Apart from the Vine

A GUEST POST BY ASHLEY HAWK

The past few months I have struggled to breathe, like everyday really struggled to take a breath. I’ve felt as if I were drowning and getting very few chances to come up for air. But there is nothing going on in my life that should take my breath away, if anything, I should be breathing in fresh air with clear lungs. I live in a place I LOVE and never thought would be able to call my home. I live within an hours drive of my parents and even closer to other family, another thing I never thought would happen. I have a husband who sacrifices daily to provide for our family and to make my daily life a little easier. I have two, healthy, vibrant, energetic boys that most days, I can’t believe they are mine. And even then, I struggle to breathe. Every day seems like a chore; every moment brings a new challenge. Why?

Today, I had an epiphany (thats another way to say I actually listened to God). I am sitting on my back porch and its September and the start of my favorite season. It’s not too hot yet in the day and I’m reading Anything by Jennie Allen. By the way, if you dont have epiphanies while reading Jennie Allen, then you’re doing it wrong. I am reflecting how over the past months I have tried a lot of things to fix this struggle-to-breathe problem, and I am wondering why none of those things worked. If I just get a little time to myself…if I just get up a little earlier in the day…if I just workout 3x a week…if I’m just grateful… and the list goes on and on. Why do we immediately turn to a 12 step program when we feel our life is out of joint? It’s our human nature, that’s just what we do. There is a solution for everything; if we just work a little harder, we can fix whatever has gone awry.

Well, this morning, I discovered the answer. Of course, God is the solution, but I felt I had tried that too to no avail. I felt God whispering to me, you broke off from the vine. That was it! I had’n’t been connected to the source of all life. I had broken off from the vine. I thought I had been connected; I had wanted to be connected but over the course of many months, I had been slowly breaking off. I have a sign in my house that reads Abide in HIM but I had’nt been doing that. I had been turning to other solutions, complaining about my circumstances, and just throwing in the towel, justifying that everybody who is a mom of two toddlers is drowning and can barely breathe. But God wants us to have life; he died to give us life. He wants us to share that life. And how could I do that when I was’nt connected to Him? I was’nt able to get any of the wisdom, self-discipline, patience, or joy he wants so desperately to give me and I want so desperately to have. So, how do you stay connected to the vine? Obviously, I need to work on that. By abiding in himevery minute, every hour, every day. Of course nothing else worked, because he is the source of all life and when you disconnect from the vine, you can barely breathe.

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