BREATHE

A year ago I was starting my senior year of college. Fast forward to this year…I find myself driving down the same road, but my car isn’t filled to the top with bedding and clothes and all the school things I “need” to survive sorority house living. Instead I pass the gates of campus with alum status and an expired campus parking decal. (Not to mention a degree. Yippeee!)

A few weeks ago when I pulled onto the road leading to school, I passed a church on the right like I have hundreds of times before. But for the first time, I noticed the church’s message board. It simply read one word in big green letters: BREATHE. In this season of transition between being a college student and full-time-business-owner-college-grad-gal, I felt a sudden and strong need to breathe. (You bet I’m a big needtobreathe music gal too). But really, I needed to breathe. I need to take a deep breath after being in college and exhale to release those days. They were great, but I can’t keep holding my breath for what has already finished. Don’t we do that a lot? We wait with breath held for something to happen, but once it’s passed the feeling hasn’t quite faded away. Exhaling creates space for renewed breath and perspective for all that’s happened and what’s to come next. After 4 years of fast-paced student living, this season has brought an abrupt change of breath. Post grad has brought the need to learn how to breathe again without the predictable rhythm of school.

“This one thing I know: God is on my side! I trust in the Lord. And I praise Him! I trust in the Word of God. And I praise Him!” -Psalms 56:9b-10 TPT

Breathe in God’s comfort, grace, and peace for these times and breathe out comfort, grace, and peace for myself. Breathe in purpose rooted in the Gospel and Breathe out praise for the Lord with the gifts and tools He’s equipped me to use.

This change of breath also made me realize how much college demands you to be what I call a “superhuman”: Go to class. Study for all the tests on the same week. Homework. Sorority. Friends. Job. Church. Bible study. Sorority Bible study. Roommates. Feed yourself. Volunteer like a good human. Coffee date. Dinner date. Study group. Gym? Sleep (if you’re lucky). Etc. Etc. Repeat. 

Nothing short of a superhuman if you ask me. Were those things mostly exciting and joyful? Totally! Were they sometimes stressful and exhausting? Yep, just keeping it real here. Would I go back and change it all? Nope! But I would definitely have benefitted from calling out this superhuman tendency college demands, because every season of life can morph us into superhuman wannabes. And I want to send those tendencies out of town before they intrude on my next season.

When I catch myself falling into the superhuman trap, I’m often holding my breath. My Apple Watch actually reminds me to breathe. Gosh darn it’s called me out again!! Post grad is teaching me that I am not superhuman but a human human. Whew. I’m glad to get that one out. Deep breaths.

I wake up remembering I’m ONE human more than ever, and through it all I want to remember God is greater than my humanness and incapability. Through the seemingly silly and sometimes awkward missteps, I’m still walking right in step with God. It may seem like I’m bumping into things and tripping over my own feet a lot, but every step is perfectly made in tune to God’s greater purpose – even when I struggle to see it. Again and again, I’m reminded of my humanness in these days. I’m reminded it’s okay to go to bed at 9pm and sometimes go to work in my pajamas because I can. I’m reminded it’s okay to not have every detail planned out just yet. I’m reminded it’s better than okay to ask God for big things because He’s a big God and he’s glorified when I bring my big needs and dreams to Him. 

It’s time to send the superhumans packing because they’re getting in the way of truly living and resting and working with God. 

Having goals and dreams and ambitions are not bad – they’re actually very good human desires when aligned with God. But since we aren’t superhumans, we can’t do the heavy lifting. The best news of all is Jesus tells us to take his yoke because his burden is light! We don’t have to lift alone because Jesus lifts and carries us. What a sweet deal for a human human. We trade up when we choose team Jesus!

So what does it look like to breathe in your everyday? Other than inhaling and exhaling of course, I think it’s lived into differently for everyone and there’s not one right way. Creating space for yourself to breathe can be done in a million freeing ways – from quiet time to exercise to finding a hobby to unplugging from technology. You probably would have never guessed it, but writing is my rhythm for renewed breath. It’s the whisper that reminds my soul to rest.

Let’s create space as human humans together. Let’s check our superhumanness at the door and come sit at the table. Christ invites us to come just as we are.

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