Day 16: Breathe

Sarah Bessey just sent out “Breath Prayers for Anxious Times” and it’s a timely reminder. There have been several seasons in my life when my anxiety was so high, I actually had trouble breathing. Not so severe as a panic attack, but more like living 24/7 (or, all my waking hours is probably more accurate) short of breath. The last of these seasons but the one when breath prayer came into my life.

It came through an email/blog post from Connected Families, and one of their staff shared hers: “I breathe in God’s Grace, I breathe out God’s love.” I like it so much because it reminded me of the spiritual truth as well as the act of taking the breath embedded within it — I needed that.

I’ve had a few of those moments this week. Mostly when I’ve gotten sucked into too many articles, videos, or other peoples’ opinions on what’s going on, I catch myself not really breathing. 

I breathe in God’s Grace, I breathe out God’s love.

That breath, that’s the first right thing to do, and then I can better assess what the next thing is — this week, the next right thing has been to turn off my dang phone. After that, looking my kids in the eyes or loading the dishwasher or maybe disinfecting something. But first? A breath. It’s always a good thing to do.

I coach myself to do it, I coach my daughters to do it when they’re hurt or overwhelmed. Still, it’s so easy to forget. 

I don’t say this to heap shame or to make light of this virus, but isn’t it interesting this is a respiratory illness? Those who become very ill need ventilators to breath at all. 

So, let us remember to breathe during this time. Let’s not let anxiety or distraction or preoccupation or busyness steal this gift, this being alive and breathing. While we’re at it, let’s turn our breaths into prayers — to breathe in His grace, and to breathe out His love.

Amen.

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