Breathing Room

by Theresa Newell

There are times, oh Lord, when I feel overwhelmed—sometimes with busy-ness, other times with heartbreak. In these times may I remember to look up. 

When I look up, may the vastness of the sky remind me of the breadth of your love. All good things are available to me, and you work all things for my good. 

I’ve been overwhelmed before, my Lord, but never defeated. There have been things that felt so bad they took my breath away. When I thought I could never breathe again, I took another breath, and you were there. These times helped to make me who I am. 

God bless the places I’ve been—the experiences I’ve had. They all make me me—they all lead to right now. I trust that whatever is to come will be good too, from God who is eternally creating me anew.

When I’m overwhelmed, help me remember that I have good times and bad. May I remember all of the snapshots in the photo gallery of my memories that have brought me here. 

I remember the cardinal sitting in the branches of the snowy tree, red against white, with twigs and sticks in the background. 

I remember laying on a bench, looking up, noticing how the green of the leafy trees contrast with the blue of the sky to make each color seem all the more vivid and beautiful.

I remember all the colors of the sunset reflecting on the mountain and the lake–so many incredible colors it boggles the imagination. 

And now, Lord, remembering these things, I am not so overwhelmed. There is space in you. Breathing room for me. 

Theresa Newell is a hospital chaplain, a candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Olympia, a wife, and a mother to mostly grown foster, adopted and biological children. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, the youngest of her children, and her Great Dane.

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