She opened the door and walked into the foyer of the church she was attending that day. People were friendly. They smiled; she smiled back. They reached out to shake her hand; she shook their hands back. Some leaned in and gave her generous hugs; she hugged back. They were obviously glad to see her, and it was nice to be welcomed with such genuine warmth.
She looked happy and content, but they could not see her silent gasps for air. Though she engaged with those around her, her struggle within made her want to retreat. She felt she lacked integrity to act like she was fine when she wasn't, really. But she acted anyway to avoid negativity.
She wanted to offer more—she wanted to offer life, but she was too empty. She was the one in need of life, but she kept it to herself.
She sat amidst the congregation and sang and listened with them, and for awhile it felt mechanical. But then she felt a shift—they started singing about the name of Jesus. She joined in, and tears streamed down her face as she sang about the One who had saved her so many times.
Jesus sat down beside her and breathed into her soul, and she gulped the breath of fresh air He offered her. As He has always done, He showed up and gave her life again.