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Waiting to Exhale

June 23, 2020 | KELLY MCLOUGHLIN

Holding up a Yellow Leaf with the words 'Faith'
“God reassures us that nothing escapes his control. He cares about everything that happens to us and we do not need to hold our breath…”

There was a book titled Waiting to Exhale written in 1992 and it was made into a movie in 1995. It is a romantic comedy about four friends. All of them are “holding their breath” until the day they can feel comfortable in their life. I have been thinking about that movie lately as a comparison to the way life feels during this pandemic.

Inspirational Quote Faith Over FearI realized the other day that I have been holding my breath since the stay at home order started in March. I am holding my breath in big ways and little ways. Have you experienced some “holding your breath” about aspects of your life since March?

We are all trying to find our way in this unfamiliar situation we have been thrust into during Coronavirus. Activities that have been a routine part of our life aren’t able to happen the way we have grown used to them happening. We could be tempted to give up and just cancel things altogether and in fact so many events and activities have been canceled. Where do we turn for comfort? Where do we go to find a solution? Should we give up and not try to find an alternative? Do we just keep holding our breath?

I returned to attending Mass in person this last weekend after holding my breath for months. It occurred to me during Mass that I had never spent this much time away from attending Sunday Mass since I received my first communion in second grade. Going to Mass every week has been as automatic to me over the years as breathing is. It makes sense that it has been sad and difficult to adjust to not being able to participate in a part of my life that feels like second nature. Has live stream Mass been the same? Of course not, but it has been better than not being able to experience Mass in any way.

One of the annual traditions in the Archdiocese for over 25 years has been a weeklong Junior High leadership camp in the summer called Camp Big Deal. I have been involved in Camp Big Deal since 2005, long before I started working in the Archdiocese in 2017 and became the Director for the camp. I thought for sure back in early March that this Coronavirus “situation” would be all handled well before time for us to have camp. That was wishful thinking is all I can say now. For quite a while I kept holding my breath waiting for everything to return to normal so we could go about preparing for camp. When it began to feel like we had no option but to cancel the 2020 summer Camp Big Deal a team of volunteers and I came up with an idea to hold the camp virtually. Of course, it isn’t the same experience but, as we hold the camp virtually this week, I am so grateful we are having a virtual camp rather than no camp at all.

As we navigate the new challenges placed in front of us in our personal and professional lives due to the pandemic, we can turn to God to be our refuge and strength. In the gospel this last Sunday we heard these words Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31.

God reassures us that nothing escapes his control. He cares about everything that happens to us and we do not need to hold our breath, wait for everything to be comfortable and feel normal again or be afraid about what tomorrow brings God is already taking care of tomorrow. I love the shirts/stickers/etc. that say “Faith over fear” reminding us that if we focus on our faith being bigger than our fears, we will be focusing perfectly.