don’t
I don’t
want to think of that part of life…

thinking of the “what-ifs”
constantly – like a never-ending loop –
the pattern becomes set
like water flowing down a bank –
with the constant flow, a path is eroded
and the water has but one “choice” of
direction, of where to go

but…
thinking
even if
kind of puts a roadblock in that
carefully gouged and worn direction
and it changes that path, that pattern
and the familiar and comfortable
and the way of least resistance
is challenged – and we are left
feeling as if we’ve been sucker punched.

can I get a “me too”?

I started to write and think and ponder this about one instance
but then I realized I’ve been there –
doubled over with the wind knocked out of me
(who am I kidding, I’m there now)
and I imagine that so many of us
have been there (or are there) too

maybe “even if”
allows us more freedom to

question
to doubt
to wonder
to feel
to think
to act

because maybe
wrapped up in
the “even ifs”
are nuggets of Truth
and the even if creates a new path –
and new way of thinking

maybe if we are able to see
the thing that has
knocked the wind out of us

truly see it
touch it
smell it
taste it
hear it

we can tangibly comprehend
the complexity of it…
and not see through it, but

see past it
to possibilities
to hope

to the “even if” part of this journey.

even if…
God is still good.

His goodness
His character
does not depend on our circumstance
or our feelings
or our thoughts
or even what we do

He remains.

even if God is the One who has come
and knocked the wind out of you

He remains –

remains
faithful
merciful
full of grace
loving
forgiving
patient

He remains.

and maybe, just maybe
we can end up transformed
in our thoughts and realize that
the blow to the gut was not
God knocking the breath out of us —
maybe we realize that He is truly
breathtaking

Life without Him creates a vacant void that causes your lungs to collapse at the very center of who you are. (Amena Brown)

the sucker punch of grace…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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earlier bits

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