Waiting To Exhale

It feels like I have been holding my breath for so long…

Like I have been trapped in never ending waves. Crashing… Crushing… Bending… Drowning…

My lungs burn… It’s been a long year, a long couple of years. So many bad memories. So many bad days.

My feet touch the sand and it feels like a weight slightly lifts from my chest. The sunshine warms my skin, the breeze tugs my hair free from its braid. The waves wash across the sand wetting my feet and dragging the pain back as it recedes again.

My finger slips through the sand, a name, a year. A wave rolls in white and blue… erasing it like a canvas. With each new word the weight lifts a little more. Until finally I can let out my breath. I draw another one in and exhale…

The cold water chills my feet a little as I walk a long the water line picking up small bits of shell. All broken in someway or another but all beautiful.

Small chips of blue, larger pieces of white shells a few rose color pieces, a see-through piece, a larger gray one. My hand fills with them. The broken places worn smooth by the sand and the wave. They remind me of people… battered, broken, Holes where life was rough and ripped holes in our hearts. Do they realize how beautiful their brokenness is? I hold one up to the light and the sunlight pour though the holes and chipped areas… Do they know that? Do we know that? That through the broken places in us His light pours through. Shells are beautiful whole… but I think they are even more beautiful broken…

The Quilt Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.


But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all. 



I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. 



My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. 



Finally, the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise. 



My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. 



And now, I had to face the truth: My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. 



I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. 



Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image: the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, “Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. 



“Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through until there was more of Me than there was of you.” 



May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!



(Couldn’t find the author but if this work is yours please let me know and I will give credit where credit is due)


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