Friday, January 15, 2016

Breathe Again

Sometime in December (maybe sooner) I noticed I was having some pretty intense chest pains. They were painful, but had none of the "heart attack signs" I have had memorized since my teenage years when a doctor tried to scare me straight with you will be dead by the time you are 30 with this stress level. *Scoff*

I started tracking them and basically I could not take a deep breath without pain. I started feeling guilty about not walking like I had been....eating poorly....and sometime in the midst of it I figured it was probably #threeyearpurgefest or my firm related (#entrepreneurship). I mean I was either working at my office or purging every hour of every single day (barring a few hours for sleep).

So like any procrastinator...I shrugged it off and tried to not think about (or feel it) as the case might be....

Fast forward.

Sometime at the first of the year, I realized that I was breathing with no pain. Hmmmm....I wondered, but in the midst of reveling in my newfound joy...I again...shrugged it off and forgot about it.

Until tonight.

How do I say this?

I am breathing again.

Deep. Long. Fresh. Beautiful. Breaths.

....and it still hurts a bit.

So....this is what life living out loud, fully transparent and vulnerable feels like?!?!

*Ouch*

*Beautiful*

*What Joy*

I hardly know what to say....

Seriously.

Sara Bareilles has a song "Breathe Again" that I can remember hearing a thousand times over the past three years. Could it be a million???

Car is parked, bags are packed, but what kind of heart doesn't look back
At the comfortable glow from the porch, the one I will still call yours?
All those words came undone and now I'm not the only one
Facing the ghosts that decide if the fire inside still burns
All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching for something
Out of breath, I am left hoping someday I'll breathe again
I'll breathe again
Open up next to you and my secrets become your truth
And the distance between that was sheltering me comes in full view
Hang my head, break my heart built from all I have torn apart
And my burden to bear is a love I can't carry anymore
All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching for something
Out of breath, I am left hoping someday I'll breathe again
It hurts to be here
I only wanted love from you
It hurts to be here
What am I gonna do?
All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching
All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching for something
Out of breath, I am left hoping someday I'll breathe again
I'll breathe again

I just went searching for the lyrics....

...and tears.

Years ago...these words rang true for a person.

Now....when I read these words....

All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching
All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching for something
Out of breath, I am left hoping someday I'll breathe again
I'll breathe again

I know that today...the "he" is God....and I am in fact...breathing again.

This has been a hard week. Lots of writing longhand, jotting down things from time-to-time, but the big words...would NOT flow.

God was waiting.

Patiently.

Tonight....in a bar...with a couple of friends...talking about everything from Jesus to love to work to kids to hitting your knees and giving it all up to dreams to Haiti and back again...I saw something....God...in the midst of three amazing women digging in....*shaking my head*....who talks like this??? My. Friends.

As I drove home, I could hear God mumbling, and by God mumbling...me not ready to hear; I knew I was about to have to write...and as I got ready for bed, I hit shuffle on my 2000+ songs...and "Breathe Again" came on, and I simply looked up and said...THAT is what is different. I. Can. Breathe.

I can breathe.

*Tears*

Sometimes the truth is that we don't know if we will ever breathe again....love again....trust again....dream again....and then one day you look up and you are doing....one or all of them. Poof. Like a Christmas Miracle. God heals. Beautifully. Perfectly. In his time.

I know this might be hard to understand, but several years ago there was a day...okay days....that just to take a breath meant to stop crying long enough....and stopping tears was really trying to stop full body heaving...the pain was real. I can't even number the days that I simply did not wish to go on and my bed became a life raft of sorts...and then I would pull it together and show up at work...at church...at dinners and breakfasts....holidays...and fake it. Because that is what we do when our life falls apart around us or someone breaks our heart or everything we know to be true is suddenly proved false or we simply drop our basket...we fake it....until we don't....have to...anymore.

This is me waving wildly from the other side.

Wildly.

From. The. Other. Side.

Thank. You. Jesus.

I just went looking for my journal from Captivating 2012 in Colorado...it has been gnawing at me all week that God was trying to tell me he had fulfilled his promises from 3 1/2 years ago. I just read it...lets put a pin in that as that is a post all unto itself, but there is a line he said to me.....

"It is going to be okay pretty girl. Breathe."


I don't know if it can make sense to those who hear God regularly and/or have always had a conversational intimacy between themselves and God. I have not. So that day on the mountain when he finally spoke OR I finally listened (who is to know), and I was writing down everything I heard...and to sit here all of these years later and know in my heart that God has given me fresh breath to breathe in...and out....and in...again and again. All after simply holding my breath for something like forever.

There are no words to express my gratitude.

I was so broken and hurt and just a mess. I really didn't think I would make it...and frankly, I didn't really want to. Everything hurt...just breathing...HURT. I am sitting here crying as I type because I remember clearly how I felt...how my heart felt. *Deep Breath* And for the most part I suffered in silence because I just didn't know who I could trust or who would understand the depths of what I was enduring......and so I sped into Colorado in my Jeep, driving two days to get there, all alone....just praying for a miracle. Praying for God to just show up. Just wanting to be seen and known...by him.

There is something to be said for opening up your hands and laying it all down. Tonight I tried not to "preach" when I answered questions and shared part of my story, but I don't know how else to explain the past 3-4 years other than one day I was Queen of the Heather Show and the next day I was on my knees, face on the floor begging God to take over...everything...and after 11 months more of wrestling with God like a wild animal fighting for its life....I doubled down with God and said, "No, really; I am all in." (because he had to ask twice)...and I wish it wasn't true, but there was a third time.

I applaud anyone who is successfully navigating their life without God because to say anything other than that would make me a hypocrite of the highest order.

All I can tell you is this...if you aren't happy and you can't figure out why...maybe there are parts of your life you need to mourn...part(s) of your life you need to give up to God....maybe if you stop for a minute and stand in silence...you will realize you are holding your breath...and maybe just maybe the best place to start is to ask, "Why?"

My story is complicated and messy and at the end of it all...Mine. I blame no one for where I sit on 1/15/2016. I am not angry. I have no regrets. I am not waiting for someone to love me or rescue me or need me. I am not bitter. I am not sad.

I just am.

...and "am" is a girl so full of joy she can barely stand it.

I am also a girl who every day this week....even when the words wouldn't come and I felt a little "off" stretched my arms out wide every single day and exclaimed, "Thank you!" to a God who has loved me and saved me and rescued me and restored me....and as of tonight he has also resuscitated me.

"It is going to be okay pretty girl. Breathe."

God, I wish I could 100% say that I believed you completely on October 13, 2012, when I heard you say those words to me; I wanted to though, and God you love someone with "want" because you see hearts, not just words.

It hurts to breathe this deeply...to live this raw...this transparent, but God we need that...I need that. I love the people in my life who show me what living bravely means...even (and especially) when it looks like church in a bar on a Friday night. Mainly I love you. I stand in awe of what you have done in my life. I am so incredibly grateful. Whatever you want for my life, let my heart also want it too. This is the good stuff. This messy, raw part of life; it is the very best.

*Deep Breath*

"....all I am...all I need...is the air I would kill to breathe...holds my love in his hands...I will breathe again"

Perfect.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

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