It’s been three years now, almost to the day, and I still remember the fear, anxiety, and just plain dread that clouded that day. I was in Boston with four close friends, we were there to find my now ex-husband, and confront him on what he wanted to do about our marriage. I had been preparing for this day for months, I made a script with my counselor, rehearsed it, prayed, and practiced my breathing. And I was scared.
I wasn’t scared of my ex-husband, as he is not the type to actually react or do anything. I wasn’t scared of what I would do. I knew we would be in a public place, with friends nearby, so panic attacks and screaming were not likely to occur. I was scared I couldn’t do it. I was scared he would not show up, and I would be stuck in another year of limbo and loss. I was scared I would learn something from him that was more than I could process. And I had that script, and I had those prayers, and I was steady in my breath.
And I think that is what helped me the most. Breathing. Taking the time to capture my breath and breathe out again.
Breathing is perhaps the most important and most forgotten thing that people do.
When we are stressed, our breath gets shallow, hollow, and fast. When we are relaxed, it slows, and calms us.
In the months before that trip to Boston, I would practice each week with my counselor. I would practice breathing in the truths I knew, and breathing out the lies I was hearing. It changed each time I did it. Sometimes my mantra was to breathe in “You will be Ok” and breathe out “This is horrible and unconquerable”. Other times it was simply to breathe in “Sovereign” and breathe out “Chaos”. Sometimes I just visualized breathing in laughter and sunshine and breathing out the visuals of the day my ex-husband left.
Breathing is so important. Learning to relax and rest and breathe has really helped me not to have as many panic attacks. It helped me not to freak out the day I saw a positive pregnancy test, it helped me on those days when morning sickness was so overwhelming that I thought I was going to die, it helps me when people overwhelm me and I want to scream. (And I hear that breathing is an integral part of that whole labor thing).
You should try it. Next time the anxiety is too much, the traffic seems to never end, that phone call comes that you’ve dreaded, or you want to yell at your husband. Breathe in the promises of God, breathe out the lies of the enemy. And rest. He is the air we breathe, after all.
Kacy Davis lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband, Collin. She is a special education teacher and advocate of those with special needs and loves her job. She spends her time riding bikes with her husband, running, reading, and enjoying those she loves. Kacy believes in reinventing what it means to be a woman and wife who loves the Lord and longs to help others learn to love the Lord with abandon, freedom, and a greater understanding of grace. She writes here.