It's a heart-in-stomach kind of feeling when your smallest child is clinging to your neck gasping for air before those gasps become loud wails of terror. And it's a cement-in-lungs kind of weight that sits square in the middle of the body as your baby's raspy voice emerges, his own lungs shake in some air of their own.
I sit wide-eyed on the couch, stunned, holding a recovering two year old as paramedics listen to his chest, his lungs.
Clear, they say. Clear.
As for what he choked on, we might never know.
But I know what I've swallowed.
Anxiety-drunk and adrenaline-drenched, I'm choking on fear and helplessness.
In those moments of mother-lode panic, I often forget to throw myself into Arms that hold because I'm so busy trying to shoulder the weight of emergency as well as my own heavy body.
Later that evening, while the boys are sprawled across a big bed, I surrender to bathwater and writing out the gratefulness of my heart across blank pages.
And with each moment of mercy penned, He builds trust into my heart number by number, gift by gift, grace by amazing grace.