He’s up at 4:30 a.m. I cover my face with his pillow trying to hide my eyes from the edges of light around the door. I sculpt a small opening where I can breathe.
I’m given to overthinking, the kind that breeds anxiety. This gives way to hiding my feelings because what good Christian admits to worry? Doesn’t that mean we aren’t trusting God?
Yes, I’ve wrestled with that a bit until I can’t hide it so I confess it and that’s when I breathe. Sometimes it’s a one word text shared between my cousin and me: “breathe” we remind each other. And what we really mean is exhale. We suck in our breath, holding it as we hold the fears and worries, the pain and regrets but we have to let it out.
My friend and counselor says to slowly breathe in a 4-count, hold it 4 more and slowly let it out. Exhaling is like whispering release.
Another thought is that each breath is breathing the Hebrew name of God: Yah’-whey. (YHWH) That it’s the first thing we say at birth when we take our first breath and the last thing we utter at death as we breath our last: Yahweh.
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[a] Romans 14:11 NIV
I want to believe that. I want to think we were created to say his name with each breath. But saying the name of God is different from calling on the name of God. It’s different from declaring God as our God.
My word this year is peace. It’s a word I’m trying to breathe, to weave it into my life so it will come with each breath. God’s peace to slow my thoughts, calm my fears, measure my breathing. To remember exhale is the important part. Let it out.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.
(Edwin Hatch 1800’s hymn)