Coming Up for Air

It was Mother's Day. Sunday May 14, 2017, to be exact.  We had a lovely brunch with family that morning. We dined on the patio table my husband had just built. The sun was shining. We laughed about stories I don't quite remember anymore and smiled at our girls as they ate and played outside.

It was a beautiful day.

Until it wasn't.

Sometime around 1 in the afternoon, after everyone had gone home and the girls were sleeping quietly, Abby woke up early with a fever.  Nothing alarming. Low grade as they say.  Trying to be proactive we gave her some medicine.  Mitch went to work outside and I sat on the couch and snuggled my baby. I remember thinking, I love how snuggly she is when she doesn't feel well.

I heard the back door open as Mitch came in from outside.  Feeling Abby's head, she still felt too warm for my liking and I stood up to ask Mitch for the thermometer and more medicine.

That is the moment my life changed forever.

I pulled my baby away from my body and realized the unimaginable.  My beautiful perfect baby wasn't breathing. Wasn't responding.  I screamed at the top of my lungs. I screamed, for what felt like a lifetime. 

For SEVEN minutes I held my lifeless baby in my arms. For SEVEN minutes we tried calling 911 with no answer. For SEVEN minutes my world crashed.  For SEVEN minutes I told myself she died.  I died. 

And then she didn't.

But a part of me did.

For six months I lived underwater. I lived in a fog of flashbacks and tears.  

I lived in fear of what was going to happen next.  

For six months, it felt like I couldn't breathe. The light had left my life, I felt empty and dark. I put a smile on my face. I said things like, "I'm good. Things are great. The girls are doing well."  I went on walks, coffee dates, girl's nights and date nights. I went to work. I showed up. At least thats what I wanted people to believe.

I lived everyday thinking that God had given me a trial run for the unthinkable.

This wasn't really living.  This was surviving. On my own. Alone and sad. Ashamed to tell anyone. Afraid of what others would think if I really let them in.

I am a mother. A wife. A business owner. I should be tough, strong and heal quickly. But the truth is, I couldn't.

I couldn't' do it alone anymore.

The thing is.  We aren't supposed to do it alone.  Our lives are meant to be shared. Shared with our spouses, our friends, our families, and most importantly, with the Lord.  

We are not alone, we are never alone.  If we just ask.  If we can just move past the fear. The shame. The guilt.  If we can just ask, He will be there. 

Remember how I told you my life changed forever that Sunday in May?  For months I believed that my life had changed for the worse.  I believed that things would never be innocently good again.  

I was wrong. So wrong.

When I stopped letting my shame and fear control me, I asked for help. And for the first time in over six months I feel like I can breathe again.

I learned to trust that even when everything feels empty and dark, like your living underwater, God is there, waiting for you to just ask.

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2

Amanda Miller Photography_washington-1.jpg