Overwhelmed after a very long day, my weary body sat curled up, aching restlessly in my little red Aveo in the parking lot of Rite Aid where I let it all out. I found myself deep in exhaustion from the season of life I am in. Heart hurting, head pounding, tears flowing, spirit drained. A stranger tapped on my window asking me if I was okay. I shook my head, NO, and let out a pitifully honest, “not really.”The funny thing about going through difficult times is that it forces authenticity and intimacy in the strangest of ways. It makes the control freaks wild.
This stranger told me it would all be okay, and told me to breath. You see, friends, while this is not what I wanted to hear, it was the truth. This is the lesson God has been teaching me for the past year. Any “10 year plan” I had was shattered…my expectations and entitlements burned and melted into something far more beautiful than meaningless ideas rooted in fear. Through the fire, I have been given breath and life. I have found genuine faith. When 4 different people all tell you to “breathe” in the same hour, they might just be onto something. A sweet friend of mine texted me saying:
“You don’t need to have 15 different back-up plans figured out. Just do this day.”
This may seem simple, but it is hugely significant. It is so terribly accurate. So often we take control out of fear. The fear of making the wrong choice…being out of control…being out of God’s will. But just as the verse says, His breath gives me life. It gives me the ability to breathe.
For the past few months, I haven’t seen the big picture, but I have seen each day as it has been given. I have loosened the reigns, and in doing so, every need has been met. It hasn’t been easy, don’t get me wrong. But this reminder is everything: we do not have to get it all together under our control. I don’t need to do damage control for the tragedies that haven’t occurred. I only need to be still, to breathe, and to live this day to the fullest.
My pure exhaustion caused a forced 15 minute power nap to come over me a while ago, and in that time, I dreamed I was a wildflower in a large, open field…swaying, yet grounded…reaching, yet rooted…being moved by the wind’s direction (breath) and knowing that while it was far from control, it had safe and purposeful guidance.
Even on my most challenging days (perhaps especially on these days), I am still able to express. To create. To make art. To process. To breathe.
It’s okay that I’m out of control. It’s okay to be wild. As long as I remember to breathe and remember who gave me this breath.