I breathed with that baby.
I breathed with her right out of my womb.
Months to days and days to hours and hours to minutes and minutes to seconds. Life growing and giving in unison.
Life’s rhythm took me by the hand. It guided me through. Branches. Leaves. Thorns.
Sweat beaten brow. Body aching, wrenching, clenching. White knuckle grasping.
Breathe with her, rhythm said.
Come thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Wrapped in waiting. Clothed in longing. That baby came. Inner hope emerging to touchable truth.
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Pain’s process yielding shouts of Divine joy.
…Oh, I see, breathing with life means breathing with pain.
I ask God for seeds of new life to be planted. Ministry. Home. Self.
I ask for the birth of Divine joy.
He holds out his hand to me and assures me he will take me there.
But, you have to go through the thicket, he says…
Sometimes the sun doesn’t break through the canopy of trees in the thicket.
Sometimes you will feel lost. You won’t know where it is I am taking you. It won’t be obvious.
Sometimes everything will look the same. It might appear that you are being led in circles.
Sometimes the day will go to night and as you sit in the darkness, you will wonder when you will feel warm again.
Sometimes you will get worn. You won’t want to go another step.
Sometimes I will need to lead you through rough terrain to get to where I am taking you. You will wonder if there were a better way. An easier way. You will question the pain.
Your hand will never be empty. Mine will always be in it.
Always I will know where I am taking you and how to get you there.
Always I will clothe you in my warmth and protection. Your soul will not perish.
Always I will strengthen your feet and sturdy your steps when you call upon me for help. Trust me to replace your shoes.
I won’t promise that you won’t get hurt. The thicket is dangerous.
But, always, I will heal your wounds. Always I will be faithful to restore you.
And anything you lose along the way… I will always replace it. Sometimes my replacement will be so much better than what you lost.
Months to days and days to hours and hours to minutes and minutes to seconds…
Your journey will be that of letting go, but please know my child, that mine will be one of holding on.
Are you ready?
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come.
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.