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Breathe, Relax and Be Still

Be still and knowWhen we were on our honeymoon cruise, my husband and I had a couples massage. I was so excited about our first massage and could not wait to relax and unwind. Instead, it was awful. Halfway through the massage an elbow pressed into my stiff back, and the silent tears that I was holding back dropped through the opening where my face was planted.
I was achy and uncomfortable.  I warned the other guests at our dinner table to take ibuprofen before going.  It didn’t seem to bother them nearly as much as it bothered me.  Different, again.
It’s been 15 years, and I’ve had a few more massages, but none since my healing journey began three years ago. Until yesterday. I was looking forward to it, and wanted to fully and finally enjoy it.

And there, lying still in that dark room, she whispered, “Breathe…. you have to breathe. Take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth.”  I wanted to breathe.  I know to breathe.  But, I kept holding my breath. She gently reminded me to breathe.
When she hit a pressure point, she said, “relax, and let it go.  Do you feel that resistance?… Breathe out and let it go. You have to relax. Take another deep breath.”  My insides could only scream, “I am trying!” as I inhaled another deep scent of lavender.
As she moved the blanket slightly to take my hand, I quickly moved my arm to her. As she let my arm dangle she said, “Be still, and let me guide you. You don’t have to move. I will move you. Just be still.”
When the hour was finally over, I was glad that it was over.  As soon as I stepped into the rainy parking lot, the tears fell.  I sat behind the wipers in my car and sobbed.  I truly wanted to enjoy a massage, but it was still hard for me.  Yet, it was much better than before. Progress.
As I was driving home it hit me.
Those are the same words Jesus has been whispering to me.
Breathe, I’ve got this.
Relax, I’ve got you.
Be still, and let me move you.
As He has walked with me through healing from childhood sexual abuse, there have been times when I suddenly freeze. My insides respond the only way they know how.  I stop breathing.  Fear overtakes me.  He has to remind me:  “Breathe, I’ve got this.”
He has called me out of my comfort zone, and I want to go.  I take a tiny step forward and then I stall.  “What if??”  My mind races, my heart pounds, and I want to run back… and He says, “Relax, I’ve got you.”
I try to figure out what is next.  I want to know what is coming and what will happen.  I want control. I want to see the map. I want to line up the pieces and be assured that all will be okay, and He wants me to be still, and know.
He is teaching me to trust Him, and to lean in. He understands why I resist. He understands why it is so hard for me sometimes. He understands my every struggle, doubt and insecurity.  He even knows I don’t always enjoy the surrender, but I want to. Healing in progress.
I have tasted and seen. I know where I used to be and I know where I am today.  I know that HE is good, so I will choose to breathe, relax, and be still.
Joy is coming!
Relax and Rest

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  1. “He understands my every struggle, doubt and insecurity. He even knows I don’t always enjoy the surrender, but I want to. Healing in progress.” This is so comforting, Michelle. It’s hard to just breathe and relax and fall into His arms in complete, whole-hearted surrender, isn’t it? But He lovingly understands us. Thank you for sharing this! Hugs!

  2. What an honest post, Michelle. So glad that you have God to travel this healing journey beside you and to wipe those tears when they come. It was so brave of you to be willing to step outside a safe spot and I pray God continues to meet your courage with His strength.

  3. I can relate. Lately I’ve been running around trying to fix things. My things, my mom’s things, my daughter’s things, my husband’s things. I just want every problem solved and everyone to be happy. I’ve allowed my desire to fix everything completely stress me out. God has been sending me the same message. Breathe. Relax. Be still. I know He has everything under control. I want to trust Him. Why is it so hard to be still and trust? Praying today for your need and for mine, and also praising our trustworthy God.

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