I have always loved this song, but it took on a special meaning for me last Christmas, as I was weak from finishing 4 rounds of chemotherapy, and knew a double mastectomy was coming my way right after Christmas. I found much comfort in this song, especially the chorus. I find myself continuing to cling to the words the last few days. My MRI was finally approved by insurance, and I will have it on Monday night, results a few days after.
I honestly don’t know what I would do without the hope of Heaven, and His comfort– His breath whispers to me– as I continue to face my own mortality. It is a place I don’t like being, but at the same time, it is a place where I have the opportunity to release myself completely to His plan, and to practice a deep trust. It is a place where I am able to practice what I proclaim, and a place where what I proclaim has become so very tangible and real. These are the gifts, ones I am beginning to think I would not trade, even for health.
For my heart is healing, which is so meaningful and life-giving. Far beyond physical healing. Of course I would love to stay physically healthy, but I now know deeply what matters. Would I have been able grasp this without the tangible fear of death? Would “I know, that I know, that I know,” without pain and suffering? I do not think so. Would I be able to “remember the works of the Lord” and who He became to me in these moments? The memories would not be so vivid, they would not “stick” so easily.
Would I know what it means to be “held together by the breath of Heaven?” Maybe, but I don’t think it would be as sweet, and I would not allow myself to be held as readily as I do now.
The breath of this God-child, this God who “became flesh and dwelt among us,” to bring hope & healing–this is why I celebrate, and this is why I love Christmas.