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When Taking a Breath is Painful

427Sometimes life hits us so hard that the very act of breathing becomes difficult.  Each breath strains against the muscles to take in and release air and we wonder if we can survive the next moment.  Thinking beyond the instant is impossible.

What happens in our souls during those moments is critically important.

Dreaded news comes to all of us in different ways.  It might be a phone call that instantly changes your day.  A diagnosis that sets us on a course of unpredictable outcomes.  A betrayal that shakes our foundation of trust.  A loss that empties our heart of companionship.  A struggle that seems insurmountable.

In those moments…what I know FOR SURE…is that God is already there.  And that knowledge…IS ENOUGH.

Psalms 142:3 says, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.”  He knows what we will face BEFORE we face it.  He has ordered our steps and has a plan already laid out.  Our role is to simply embrace His plan and to BELIEVE that it is for our best EVEN when it feels like no good could be found in it.

Recently, I shared the following with a friend and it seems fitting to share it here as well:

“No one wants to hear bad news of any kind.  We humans don’t like suffering or the fears that accompany the suffering.  But if I know anything, it is that God is sovereign and in control.  If I didn’t believe that to my very core, I would have caved and taken the easy way out many years ago.
God gives “peace that passeth all understanding” and “grace that is sufficient” when we need it most.  It can’t be explained…it just is!
Yesterday, Spencer and I worked on a Bible verse that says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord.  Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end.”   Jeremiah 29:11.  I love that because it reminds me that God’s plan is for my good, not for my harm.  I may not see the good, but it is there.
In my own life, I’ve had so many opportunities to question God but every time I’ve gone through a valley, I look back and see how His hand was leading and how the valley was used to strengthen me.  My 3 miscarriages were tough on me emotionally and Emma’s birth and health challenges have rocked me to the core.  My own health issues have taken a toll on my spirit sometimes.  But losing and burying our precious son Jonathan was the thing that took me farther into the depths of despair than anything I’ve ever known.  Many days, I felt I couldn’t breathe and wondered if I would survive.  But I did and you will survive this too!!!
It will hurt, it will be scary, it will rock your world and challenge you in every way possible…but it’s a piece of your puzzle that God has crafted just for you and a path that no one can walk but you.  So embrace it, learn from it, let it do the work in you that it was sent to do.”
If today finds you reeling from unexpected news or just the struggle of a life that overwhelms, know that GOD  is in control and loves you SO much more than you can imagine and that HIS ways are higher than ours and that the next breath may be painful but it will come.
So, breathe deeply my friend.  You are stronger than your trial.

About Renee Parris

I write to share the message of grace God has so generously splattered on the pages of my life. My heart beats strongly with love for my husband, children, and those God has placed in my path. I adore the world God has created for us to explore. My heart beats to share, through written words and pictures, my love for nature and the people I meet on this beautiful journey called life.

6 responses »

  1. No one could have written that with more HEART, Renee. Absolutely comforting….and perfect coming from someone who’s walked “through the valley of death”. You are just precious. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and your heart.
    Love you.

    • Rachel, thank you SO much for your kind words. I sure have prayed for you the past couple weeks in the loss of your dad. What a great and generous man. He taught me SO much when I was so young and new to the business world. I love you and appreciate your friendship.

  2. I couldn’t have written a better post myself! Thank you for this reminder. It is so true…God is so good and He loves us so much. I appreciate the Psalm for shared. That Psalm could truly be my “life verse.”

    We too have buried a son. Yes, there were many days I didn’t think I could breathe, but the good Lord has pulled us through every single time we seem to stumble and walk through this grief journey.


    • Thank you, Shannon, for your kind comments. I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost a son too. It a pain that is unexplainable. Yet God’s grace is somehow always just enough. Blessings to you!

  3. Excellent!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!


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