Are You Gasping For Air?

In the early 90’s, there was a show that aired in the U.S. about how the national emergency response system was beneficial in helping to save lives. It was a way to promote the system/special phone number as well as a way to build greater awareness that such a service existed. It was based on true events using the actual emergency conversations that took place. The host was William Shatner, most famous for playing Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek franchise and television show.

Apart from him, the show was filled with horrible, over-the-top dramatic, bad acting. It always involved someone doing CPR to try and get the victim of the unforeseen accident back to breathing, as well a pulse. Compressing the chest to get the heart pumping, then breathing into their mouth to fill up their lungs to get them breathing again was just a normal part of what was on the show. Though it was bad acting, the show was effective in helping everyone understand just how beneficial the  911 system was/is.

One thing I do remember about the program was when people performed CPR on the victims, eventually most of the victims would suddenly gasp as if actually taking that first breath after not breathing for so long. It showed, as real as it could, how taking that first “breath of life” is a powerful moment when trying to bring someone back to life. The rescuer was literally breathing life into the victim.

In December, I was able to speak with three friends that have had a place in my heart for a while. Two of them have been friends of mine since college (a mere 18 years now) and the third, for just over a year. But each has a part of my heart because of the laughter, encouragement, honesty, vulnerability and love they bring to my life, and I, hopefully, to theirs. No matter the topic, time difference, length of call or via phone or Skype, they are important to me. Why? Because they breathe life into me.

Sometimes in talking with them, and others in my support circle, it is as dramatic as that tv show. This moment where I feel lifeless, hopeless even. Suddenly, truth is spoken over me, life is breathed into me and it’s as if I am taking that first big ‘gggaaaaasssssspppppp’ of air…..of life.

I’d love to say that I created this group of people around me, of these life breathers….but I didn’t. Perhaps I had a hand in it as I sought some of them out, kept them as friends, allowed them to speak truth, breathe life. Perhaps. I also think God placed these people in my life. I simply had to allow them to breathe life into me and allow them to see me, warts and all. This also means that I had to say no to those who didn’t breathe life, who didn’t speak truth over me. This was hard as I am part people pleaser. I don’t like it when people don’t like me. Often, though, those who didn’t speak truth I allowed myself to believe it was truth. it wasn’t life giving, it was life taking. Setting up boundaries and saying no, then seeking out those who did speak truth was is a long process that will probably be an on going, life journey. But it is so worth it.

To have life breathed into you and you breathing life into others, is nothing short of a miracle. A freeing miracle. We are told to do this and see it modeled throughout Scripture. God literally breathed life into Adam. Jesus breathed life into those around Him as well as the disciples and apostles with those around them. And, we are commanded to do the same. But it starts with seeking out those that speak truth into you which means vulnerability is needed on both sides. My prayer is that you and I continue to surround ourselves with life givers.

   Do you have those around you that breathe life, speak truth and edify you?  Are there boundaries that you need to set in place for those who take life? What are some truths that those around you have spoken about you that brought you life? Thanks for sharing!



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