Hold your breath. Breathe in and then hold it, until I tell you to breathe. Come on, you can do it!
As a baby I was diagnosed with severe allergy asthma...and a miserable immune system, almost non-existent.
Our church group became involved with our family needs. The Doctor had told Mama and Papa that they could NEVER lay me down in a crib. He demonstrated, (OK LET GO OF THAT HELD BREATH), by wrapping me in a blanket. I tried to get out of that blanket but my oxygenation dipped to the level where my lips were turning blue.
He said, "You can NOT lay this infant down...at all. Somebody must hold her at all times!" So our church group came in and helped hold me around the clock. Mama and Papa still did not get much sleep worrying if I was going to quit breathing.
As I grew older, (which I'm convinced happened because my parents were so pro-active in getting help for me, AND because they just wrapped me up in love and prayer) I would often awaken in the night gasping for air. NOW you may understand why I had you hold your breath. That may have been hard for you as an adult. Try to envision a small child gasping, struggling to even get enough oxygen to speak, to be able to call for my parents to come and help me.
There were many nocturnal trips to the ER for oxygen. That was all they could do for asthma in the late 1950's. The medicos told Mama and Papa that small children will not let them place a face mask over their faces to get oxygen. Imagine their surprise when I grasped that mask with all my might and would NOT let go! (Again if you did the little exercise I suggested you may have a small understanding of what it's like to be oxygen starved).
On our journey the Doctor's explained to my parent's that it was critical for them to NEVER show fear. They explained that if I became fearful I could choke to death before they could receive medicinal assistance.
To this moment I wonder HOW? As a parent now myself I struggle with hiding MY fears to protect THEM from fear. If your child is in medical danger, how do you restrain showing your fears. Fear IS a natural defense mechanism. It exists to help us protect ourselves from harm.
Mama and Papa's ability to face the unknown with faith, faith that God was with them, faith that I would be protected from harm, and faith in a future where my health would become stable, blessed me. Their strength and faith over time became my own.
Can faith and fear co-exist in the same mind? Not really. When fear finds focus in your thoughts, it chases faith away.
Those years of struggle, were filled with powerful master classes on faith. I remember hearing my Mama say to me, (after a night of illness, and breathlessness), "Listen sweetie, the birdies are singing. We have made it through the night into a brand new day." I still rejoice when I hear the birdies sing their joy at a new day.
I remember my Papa (who was working a full-time job, and then volunteering as chaplain at Chino Men's Correctional Center), stumbling into my room dizzy with sleeplessness. He would pray and put his hands on my head. I learned that his faith, and my Mama's faith combined had vivid power. It was not just a benign concept of belief.
For those who do not align themselves with organized religion I would remind you that faith is a valid principle for every person on earth. Whether you are Taoist, Buddhist, or LDS, or whether you do not ascribe to any type of religious organization, you still need faith as a power to move through life. It takes faith to know that the sun will rise again, faith to face the death of a loved one. you need faith in your own potential and faith in the power of love amongst family and friends.
The Beatles sang, "All you need is love." I disagree to an extent. Love IS powerful. Still it takes faith to believe in an untried relationship. It takes faith to feel love. You simply can not have love without faith. Today in your minds you can change the Beatle's powerful lyric, "All You Need is Faith." That is what I'll sing today!