Have you ever experienced a sucker punch so hard your breath was knocked completely out of your lungs?

When a massive blow hits, shock and pain convince us that we just might actually die right there on the spot. Our life flashes before our eyes. We may experience blackout, confusion, terror, and desperation. It takes what seems like several lifetimes to push through the panic, searching for ability to gasp, and then finally the moment hits where we find the ability to suck in air again, just in the nick of time.

Sweet breath. Essential for life. Breathing in, breathing out. It is a repeated action that we spend most of our life automatically doing without even being aware of it.

Till it suddenly gets taken away.

A negative life-threatening medical diagnosis, tornado destruction, overwhelming bills, the pain of divorce, the betrayal of a friend, the tragic loss of a precious life, backstabbing words that shred our hearts—we’ve all experienced these and other disasters that often cause so much despair we want life to end so we don’t have to feel the pain anymore.

There are those seasons where every breath is an effort. Every motion and every decision, every delay, every disappointment stirs up confusion as our current default ‘operating system’ gets thrown into a blender and shredded, and life will never be the same again.

We have a choice when this happens. We can get bitter about the loss and change, or we can take advantage of our circumstances to rise above the turmoil and become better people. We can choose to trust someone and lean on them to get through.

While we endure wave upon wave of shock, grief, anger, questioning, we can keep choosing….just to breathe.

Breathe out the pain and breathe in peace
Breathe out darkness and breathe in Light
Breath out toxic thoughts and emotions and breathe in gratitude for what is right in the world, even if we have to search to find something
Breathe out our old self and breathe in a new, improved self
Breathe out brokenness, breathe in wholeness
Breathe out fear, breathe in confidence that everything is going to eventually be ok
Just keep breathing. Sometimes that is all we can do, one minute at a time. One hour at a time. One day at a time.

One day, we will realize we don’t have to think about breathing anymore. It comes naturally again.

With every breath, we gain strength and health. We find our resilience, make a rebound, and learn to live life with our scars and limps that are unique to us, most of them in hidden places where people cannot even begin to comprehend what has happened to us. Change and healing has taken place and we didn’t even realize it.

In those areas of private victory, we gain a public voice and authority to step out and help others who are experiencing similar hurts.

That is what life is all about, helping each other not just to survive, but to thrive through life’s difficulties. This is all part of our life’s story that is still being written.

Every day, with every breath, we are still becoming breathtaking, brilliant beings—the good, the bad, the broken, the Amazing!

So dear one, just keep breathing. Everything will be ok. You are not alone.

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