In these early days of August, I have been practising my grace-breathing.
Easy enough on ordinary days. Harder when work and ministry demands insidiously seep into my steady rhythm and the days become like irregular time signatures that shift from one measure to the next. And harder still when family needs are placed front and centre in my vision and I know I need to lay down my agenda to focus in and be present now so I have no regrets in the future.
My mother is going through challenging times. She is diminishing and we lose pieces of her every day. Her journey is on it’s own automatic pilot and there is nothing anyone can do to slow it down. There are challenges facing more than one family member and it feels like I am on a merry-go-round trying to capture the sorrow and swoop up peoples’ pain as I ride by.
I have decided August will be the month where I breathe, because I know where to go for my oxygen when circumstances threaten to stifle my airwaves. I have also decided that August is where I am brave. I wish I had another choice. I wish I could give in to the dread and anxiety that drives me to fear the worst. Instead putting on my brave calls me to expect the best.
When I am brave, I know that the solution is waiting around the turn.
I am aware there is a long pathway until the turn shows up on the horizon, but I know it’s there. I know that I can put on my brave because sometimes the turn appears on the other side of this life. I can wear my brave from the inside out because I know that I am not responsible for the outcome. I am only responsible to believe that whatever happens, it’s going to be okay. I’m going to be okay. My people are going to be okay. And I can breathe.
Jesus always walks in the room of fear with a bit of Messiah swagger, because He knows who He is and what He came to do, but when He speaks His words carry Messiah servant humility: “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)
Breathing regular grace air means I am not a victim holding my breath for the other shoe to fall and the worst to happen. Being brave means I am a victor, because the God of angel armies is on my side.