Our nest is empty now. Our children are adults, pursuing their passion and changing the world.
It's true what those strangers say to you during the years you struggle with strollers and diaper bags and twisted car seat restraints. When you wonder if they'll be potty trained or graduate from kindergarten first. When you wake up for the fourth time in the middle of the night to chase a monster from under the bed.
They grow up so fast.
My son was two years old and I was vacuuming. And I had one of those panicked motherhood moments. My mind flashed forward twenty years and imagined I had failed my son. I imagined the worst possible scenario for his future. You name it, and I imagined it.
In the minute it took me to vacuum under the dining room table, I had believed the worst for my child. Imagination twisted itself toward fear and stopped me cold. I stood frozen as the bristled brush roller on the underside of that vacuum whirled in place on the floor at my feet.
In that panic my heart gasped for air and words spilled in straight from heaven: "As long as there's breath, there's hope." I held my hand over my heart, as if to press the words into place.
I lifted my gaze to the ceiling and breathed small words of thanksgiving. Glad to know all was well. All would be well.
Nearly two years later our youngest child coughed in her crib in a moment between midnight and dawn. My husband thought he should check. And she lay there. Blue. Fighting for breath.
My husband raced to the car with our child in his arms and as I watched them drive into the night, I wondered what would happen to hope if her breath never returned.
But this is what I hadn't realized that day in my dining room. While the vacuum cleaner had been inhaling the Cheerios and play-doh and dust from my floors, God had been talking to me about my breath. What He meant that day was that even if all I have left is breath —. Even then there is hope.
For ten days our daughter fought for her breath in an oxygen tent in a hospital bed. At the end of ten days we brought her home and she and her brother grew up so fast.
It's been twenty years since I stood frozen, holding onto that vacuum next to my dining room table. Those years have had moments of anguish and sorrow and sickness and grief and deep disappointments.
I have made mistakes as a parent and as a wife.
I have failed and lost multiple times on many fronts.
I have thought for sure all hope was lost.
And then I catch my breath. And remember my hope. And hold my hand over my heart as if to press the words into place.
When all we have left is breath, even that we offer up to the One who whispers hope and restores our souls.Leave a Comment
I have been remiss in my (in)courage post readings, but tonight, pregnancy insmonia finds me at the computer.
I’m so glad I took the the time to read this post.
Thank you. You have blessed my day.
Thank you for your beautiful witness! We all need to remember to catch our breath once in a while 🙂
Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms says
Oh Deidra, you are one snazzy mentor to me! Your words never fail to minister to my heart.
This reminder, “As long as there’s breath, there’s hope”, is one of the most encouraging phrases I’ve ever heard. I don’t just hear it, I feel it down to my core. Thank you for this!
Thank you for this.
From a mama of a 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl.
i guess this is for me, this morning. i felt useless, alot of missed opportunities, and wondering why God hasn’t simply takin me home, i guess because i still have breathe there’s still something He wants me to do.
As spring approaches, I remember the robins who nested last year around our home. There are so many lessons there ~
Build a nest … location and just the right amount of coziness
Keep watch ~ Children need to feel safe
It takes work ~ Lots of meals, nest cleaning
Be there. . .
It was a lesson to behold ~ and so true of us.
Although my children are also grown and have ‘flown to their own nests,’ all these attributes are still important…but the one that outshines them all is to BE THERE… That to me is the most important one~
Deidra, Your children must know how much they are loved ? Your wonderful words show the breadth and depth of your heart.
Southern Gal says
I love this, Deidra. So true. Amazing hope.
Oh, Deidra. This post left me breathless! It was beautiful. I am not a mother yet, but I can imagine how heart-wrenching it would be to go through something like that. I love that picture too- it’s perfect!
Thank you so much for this Deidre. Just what this fearful heart need to hear today.
These words are so true…for most parents whether they experience a life threatening moment or just the “normal” heart wrenching experiences of child raising. It all goes SO fast. My children are both grown up now but I have many young adult friends with young children. I remind them regularly to cherish EVERY moment with those beautiful, young, innocent, children…and BREATHE when things get tough. I will encourage them to read your post today, it is beautiful!
Always inspiring! Great post!
This was wonderful Deidra. I love your words.
Oh how your words swirl around me heavy with strong support and gentle reminding. Thank you.
deb @talk at the table says
So perfectly beautiful, Diedra. No one could have prepared us for these parent feelings.
Oh Deidra – yes and amen. I look at our adult children and can only think “GRACE”. They are such amazing people and I know in my heart that it is only God’s grace that filled in the gaps left by my dismal failures.
Yes – there is always hope because we have a Father who is a perfect parent.
and now I will hold those words so close to my heart. Thank you….
Bomi Jolly says
Thank you so much for sharing! Thank God for hope…!
Nebraska Girl says
Thanks for this story about your lovely children. It encouraged me. My adult children have had their share of success but they’ve also experienced failure, especially the younger one. And then I feel like I have failed as a parent. I need to have faith that God is still working in their lives maybe in spite of me and that there still is hope for more success. Thanks!
Wow.. what a beautiful post!!
Beautiful…blessings and Congratulations to you Deidra and the entire team at (in)courage. It is an honor to nominate a group like you and see you in the Top 100! You are so Loved!! Each one of you! Great site and ministry team!
A beautiful testimony!
Belinda Burston says
As always, I love reading one of your stories, beautifully told in a way that is uniquely “you.” Yes, “While there is breath!”
Such a beautiful post. Bless you for sharing.
Hope, hope, hope. This venture is terrifying…this whole motherhood thing. I often get to scared to breathe…must keep breathing, must keep hoping, must keep trusting that the one who gave me these precious ones knew what he was doing when he placed them under my roof!
My children are also grown and changing the world, raising our grandchildren. Hope is a mighty big word but means so much- thanks for the (In(Couragement… As we are there even for our grandchildren.
My oldest is 20, youngest is 14, and there are two in the middle. Time is ticking by so fast and soon they will all be gone. I have found myself wondering if they will all be okay and if I will be okay. Thanks for the gentle reminder today, I truly needed it. :o)
Ann Voskamp says
This was beautiful because it is true and I give thanks for you, wise woman…
i love you deidra … i do …
your words are a god given gift that resonate time and time again …
humbly and quietly, thank you.