2017… This has been quite the year. I’ve never been as uncertain about the trajectory of my life as I am this year, and strangely, that is not a bad thing at all.
Don’t get me wrong. It is super stressful and has caused a lot of crying, sleepless nights, health issues caused by stress and just overall pain. But for some strange reason, at my core, my spirit is confident that this is good for me.
Every month of this year, I’ve tried to learn something new, consciously or subconsciously. January, I read Myles Munroe’s “In Pursuit of Purpose” (super good book! You should read it), February, I tried to take some decisions in the direction of my purpose. Then in March! haha! March everything came tumbling down on my head. Like a raging storm, so much uncertainty just poured itself into my heart. The reality of some of the decisions I made, or was contemplating, just started dawning on me. I had repeated migraines (I’m actually just recovering from one as I write this), I couldn’t work as efficiently as I’d have liked, I was tired all the time, and I was….feeling depressed! But you know the God I serve? He has a way of bringing out very valuable gems from ugly situations.
March, with all the ache it brought me, brought as well a very valuable lesson; one that I had always taken for granted. “Don’t forget to breathe”
You see, whenever you have a migraine, they tell you to relax, be in a dark room if possible, detach yourself from any stress, consciously let your shoulders fall, and most importantly breathe.
Breathing is something we do subconsciously. We don’t think about it, but it is so vital that if we stop doing it for long enough, we become unconscious. We could even die!
Breathing to keep you alive is something God has graciously wired your body to be able to do. That is why you breathe even while you sleep. But, in order to maximize the amount of “life” you take in with each breath, you have to do it consciously. You have to purposefully take in all that oxygen, let your ribs and diaphragm expand to capacity, and then slowly but surely exhale all that potentially harmful carbon dioxide from your system. Your body is done with the oxygen and the waste needs to go out. You subconsciously get rid of some CO2 by breathing but your body thanks you when your mind joins in for this exercise. You get so much more work done. You become more aware. Breathing is such a beautiful thing. It’s such a pity I “don’t have time for it”. That is changing though. As I’m writing this, I’m very consciously taking my breaths.
I’m very blessed to have small nostrils and an allergy which doesn’t allow me to breathe very well when I’m not thinking about it. This is God’s merciful way of helping me become more conscious about breathing. I get very sick on days when I’m very stressed because not enough oxygen is getting to my brain since I’m not intentional about breathing. I gladly embrace this problem because it has taught me the value of breathing. I do it more often now and I enjoy each breath I consciously take, because amongst other things, it reminds me to be very grateful for what someone is fighting for… breath.
So in this new month, go on this challenge with me. It’s really simple, except of course, it’s not. Just breathe… with intention… with gratitude…. with purpose, because every breath you take is God reminding you that He is the very essence of your existence.
I once heard a sermon about the original translation of God’s spirit in the Bible… its literally breath.
So today, take in more of God than you typically would because He has made Himself so available to fill you to the uttermost.