Let Me Breathe On You (Live)
Out Of The Ashes
Share the sounds
THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG
I was late making the decision to start a family… thirty-seven before all ducks felt appropriately in a line, and then I was in a hurry.
Four years ticked by, during which we climbed a few stressful hurdles before I finally became pregnant at forty-one. When James was born the pregnancy had seemed pretty easy, but the baby that resulted turned out to be ill.
He proved to be allergic to pretty much the whole world, including my breast milk, any formula milks we could find and, subsequently, most other things that he could either ingest or might inhale as he breathed. For James’ first eight years, the lives of all three of us became an interminable, exhausting battle of two hours sleep a night for my husband, Kevin, and myself, endless trips and appointments to hospitals, consultants and therapists – endless battles to help him to be an ordinary little boy.
I have a vivid memory of sitting by the cot at three o’clock one morning, longing for James to stop screaming so that I could go back to bed. All I could think of was the desperate need for my own sleep, but the baby in front of me was in too much pain and couldn’t be left – while I, broken and inadequate, simply didn’t have the tools to help him.
In the absence of anything else I might do, a desperate plea, “Come on God! You are the great Creator! You own the cattle on a thousand hills… You can fix this! – why won’t you heal him?”
I didn’t hear God reply and James didn’t stop screaming. The only thing I had a sense of was being encouraged to pray more myself, and to get others to pray on our behalf. Other than that, nothing.
It was only when I looked back years later and saw the myriad of things that God had put in place enabling us to endure those years that I finally realised…
During the years of sleepless nights, Kevin and I had been able to both be present at home, parenting together and supporting one another through the exhaustion.
There were people around us who loved us, prayed for us and helped us day to day.
Simple things, like an assistant in a shop who saw James, recognised the condition as one her first child had suffered from and told me that whilst the years would be hard, the bond between him and us would be unusually strong as a result of how close we needed to be to him. She turned out to be right.
We had been able to explore new ways to sort out James’ health, resulting in doctors that knew him being ultimately astonished at his progress, and by eleven years old he only had a more manageable list of allergies left. He now, a strong, healthy young man of eighteen, has only one or two.
That night, all those years ago, I longed for God to press a magic switch – which, undeniably, He sometimes does – but for us, that night, He had a different plan, and looking back, I can see that His path was the better one. Instead of being our genie in a bottle, He breathed on us.
One thing we can be sure of when we pray – He always breathes on us; He pours His Holy Spirit on us to inspire us, to enable us, to comfort us.
And through His gracious, loving and mighty generosity, He enables us to be part of the solution.
Unearth a new song
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