Breathing room for my soul

Breathing room for my soul – Where does that come from? Certainly not from trying harder, good intentions and daily tasks, rushing to meetings or practice, raises and promotions, badges or awards, or another day turned on the calendar. We can live our whole lives without breathing room for our souls, can’t we? The harder we try, the harder it is to inflate our lungs. In Western culture, we run our oxygen-starved bodies on adrenaline. What feeds our glory-starved souls?

In the apart-ness of grief, the enforced time alone, my vision, often blurred with tears, clears to a fresh reality. Raw grief strips attachments and resets priorities — richness in relationships and memories.

As I sort through my mother’s belongings, bits and pieces of my life are exposed. I recall how many times God worked, spoke, protected, provided, healed and nurtured me.

How precious the ability to recall!

Grandmother's Clock
Grandmother’s Clock

And for the first time in my life, I see there isn’t time to learn all the things I’ve wanted to learn or do all I’d planned to do.

“Teach us to number our days.”

I never would have guessed I would find breathing room for my soul in sensing my own mortality.

Rather than sadness or panic, numbering my days is setting me free.

I don’t have to become.

I simply chose to live now, love well and share as I am able.

Ahhhh. Big breath.

“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Phil 4:11-13
The Message

Letting go of trying-so-hard releases me. It is enough to be me. ‘Who I am’ is the only thing that I will take into eternity.

And ‘who I am’ is good enough because I am a child of the King, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Relationship with Him undergirds my life, and promises my future, forever.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

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Don’t we all wish to be free? Some wish to be free from financial hardship, sickness, mental or physical limitations. Some desire freedom from the noise and demands of modern life, from to-do-lists, ours or others. Some seek freedom from oppression or slavery, physical or mind or spirit. Some long for freedom from pain, grief and loss. From aching hearts and empty arms.

After we buried my mother’s ashes last month at the family plot, we visited another graveyard where my ancestors were buried several centuries ago.

Free tombstone
Free tombstone

On the row past the collection of Foards, I found some newer ones, and the one we’re all looking for, aren’t we?

I’ve circled around that image for weeks now, and finally decided that isn’t the kind of freedom I seek.

That Free is frozen in time.

I want to be free to live

to feel

to love.

We have a prayer at the end of our service that speaks powerfully to me, especially:
“Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen” (The Book of Common Prayer)

For years, this has been the yearning of my heart. I felt like numerous people ran the show in my head, and few of my desires took action, due to my sense of weakness and fear.

Slowly, through the scrapes and bumps and loves and sweet touches of others, my heart has grown whole.

And from finally hearing the One who calls me out of the tomb, and responding.

Now, I speak those words with gusto and gratitude, thankful for the healing that has set me free to go forth with gladness and singleness of heart. Yippee!!! A single, whole heart!

And every time I dart back into a dark place, hide again in a little cave of confusion, fear or insecurity, I call myself forth. To remember who I am.

I am loved.

And I am free!

for a Woman of God
Identity Declaration by Beth Moore

I am a Woman of God!

Who are you?

In case you are curious if you could be included, go here to know what a woman of God looks like.