When Life Sucks Your Breath Away


My heart was beating fast, my mind racing. The over-whelming feeling of hopelessness and despair swept over me like a flood. In just a moment’s time, my whole world felt like it came crashing down around me…again. I struggled to maintain a sense of composure on the outside while I was falling apart inside. How could just one sentence from the doctor suck the very life out of me?


“Your baby boy has been placed on life support and will not live apart from a miracle…” 


“Your son has had a seizure, and we don’t know to what extent the brain damage will be…” 


“Your baby girl also needs a heart transplant, but it’s unlikely that she will get one in time…” 


“You will never be able to have any more children…” 


“Your daughter is testing allergic to EVERYTHING we are checking…” 


“The biopsy has revealed that your son has a very aggressive form of cancer, and he doesn’t have much time left, unless he responds positively to the chemotherapy…” 


“Your son will never get his own hair back…” 


“Your daughter will likely always struggle with her extreme skin condition and allergies…” 


“I’m so sorry but the ultrasound shows no heart beat. Your baby has died…” 


“Your son has a second form of cancer and, in some ways, it is worse than the first one. We’ve done everything we can do!” 


“Your son is now in congestive heart failure…“ 


“Your son’s heart is so weak that it could stop at any minute and we could lose him…” 


“There is no more brain activity….we need you to sign the consent to withdraw life support from your son…” 


It happened again last night, but not quite in the same way that it had happened before.  This time, I awoke with a start. I felt the tears and the intense
dread as I tried to still my racing heart. As reality began sinking in, I felt a mixture of relief as well as sorrow. In my dreams, the doctor had just told us that our son, Austin, had several holes in his heart, and his heart was becoming enlarged because of it. He wasn’t going to live unless a new heart became available for him soon. As the sorrow of missing Austin swept over me, I began praising God that Austin is not having to deal with more health issues–he is safely at home in Heaven. My bed became an altar before God as I rejoiced and praised Him for all that He had done.

I know, without a shadow of doubt, that I am a much better wife, mother, and person than I would be without facing the storms that we have struggled through. We have greater compassion, discernment, and purpose in our lives because of the many times our hearts and lives were crushed. Through all of our “ God, why?” questions, we have a much greater knowledge of who God is and what He desires for His children. Although I wish that none of our children would ever have needed to face the extremely difficult things they did, I see how it also helped to mold them into who God intended for them to be. In my dream last night, I felt the desperation of wanting God to just reach down and heal the holes that were in Austin’s heart. When I woke up, I was reminded that God is more interested in healing the gaping holes that are deep within our souls. Although it hurts the heart of God when we suffer, we can be assured that He sees a much bigger picture than what we can see.

The other day, I was sitting at the dentist’s office with our four daughters. As I was putting a puzzle together with the little girls, I couldn’t help but blinking a few tears as I remembered all the times of bringing Austin to this same waiting room. At one point in our lives, it wasn’t unusual for our children to have three or four doctor appointments each week. As I reflected at how different my life is right now, I came to the conclusion that, although I am very grateful for the health of our children, I am not more blessed or happy now than I was back then. (maybe less stressed!) Happiness is truly dependent on our perspective in the midst of the tough events of our lives.

We have, personally, discovered that the secret to true joy and happiness in our journey is not in the ABSENCE of hard times, but it is in the PRESENCE of giving thanks to God no matter what our journey contains. Whenever we focus on thanking and praising God, we literally reverse the destruction that Satan intended through our trials. And it even works when dealing with bad dreams…

In reality, it’s not the ominous “one- liners” from your doctor, the hurtful words from someone else, the stress of a difficult job situation, the worries of financial pressure, or the disappointments of bad decisions by a loved one that makes your world come crashing down. What “sucks the very life out of you” is when you quit focusing on your blessings and become ungrateful. Join me in taking a deep breath and let’s breathe in the very life-giving essence of Jesus.

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)



  • Marlene Rutt
    Posted at 15:00h, 08 February

    Thank you Cindy for sharing your pain and your heart. Ungratefulness is a tragedy in our generation and often not recognized as being a problem . Thanking Jesus for His patience with me as I learn to be grateful and count my blessings in all things.

  • James n Maria Kropf
    Posted at 16:11h, 08 February

    Thank you so much for the encouraging message. It is fulfilling the verse; ‘Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble’. (Isaiah 35:3). Timely for us. We are so encouraged by your family’s testimony. Bless you for
    taking those difficulties in your life as opportunities to allow God to draw you closer to Him and for His Name to be exalted. “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.- Jesus

  • Sam and Beverly Groff
    Posted at 12:53h, 09 February

    All, I can say is Wow!!!!!! Yes, we don’t understand the why of why we go thru these hard times. We buried a 25 yr old son almost 12 yrs ago, in a very sudden airplane accident. Then almost 2 yrs ago our then 28 yr old son who was not walking with the Lord the way we as parents were wanting him to, was sentenced to 5 yrs in jail for some things that didn’t happen. It’s been a tough road for us as parents and my Mother heart.

  • Steve Graber
    Posted at 13:02h, 09 February

    God bless you guys!

  • Anita
    Posted at 09:17h, 10 February

    Thankyou so much for this post! A friend sent me the link recently. Our three year old daughter passed away recently. The pain and grief of losing a child in death, and the possibility that it could happen to again if we have more children is overwhelming. God really truly is always there, though. praise Him!

  • Gea Makkinga
    Posted at 10:59h, 12 February

    Thank you Cindy ! This is just what I needed to hear !

  • Duane & Cindy
    Posted at 21:47h, 13 February

    I totally agree, Marlene! I am so unworthy of God’s grace and forgiveness in this area. Like Paul said…”I have LEARNED to be content…” It’s a journey and something that must be learned. It only comes through a conscious effort and much work on our part. God bless you as you grow in Him. ~Cindy

  • Duane & Cindy
    Posted at 21:52h, 13 February

    James and Maria,
    Thank you for your encouragement to us. God is so amazing, isn’t He? No matter how big or terrible our struggles, HE is always bigger and able to make us more than conquerors! His presence is there with us. We praise and glorify Him! ~Cindy

  • Duane & Cindy
    Posted at 22:04h, 13 February

    Sam and Beverly,
    You, so well, also understand the pain and heartache of living in this fallen world. We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your son. I know it was twelve years ago, but we are well aware that the ache and loss never truly leaves you. We can’t imagine the pain associated with having a wayward son and then seeing him serving a sentence for something he didn’t commit. Our heartfelt prayers are with you! We pray that God is working in your son’s life and that this sentence will enable him to see his complete dependance on His Heavenly Father. God bless you with His grace and peace. ~Cindy

  • Duane & Cindy
    Posted at 22:05h, 13 February

    Thank you, Steve! May God bless you and your family as you continue to faithfully serve Him. ~Cindy

  • Duane & Cindy
    Posted at 22:24h, 13 February

    Oh, Anita, we are so sorry to hear about your daughter’s recent passing. Hugs and tears! I know this pain and loss is so overwhelming and leaves you feeling completely broken and your heart raw and bleeding. There are no easy words or simple solutions except claiming God’s grace moment by moment. You can’t look too far into the future, just claim the grace for NOW. The same God that is carrying us right now, will continue to carry us through whatever trial we may face in our future. Don’t be too hard on yourself right now, either. Grieving is hard! Give yourself time and don’t think you need to be strong. Cry when you feel like crying and don’t suppress the many emotions you are feeling. They will eventually stabilize a bit more and you will experience joy and purpose again. We will be praying for you! ~Cindy

  • Duane & Cindy
    Posted at 22:25h, 13 February

    Thank you, Gea, for this encouragement! To God be the glory! ~Cindy

  • Penny
    Posted at 20:43h, 03 March

    thanks, I know the Lord directed me to this post. I have cried off and on all day, over hurtful words from our adult daughter. She and our 3 grands live with us after her divorce. We are all just trying to navigate the new dynamics of this situation and frankly I just am tired. I want to just be the fun grandma, not the nanny grandma correcting manners and attitudes, helping with homework and sybling rivalry. I know the Lord has me doing kingdom work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference. This soldier is just weary. Thanks for listening.

  • Cindy Mullett
    Posted at 16:57h, 06 March

    Oh, Penny, I am so sorry to hear of the tough situation you are in. I will definitely be praying for you! May God fill you with His love to look beyond the hurtful words from your daughter and see the hurting heart she probably has. I pray that God will bless you with His strength for each day and the discernment to know when to speak and what to say. Most of all, I pray that Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy you and the lives of your loved ones will defeated in Jesus name. May these trying times draw you closer together rather than further apart. Hugs and prayers to you…

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