I Stand in This Breath of My Life

I am alive. I’m trying to let that sink in.

I inherited the unfinished sketchbook of a beloved art professor who passed away last spring. Flipping through the pages this morning, I see how alike we are in our interactions with the blank pages–line drawings, quotation marks surrounding deep theological ideas and questions, to-do lists, ideas scribbled in the singular, everyday handwriting that has become more profound in the absence of the hand… Though we were very different people, I see that we processed our worlds in a similar way. We were both enamored by beauty. We searched for it, and recorded our observations in the private worlds of our journals.

But he is gone into the mystery. And I am still here, scribbling away at the meaning of life, sipping tea, raising children, eating, drinking, sleeping, waking to questions that have no answers.

I stand in this breath of my life and look ahead.

And I have hope that makes absolutely no sense. Because the world is full of suffering and heartache, and I will assuredly face things I cannot yet begin to be brave enough to imagine. But I have tasted the goodness of God. I have seen his tender, intimate love and that he is with us in the details of our lives. And so, in spite of loss and pain and suffering, I continue to hope.

I stand in this breath of my life and look behind.

And I give myself grace that I do not deserve. Because I have made mistakes and missteps. I have absolutely failed at so many of the ideals I hold to as a woman, a wife, and a mother… But I have been forgiven, and through the lovingkindness of God, I can look back on my life without regrets.

This is one of the deepest desires of my heart. To breathe. To be fully present, not looking behind in regret or ahead in fear, but to have such trust and faith in God that moment by moment, I am experiencing the riches he extends to me.

Inhaling hope.

Exhaling grace.

sketchbook of Leroy Young, mackenzie chester, the sacred everyday, loss, journaling, life, questions
Landscape with Clouds from the sketchbook of Leroy Young
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