Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

It’s 2:58 a.m.

God and I have been meeting a lot like this lately.

In the middle of one thing or another. In the middle of the mess. In the middle of life. In the middle of open-ended questions. In the very middle of my story. 

While He may not have a need for slumber, I do. My body yearns for the covers. My mind aches to be relieved of its duties. But I roll out bed and my hands run the walls until I find my cane so I can stumble to the living room. I sigh, knowing, I won’t get any more sleep as I make my way to the coffeemaker. It’s barely been a week since I was released from the hospital.

One moment I was dizzy and trying to make it to the kitchen for a glass of water. The next I’m opening my eyes in the hospital. Everything too blurry to even see. But I hear my husband’s voice. He tells me he found me on the floor and rushed me to the ER. Then he tells me my brain is on fire. I’m fighting a brain infection. But I can’t talk back. I can’t even sit up by myself. So, I smirk at the irony that it’s my turn to in this hospital bed.

RELATED: In Dark Times, God Reminds Us: No Shadow Lasts Forever

Just barely a month before, Chris and I found ourselves in three different hospitals because he had unexplained heart failure. His heart raced over 300 beats a minute. It would pump so fast his body wasn’t getting any oxygen. His medical team would race to get his heart to stop until at one point, his whole body shut down. I had lost him for several minutes. Now, both of us were in the middle of fighting for our health after always being so healthy and active. We were well into our 30s and none of this made any sense.

These thoughts are fresh in my mind as I sit in the dark and question why God likes to keep meeting me between midnight and dawn.

On the couch, covered in my favorite blue blanket, the thick, tattered pages of my Bible fall open to Ezekiel.

And this is what He whispers about our world, my family, and life, but most intensely, my bones.

Heather, do you believe I can make your dry bones come to life again? It’s 3:18, tears fall silently down my cheeks and I whisper, “God only you know that.” And He presses into my bones, I am putting new breath into you again.

And I sit there in the silence and think of what He’s telling me.

So, I breathe my first breath and I inhale so deeply. Do you believe in every season I am capable? Do you believe this here in the middle? He then leads me into the story of the valley of dry bones. He whispers how in many places, I am dead and dying because I am weary

As I read, He unveils the truth about the very middle of the story. I will put breath into you and make you live again. I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put new breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

This middle of the night moment is a Holy Awakening.

This realization that He is with me in the middle. He is breathing new life into me in the middle of the mess. But sometimes we forget because life takes our breath away.

One minute we’re doing life. Kids, laundry, carpool, schedules, work, and dirty dishes. The next, we find ourselves in the messy middle. You learn you have cancer. You want more kids but your doctor says you need a hysterectomy. You’re thriving in a job you love, but your boss asks you to hand over your badge. Your son is the class clown and one of the most popular kids at school and then you find yourself ensuring he’s taking his antidepressants as you lock up all the medications, cleaner, and sharp knives in your home.

One minute, you’re doing life, the next you can’t take a breath.

We don’t know how the story ends, and we can’t go back to the beginning. But we have to know that being in the valley isn’t where our story ends.

So, my friends, this is the work we are doing, to open our lungs and breathe deep and allow Him to breathe life into us again.

And if I’m being honest, it can be downright hard. It’s easy when we are at the beginning. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s intoxicating.

Like the moment you hold your squirmy newborn and breathe in her scent.

The moment you say “I do” to the man of your dreams. 

The moment you stand in the living room of your new home.

RELATED: God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

The moment you survey your new office or the moment you sit in your first grad class. 

The beginning is fresh and new as we unfurl and unhusk a life full of possibilities. But what happens when you’re in the middle of that story? 

Because it’s in the middle that takes our breath away.

It’s in the middle where we doubt. It’s in the middle where we learn to dig deep. But friends, it’s being in the middle that counts!

Here’s the thing: Between the deep breaths in and the deep breaths out is the messy middle. Life happens here.

He will breathe new life into you again. No matter how tired, no matter how you ache, no matter how weary, He will breathe life into your dry bones. He is still with you here in the middle of the valley dry bones, here in the middle of your story. So, my darling, breathe deep. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Heather Riggleman

Heather Riggleman believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything but not necessarily in that order. You can visit heatherriggleman.com to find out more. 

God is For Me

In: Faith
God is For Me www.herviewfromhome.com

God is for me. In my anxiety and worries, He embraces me with a love that holds no fear. The purest form of love there is, and a love I have immediate access to. In my doubts, when I’m feeling like I’m not good enough or will never amount to anything, He reminds me that He isn’t even close to being done with me. He has more in store for me than I can imagine. In my shame He lifts my chin and tells me I’m not my past, that I’ve been made new. In my exhaustion He is my...

Keep Reading

If God is Truly Good, He is Still Good When Life is Not

In: Faith
woman with bible www.herviewfromhome.com

In the cool of the morning, while the sun still worked its way into the sky above, I sat on my deck overlooking the grassy back lawn, just taking it all in. I put on my favorite worship music, and sipped on my favorite coffee—oh how I love a nice hot cup of dark roast to start my day. I could hear my little girl giggling and singing—music to my ears. I observed as she ran about, and my heart was filled with joy for all the good God had provided. “Father, you are good,” I quietly proclaimed. But, the...

Keep Reading

Having Faith in Jesus Doesn’t Always Look Like Healed Bodies and Joy

In: Faith
Woman outside

Growing up, I would often daydream about what my life would look like in the future as a wife and mother. Those June Clever images were filled with similar scenarios. Hot, home-cooked meals would be on the table as my husband walked through the door each night. He would be met by a house filled with the sound of children’s laughter as I chased after them throughout the house. My makeup and hair would be on point and the house would be impeccable.  Reality wasn’t too far off in the beginning of our marriage. It wasn’t until the birth of...

Keep Reading