When diagnosis hits you upside the head and throws your world into a tornado of emotions and physical realities of limitations and interrogations of self and God, what can pull you back down to safety? Can it really be as easy as breathing?
When my breath is intermixed with spittle and drivel it leaves a film of haze over everything I come near, over everything I see. Dwelling on the ugly only brings about ugly.
Dwelling on the beautiful makes everything more beautiful.
I can choose thanksgiving to be my breath.
Breathe, “Thank you God” for another day. Breathe in the dimply smirk of the testy four year old and the guttural laughter of the emotional six year old and breathe out, “thank you God”. Breathe in the tender touches of the souls nearby, the hand resting on yours, the rough and tumble boy who can’t keep from hanging on you like a monkey on a jungle gym and breathe out, “thank you God”. And as the kids get older and they don’t always smell as good and become testy in a whole new hormonal kind of way we can breathe them in the very moment. Love. They are loved by God and growing up doesn’t always feel so good. Growing up hurts. New pains cause new ways to give pain. Breathe thanks that these are just temporary growth pains and He is growing them up into a man or woman of character and honor. Breathe thanks that these kids are yours.
When the job isn’t providing exactly what you think it should, breathe thanksgiving to the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and cares for you more than He does the sparrow and thank Him that He will provide for your needs. He will. He knows every star by name, He knows your name too and He knows every care that presses upon you. Sometimes, we cut back and choose a simpler life and realize that God was really giving us just what we needed even when it was hard to swallow. He is always faithful. Breathe thanksgiving.
Even in the hardest of trials, we can breathe thanksgiving. When we don’t know why and we don’t know how anything good could ever come from this pain, we can choose thanksgiving and praise. Breathe, Yahweh! Our very breath, “Yah weh”. He is present.
See Him in the flower that greets the sun and the bee pollinating the flowers. See Him in the bright arrayed colors of flowers and the dances they make in the wind. See His arrangement of the stars as they sing of His glorious ways. He is present. “Thank You God”.
Three years and five months have gone by since my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I can honestly say that learning to breathe thanksgiving has been a life source, a crane to pull me out of the pit and an avenue for freedom. I journal thanksgiving. Thankful to Ann Voscamp and her book, “One Thousand Gifts” and all that she breathed into my soul, I was able to pull out of the pit long before it took my life. My goal of thanks is to reach 3,000 journaled by year end. I am now at 2,870 written and so many more thanksgivings in my heart daily. It is a learning process, a training of sorts.
Breathe Him in Friends. Breathe out thanksgiving. He is enough to fill all the books in the world with thanks. He is enough.