Just Keep Breathing
I want to believe that there is beauty to be found in any circumstance, good or bad. I only wish I could see it, no matter what challenges I face.
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
So, I guess you’re tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here
I was praying with a friend of mine at church on Sunday. At one point she asked me to take a few deep breaths. It was then that I realized I was holding my breath. Not really. I was breathing, but barely, or so it seemed. I’ve been holding onto so much tension, worry, doubt, fear and sadness over present circumstances. Most days, it’s not pretty. I lose my fight to remain steadfast, and I kick and scream and don’t understand.
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
But God understands my weakness. He understands when I lack the faith to see that there is beauty all around me. And He continues to give me the strength to just keep breathing. In and out, in and out, deep cleansing breaths until the weight of the world falls off my shoulders and into the arms of the One who promises to carry me through to the other side.
What do you do when the world seems to crash all around you, when some of the things you’ve hoped for and dreamed about your whole life are no more? Or, at least it’s different than you dreamt it would be. I am learning to ask of God. What does He say?
“God, what are you doing? What are your dreams for my life? Come and show me your beauty in this moment.”
My eyes are blurry, watery and tired, but I know that there is beauty to be found here in this place. I must keep seeking. I must keep asking. I must keep knocking.
Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise
I may be standing on a path I did not dream for myself, but I must keep breathing. I run to His Word, which gives me hope, and there I seek out beauty, hidden among the black and white, with strands of red woven through. I don’t know what the future holds for my family. Unemployment has caused us to live with financial uncertainty day to day for over three years. But of this one thing I am certain — I know the One who holds our future, and we are confident that He will not leave us in this place. He is faithful and He will bring us through.
I know that He understands my human heart, which breaks open, and pours out weakness. He understands that I lack the faith at times, and He’s right there to say,
“Come, my child, keep breathing. I will fill you with strength. I will give you the faith to go on.”
Though I walk, though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take
I may feel weak, but I will not quit. I will not stop believing. I choose to believe that God is good, that there is beauty to be found, and that He will give me and my family the courage to keep believing, and the strength to keep breathing.
*The song Need You Now (How Many Times) from Plum has been ministering to my heart this week. I pray it will minister to you as well. All of the quotations in this post are lyrics from the song.
When circumstances arise that are different than what you had hoped and dreamed for your life, do you stop looking for beauty? Do you ever feel like you just can’t hold on until beauty is once again staring you in the face? Please share your experience in the comments below.