Apr 24

The Air I Breathe


I’ve had very mild asthma for most of my adult life. When I say mild, I mean I might have a mild attack once or twice a year…and that’s usually induced by spicy food or a dusty surrounding. I carry an inhaler, but rarely need it.

In the past, when I have one of these attacks (which is really a strong word for what they have been), I always know I’m going to be fine. My airways are thinned out, but I can tell that air is there. Now when I’m around other people, it might scare them a little to hear me gasp for air, but I know I’m fine. I use my inhaler and in a few seconds I’m back to normal.

Until last Friday night…

It was 4:30 am. I abruptly awoke, struggling to breathe, no air available to me at all. I jumped out of bed trying to breathe in as hard as I could. Nothing. No air at all.

I want to pause here and back up a bit. A good friend from England was visiting us last week. Her name is Laura and she’s just the sweetest little Brit you ever did meet! For the majority of the week, Laura resided in my oldest son, Blake’s room, since he was away at college. He came home on Friday for Easter, and we decided to move Laura to Hayley Grace’s room (my 12 yr old daughter) and move Hayley Grace into my and my husband’s room for the remainder of her stay. Yes, these are the issues faced when there is no guest bedroom and every inch of your home is occupied by someone all of the time! But you won’t hear me complain, the more the merrier!

That last paragraph may seem insignificant. It’s not. It was a divine provision by God. The simple act of moving people around in a crowded house could possibly be the act God used to save my life.

Back to my story…no air at all.

Hayley Grace was in my room sleeping and she also woke up. She saw that her mama was struggling, unable to breathe. She yelled for her dad (bless his heart…the heavy sleeper he is, he slept right through it) but she didn’t wait for him to act. I knew my inhaler was in my pocketbook (purse) and I began saying “pocketbook…pocketbook…pocketbook” as well as I could. (try speaking with no air…) Hayley Grace understood and ran to get my pocketbook…and there in the side pocket was my inhaler. My year and half old inhaler because I rarely have to use it. The first inhale did very little. The 2nd began to slowly open my airways up, enough to get some air, enough air, life-giving air.

My hero, my brave beautiful daughter, Hayley Grace. Who knew how God would use her that night? She doesn’t sleep in my room, yet she was there on this night, the very night I needed help. Coincidence? I don’t think so. God’s perfect provision? I know so.

I saw a doctor and received a breathing treatment, a shot in the bum (ouch!), and a lot of medicine to come home with.  Diagnosis: bronchitis headed for pneumonia with aggravated asthma. A week later, I’m still not 100%, but I’m breathing and for that I’m grateful!

I don’t know what would have happened if Hayley Grace hadn’t been there, if Laura hadn’t been visiting and moved to a different bedroom. Possibly, I’d be just fine. Or maybe not. I don’t know. What I do know though, is that HG was there. And God did provide and I’m ok. :)  I’ve never been so thankful for the air I breathe in all my life!

Me and HG ASU 2013

This event doesn’t scare me today. If anything, it’s brought me to my knees in awe and appreciation for the people in my life and especially for God Who never left me unattended. Being home on the couch all week resting has given me plenty of time to reflect and pray. I don’t want to take breathing for granted anymore. I don’t want to miss the miracle and overlook the blessings in the simple act of breathing.

Let’s not wait until there is an emergency to bring us to an awareness of simple blessings, let’s act now.

Take a deep breath right now. Thank God for that air you just took in to your lungs. You are alive and breathing.

Look around you. Thank God for where you are right now. You are alive and breathing.

Don’t take today for granted. Thank God for today. You are alive and breathing.

This song comes to mind as I end this blog post. You might remember it from quite a few years back. Enjoy :)

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If you can’t see or hear the video posted here, click here. 

Is there anything in your life that you have been neglecting?  Have you been unaware of any blessings in your life? What can you give thanks for today that maybe you overlooked yesterday?

It is my prayer that this story will move you into an awareness of the simple and often overlooked blessings in your life today.

Thank you God for the air I breathe.  Amen.



  1. Praise God for his miraculous provision of having Haley Grace there when she was so needed. I am so thankful that you are alright and recovering from such a scary situation. When you said in your post to take a deep breath, and not to take anything for granted, I was struck with such a feeling of gratitude and tears. Thank you for sharing this story. I’m listening to the song now. I love that song. All of it, all of this that you shared, has touched me deeply. I’m so thankful for you.

    • So happy to see you back in the saddle! I’m coming back with you! I missed your great blog insight! Blessings to you!

  2. Thanking God He provided for you and am amazed at how He worked. Thanking God also that you are ok!

  3. Rosemary (OBS Team) says:

    Melissa, what a moving story. As I read this today, it made me realize how often we are given blessings that we do take for granted. I am learning what a gift it is to wake each morning to a new day. I don’t take that for granted anymore, not since my husband didn’t wake up. I am also so grateful for the many blessings that God has put in my life since Sept. but I never take them for granted and praise Jesus for His love and His word. Thank you for sharing. Prayers for a speedy recovery and blessing just for being you. <3

  4. so glad that you are ok, thank you for sharing your story, I had tears sister! We do take things for granted alot of the time until something like this reminds us how precious life is. You are a gift to my life and I am glad I stumbled upon P31 and all of the wonderful ladies behind the scenes. Praying you feel 100% soon. ((HUGS))

  5. Melissa, Thank you so much for sharing your precious story of Gods amazing works . It gave me chills. I am so so glad that you are alright and I pray for your complete recovery. What a blessing that your precious daughter Haley Grace was with you Thank you for the reminder to be aware of the blessings around us .Giving praise and thanks to God for his intervention for you !

  6. First off I want to say I’m glad you are okay.
    I never write back to any online post normally, but today I have to. I was just diagnosed with exercise induced asthma while going in to the doctor to be checked for allergies. Unsure why she was checking for asthma as I KNEW I didn’t have it as I’ve been an athlete all my life and currently. After being diagnosed, I realized I had experienced what they would call ‘attacks’ and hard time breathing during running and such. But I thought I was just out of shape :) and would get over it by controlling/slowing my breathing mentally. God told the doctor what to check for instead of what I was asking for.
    I just today posted on my facebook asking friends with asthma hints how to make it better as I have an upcoming half marathon in Yellowstone Park in June, which is at elevation 7000, and I’m training at 3000. There’s also a 360 ft gain hill in it as well. I’m scared to say the least even though I’ve run 7 halfs and 2 full marathons to date. I have a rescue inhaler but I’ve only had to use it once during a run and I didn’t feel it helped too much (weird I know).
    Anyway, my point is the timing of your post, seeing you say you trust God that you will be okay at the same day I’m beginning to get anxious for a run months away still. Also, the song you posted at the end…very memorable to me as it’s the song I gave my life to God in when I was 18 and a band was playing it. At that time the word desperate in the song is what hit me, now it’s the air I breathe. Thank you for your post.

    • Breanne, I love how God works! I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 25 and am now 48. My asthma is induced by allergies, exercise, stress, etc. You can’t let this stop you! By the way, the marathon you are running is only about 98 miles from me. What I can tell you is to use your inhaler about 20 to 30 minutes before you start the marathon and make sure you know how to properly use it so that you get all the medication into your lungs. This should alleviate the need to use it during the race. Also, something I have learned is to always carry your inhaler with you, you never know when you will need it. My daughters friend has asthma and he runs cross country track. I told him to use his inhaler before he runs and this has helped him a great deal. I will be praying for you in June and know you will do just great. Good luck and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park – one more thing we can be thankful for!

  7. Thank God Hayley Grace was there with you and heard you. You are my inspiration Melissa and I know you are to a lot of other people and so does God….Thanks for all you do for all of us….Lisa

  8. Thank you, Melissa. My sister is driving my girls, my mother, and myself from Minden, LA to Athens GA for a nephew’s wedding. We’ve been sharing things we’ve read recently. She had just told me about a devotional telling her to quit planning and REST. You are right on track. Please pray for Lindsay Thurman, my daughter’s dance line sponsor, and her family. They will be attending her high school senior cousin’s service today. She did not survive her asthma attack.

  9. Pam Pitts says:

    I too have the same type allergy issue and carry an inhaler and have been coughing today I think because there’s a black cloud and my biggest issue is ragweed, so after reading your story I went to take a Mucinex and Claritin, which I should’ve taken a couple of hours ago, will definitely take my inhaler out with me as I’m about to go to physical therapy, thanks for sharing! Praise God He arranged for Haley to be in your room!

  10. So glad that Haley was there and provided the help. Thanks be to God. Hope you are doing better. This allergy season has been hard on me and I am searching for my inhaler at night to stop coughing.
    Glad my little bible study girl is doing fine!

  11. Melissa, I pray that you are well soon. God knows we need you leading our P31 Bible studies! Thank you for everything you do! Take care of yourself!!!!

  12. So thankful you’re okay Melissa! What an awful feeling that must be. God is good…I am so struck by the beauty all around me at this time of year (though it might cause asthma or at least allergies for some). And I don’t want to take it for granted or miss it, because it goes so fast. There are ornamental fruit trees everywhere I look–apple, cherry, pear, weeping and not. I can’t help but stop my car, gaze and snap a few pix of all the glory! Funny, I spoke on Thankfulness today at our local MOPs group. I gave each mom a little pretty notebook for her purse, so she would record and remember 3 gifts each day. Your daughter is beautiful! Blessings friend!!

  13. Melissa, My prayers are with you and I hope you get better soon.I am so thankful that Hayley Grace was there for you. God knows what we need and he put Hayley Grace there for you. God is Good. Please take care of yourself!!!!

  14. Praising God for you Hayley, great job in helping your mama. Oh Melissa, praying that you are feeling better. I know what you are going through I also have asthma and this winding weather is not nice 😉 but God is Good!!!!! Loved the song….I love where she sings “Your Holy presence living in me”….He is always with us, and Yes let’s thank Him for the air we breathe…. Keep resting Love and blessings Anna

  15. Catherine S says:

    I praise God every day for you Melissa. The truth, support, encouragement, you bring me. I thank God for the blessing of your life and that HG was there for you that very early morning.
    Praise Jesus

  16. Christina Steiner (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

    So thankful that you are on the mend! Been praying for you, and praising God for your sweet daughter. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I have a 14 year old daughter that I know would be there for me like HG was there for you. I love that you wrote this blog post, to use for God’s glory!!

  17. So glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery, and how scary it must have been for you and your daughter, but God is good and gracious and provided for your needs. Missed you and your contagious smile. May God continue to bless you.

  18. Melissa, what a day to read this post! First let me compliment that beautiful daughter of yours for her quick response as guided by the Holy Spirit! She is an angel! I just got home, having left my daughter and my grandson Andrew at the hospital. Andrew is trached and vented. He can initiate his own breaths but his airway is too narrow to complete each breath enough to fill his strong lungs, as he has an extremely rare genetic neuromuscular condition. As he went in to surgery today for a routine bronchoscopy, a delicate procedure to assess his airway and bronchial passage, I thanked God for the fact that he is not on oxygen but can breathe “room air” as they call it, through the vent. I often think about breathing and how most of us take it for granted. I don’t! I am a special educator working with medically fragile multi challenged students, most of whom struggle with compromised respiratory issues. Two of my students passed away last fall. Breathing is God’s Life in us! I praise God for your daughter’s divine intervention and for my grandson’s ability to come out of surgery and receive a God-assisted breath! Thank you Melissa! God bless!

  19. Stephanie says:

    Melissa, you have no idea what this testimony and this experience did to impactmy life. Or how it spoke to me and how God spoke to me through it. But God knows and the reality of what you went through and the rippling effect goes far beyond anything you understand. I haven’t gotten an email update from your blog in a long time, yet this was timed, divinely, perfect. I hope this only strengthens your conviction of the massive nine workings of God. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Melissa,
    This blog literally allowed me to breathe fresh air into my dying spirit. I’m in a hard place–an assigned hard place–and I’m a little overwhelmed and feel “without strength.” Your testimony has been an inhaler to me and allowed me to inhale and live. Thank you for being a willing instrument for God to use to remind us that He is the air that we breathe; for in Him we live and move and have our being. Thank you!

  21. Fabienne says:

    Just wanted to praise the Lord for His provision and protection in your life, and thank you for your testimony. It helped me take a deep breath. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Diane W. says:

    Praying for you Cecelia Miller, that the Holy Spirit will fill you and renew you as you Breathe in these words of life!

  23. Diane W. says:

    Melissa, I am so glad that you are ok, and that HG was right there and knew what her Mama needed! That did sound like a God moment! It’s funny but I listened to that song this morning in my quiet time, with Michael W Smith singing it. One if my favs!

  24. Thank you Jesus for both the big and small miracles in our lives!

  25. CarolAnne says:

    God bless HG! Take care, Melissa, we love you! xo

  26. Oh Melissa! I’m just so glad you’re ok & that Hayley Grace stayed calm. God is so good. I’ve had asthma my whole life, I know that terrible feeling. It’s funny the thing people take for granted, I love the air I breathe. We have to remember to give thanks even for the little things that are so big! Love you bunches my friend!

  27. Melissa, so very joyful you are okay and on your way to healing.

    God is a God of miracles and we were just treated to one. Praise Him for giving you a house where “guests” are moved around.

    I love your “be thankful for today.” For today is all we have.

    Love in His name….

  28. Praise God for His divine intervention at the right time! Glad your daughter was there for you! :)
    Hope you feel better soon!

  29. Finally I get the whole story! I know you posted about this on Facebook, but I’m just now finding this post! What an amazing moment God provided you with through this experience! You are blessed (of course you already know that) but I think once we come so close to Him in these desperate moments, we truly need Him more on a daily basis. It makes us question many of our routine patterns and suddenly our motives…even passion change. I am so thankful for God teaching you through this yet, girl…hope you never have to go through that again!!! :)