>by Michelle E. Georgiana
Do you ever feel like you are drowning? The air in your lungs is fleeting out of your mouth and not returning
to refill and refuel the lungs to keep your body going? It is as if any moment the last breath will escape and there will be no more life left within you? I am talking about emotional drowning. We are so busy with appointments, places to go, people to see. As a mother of 4, a wife to a wonderful man, an employee, a youth leader, to list a few, there are times where I have found MYSELF drowning.
With 6 people in my home, 5 other people’s schedules bombarding my life, swamping my mind with details of what needs packed, what slip needs completed, somebody needs money, oh and the refrigerator is empty, food needs bought -wait its 4pm and I don’t even know what I am cooking for dinner! My dear hubby will come home and expect a smile and a happy wife, picked up house, while the children are wrestling about, destroying all the labor of “picking up” that occurred while their minds were engaged in learning all day…. Just writing this makes me want to GASP! Air, people, I need air!
A revelation came to my mind a few years back and I was recently reminded again about this concept….
When you board an airplane and take your seat, shortly the plane will begin to move towards the run way for take off. In the mean time, the flight attendants, begin reviewing the procedures for “what if” scenarios and what you need to do! As a parent, the rule has always been, put the oxygen mask on you FIRST! Then put it on your children or others who need help. Seems backwards, right? I mean I would do anything to help my children and the mother instinct in me is to reach out and grab their masks making sure they are nice, neat and presentable, then I will get my mask. Take care of the kids first!
But how backward, my thinking was! See, what good am I to help them if I don’t have my own oxygen?
If I put on my oxygen, then I am breathing (not gasping for air) and I am able to appropriately (without panic or hurriedness) put their masks on. I am constant and alive, because I chose to put my mask on first. It is not selfish, it is a priority.
So, how does oxygen masks on an airplane help me today?
In our busy lives, we work diligently as women, as mothers, as wives, as employees to meet everyone’s demands… and often we neglect ourselves. We forget to prioritize.
Priority is defined as “precedence: status established in order of importance or urgency…”
If you are gasping for air daily, failing to put on your “oxygen mask” by doing what is necessary to keep you
functioning as the mother, wife, friend, family member, employee that you want to be – then you need to prioritize yourself. (GASP! I know, it seems so selfish, but you can’t do what you want to do if you are dying or dead – because it will take everything that you have to just exist!)
My life line is the Word of God. I need it to sustain my life.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)
My kids don’t define my life.
My husband doesn’t define my being.
My ministry isn’t my Creator.
But God is my Author.
It is through Him that I am able to do all things, for he is my strength. (Philippians 4:13)
If God isn’t on my priority list, but only a thought to be on my priority list, then I will be gasping for air, because he is the breath of my existence. Our minds will say, I will pray once the kids are in bed or I will read my chapters after I handle this – and before we know it, we fell asleep before we could say amen or read more than one chapter! It is vital to our health, wealth and being to read the Word and pray to the one who has all the answers when we are alert. It is actually more selfish to not prioritize God in our life, because when we do not seek his renewed strength, direction and wisdom everyone else in our life suffers. Instead of flourishing, blooming, thriving, we are withering, dying, gasping for fresh breaths. Our lives aren’t consistent, stable, and rooted, rather they are wavering, unstable and swaying! What we think is good is not! We need Him to be first, to be our guide so that we can be who our families, friends and employers need us to be!
This, too, applies to our marriages. Many marriages today fall apart, because parents forget to date each other! They forget that before there were kids, there was just the two of them. Kids will not perish for being left with a babysitter, they will not feel neglected nor rejected because their mommy and daddy left them! Rather, they will be loved in even a greater capacity, because the oxygen mask for a good marriage is spending time together alone! When the husband makes the wife a priority and the wife makes the husband a priority, emergency oxygen masks aren’t needed, because their lungs are full of air and not gasping.
Where in your life do you need to check priorities?
If you are gasping for air, there is one who is able to keep your tank full,
change the current survival mode you are in, and set your feet on the path he created for you to walk.
Sometimes we just need to cry it out with God and allow him to send the Holy Spirit to show us
what we need to change.
Girlfriend, I have been there – I have tried to be the all in all to everyone, instead of letting him be my all in all. No matter the madness in your life, no matter the discouragement in your life, Jesus is there! Just call out to him and put on your oxygen mask first!