Monday, August 22, 2011

With Every Breath

Earlier this summer, I almost lost Ted as we navigated the choppy channel of his severely restricted lung capacity. (We later learned his oxygen levels had been so low they could have sent him into a coma!)

As I watched the rise and fall of his chest after a difficult surgery, I was thankful for his every breath. Later, as he fought to be successfully weaned off the breathing machine, he became keenly aware that every breath was a gift from God. Many, many people were praying and we witnessed a miracle that day and throughout the turbulent recovery period to follow. We know that God still has plans for us!

Facing a life-threatening situation surely serves to sharpen perspective. The whole experience seems "surreal" to both of us. In these few months of healing, we have had much time to reflect. We've been asking ourselves:

  • Have we truly been living life to the fullest?
  • Are we investing well in the relationships that matter most?
  • Am I pointing people to Christ?
  • Are we wisely stewarding the time, talents, money and material things God has given us?
  • What kind of legacy would I be leaving?
We talked of things done well, things we wouldn't change. We didn't mind at all that we haven't gotten around to replacing carpeting, organizing closets or buying a better entertainment center. What matters most is who we've been with and the quality time we've spent together. Of course, we'd always want more of that! We see our most important mission in life as living authentically for Christ and loving others with every breath we're given.

Besides being ever so thankful that Ted is alive, there have been several relationships enhanced through our trials. Some have told us they love us, others have told us more often, and still others have surprised us with care and compassion we never knew. We have learned to receive (when we'd been more comfortable on the giving end), and we are learning to give from a new place in life.

As we look back on the rough waves we've survived this summer, we are ever more aware of God's awesome presence each and every day. The more we experience His love, the more we can pass on to others.

If you were facing your last breath, what would you wish you did more of? less of?

Lord, thank you for life. Thank you that you have come so that we may have life and know its fullness (John 10:10 NIV). Continue to shape our perspectives so that we do not become distracted or busied by the things of this world. Instead we want to focus on the surpassing worth of knowing you as Lord (Phil. 3:8 NIV).


  1. Marilyn, thank you for this challenge. So glad that things are going better there.

  2. Glad to hear things are turning upward. You have been in my prayers. My husband has been through many health battles and now is legally disabled. Challenges that God allows to help us get/ keep our priorities in order. Trying to keep in mind how very temporary our time here truly is.