Saturday, September 17, 2011


Some things in life take your breath away.  Not in a beautiful, breath-taking way, though life is full of those too.  More like a punched-in-the-stomach-and-now-I-can't-breath kind of way.

The phone call that someone I love had tried to kill himself.
The death of my grandpa and the loss of my one-man cheering squad.
Those horrid words: "I never loved you" and "I want a divorce."
Driving away from the life I'd tried so hard to create, with everything I owned in a borrowed pick-up truck.
The loss of the baby I didn't even know I wanted until it was gone.
The news that the baby girl I was carrying was in danger, and the not-knowing for the next three months.
My newborn daughter being whisked off to the NICU when she stopped breathing just hours after her birth.
The loss of another baby, one we really did want, and the medical treatments that made it impossible to try again for a year.
The foreclosure notice delivered by the man with pity in his eyes.
The news of impending unemployment for the winter months to come.
Hearing "You're son has autism."
Followed a year later by, "You're daughter is dangerously depressed."

Sometimes it feels like you've been punched so many times that the next blow will make it impossible to get back up.  But we always do get back on our feet.  My husband and I, we are strong.  We've been through all but those first two together.  He helped me stand strong through my divorce from my first husband, and he has been my friend and partner through all that has followed.

And between the punches, life actually does allow you time to recover.  You get up, learn to breathe again, and become better for the lessons the fight has taught you.  We've had periods of grace, goodness, and peace in between the pain.  God has held our hands through it all, and proven that, though He might let us fall, He'll carry us until we can walk on our own two feet again.

But now life is throwing its punches at us again.  There are a lot of unknowns right now.  We're tense; ready for a fight.  We're waiting anxiously for the punch that will take our breath away again, and praying it doesn't come, and hoping nothing is waiting in the shadows that we don't even know about to sucker-punch us while we're distracted.  I wish I could say it's easy, trusting as we do that God will meet our needs.  But, for me at least, it's hard.  I don't want to be punched again.  I don't want to feel like I can't catch my breath, like the very air around me is so heavy it might crush me.  I'm tired, and anxious, and slightly sick waiting for whatever will happen to just happen already.

Sometimes, waiting for the punch is harder than the sneak attack.

Can you hear when we call
There where we fall
Standing our backs against the wall
Top of our lungs
How far we've come
Where pain and love bleed into one
All that we need
It's so bittersweet
The pain that opens our eyes to see
Baby when all you see is darkness
Coming down now
We all need forgiveness
Coming round now

Mat Kearney--Down

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