Back in elementary school I vividly remember one beautiful Spring afternoon playing softball with my P.E. class in sixth grade. I don’t remember the score, if I made any plays, or got on base. Etched in my mind is the classmate up to bat who did hit the ball and subsequently in their excitement threw the bat, in which my stomach became the direct target. Immediately the bell rang and class was over. I in turn felt like my days were over as well. I just experienced known in medical terms as a “diaphragm spasm” or more commonly termed as “getting the wind knocked out of you”. I could not breathe for what seemed like an eternity as I ran back through the playground yard towards the building. Even while gasping for oxygen, I did not want to draw attention to myself, so I kept away from friends and teachers. Air did return to my lungs after a few minutes and life went on; however the memory reminded me repeating that incident would not be welcome on my grid.
According to Wikipedia, a diaphragm spasm takes place when blunt force occurs to the abdomen which puts pressure on the solar plexis, the complex bundle of nerves located in the abdominal region, resulting in a temporary paralysis of the diaphragm which causes difficulty in breathing. Contact sports are common culprits whereby a forceful blow to the abdomen or by falling on the back initiates the paralysis. Anxiety often precedes restoration of normal breathing in one to two minutes.
According to me, I thought I was dying.
At age eleven I had no idea that “diaphragm spasms” came from sources other than flying baseball bats. I have had the wind knocked out of me numerous times, not in a physical sense since I could still breathe, yet definitely emotionally. When these types of events occurred, life was drained out of me instantaneously, returning much longer than in one to two minutes. You know-unkind words, shattered dreams, broken hearts, and the death of a loved ones. At age forty-nine, the unthinkable happened. On Christmas Eve I was confronted lovingly by some friends that my husband not being truthful with me, was in love with another woman and engaged in a long term affair with her. We were already separated because of many difficulties, and though I felt anguish in the separation, this was the blunt force trauma that knocked the wind out of me. It actually nearly knocked the life out of me. I was barely functioning, and my three boys were reeling as well. I contacted each of their Life Group Church Leaders and begged for their help in navigating me through this crisis and to be the Godly male influencers they needed. My words in giving them the news was that we were hemorrhaging. They stepped up as well as many family members and friends. The breath returned. The bleeding stopped. The recovery started. Life returned differently as my “Happily Ever After” marriage ended in a lengthy, excruciating divorce.
One of many lessons I learned was that time does not heal all wounds. Time is a space to seek restoration and grow stronger or to fester in bitterness and wallow in that cesspool. Unfortunately I experienced the latter before the former. Jesus is the healer of all wounds. Isaiah 53:5 ESV states, “But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we were healed.” Jesus came for the purpose of giving us life. He gives the breath of life even when the wind is knocked out of us. And the life He gives is eternal.
Tomorrow happens to be Easter Sunday, a day of celebration for those of us who have made the Life Giver, Jesus, our Lord. Whether you are sailing through life right now or gasping for air, consider the One who was sacrificed on your behalf to give you more life than you can imagine. The stripes from His scourging are the selfless evidence of love for you. He did not have to do this. He chose to do it out of His incomprehensible love. Healing. Breath. Life.
www.wikipedia.org source for medical terminology