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When faced with the consequences of going without her inhaler, Claire McGarry realizes she’s dependent on more than just her medicine.

I have asthma, but a mild case. Or so I thought. When my inhaler ran out back in March, I thought I’d try to go without. I hadn’t had any issues for years, and thought maybe I didn’t need it after all.

Come June, I was coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker. Trust me when I say: This is not the time to be coughing out in public! People would look at me as if I were evil and move clear across the store.

Worse yet, the pharmacy wouldn’t refill my prescription because it had expired. I hadn’t seen my doctor since pre-COVID times. The pharmacy made me wait until I could make an appointment and see my doctor to write a new prescription.

Once I got a new inhaler, it still took three months before I stopped wheezing. It seems it takes time for my lungs to recuperate when they’ve been denied what they need for so long.

What may surprise you is: This isn’t the first time I’ve done this – felt good and tried to get myself off of my medicine. I’ve done it at least two other times, with the same end result. I guess I’m a slow learner and in denial that I’m dependent on an inhaler, no matter how much I don’t want to be.


woman with eyes closed leaning against a wall



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When we’re in need, God doesn’t make us wait for a refill or an appointment. #catholicmom

I may have tried three times to go without my medicine, but I can’t even count how many times I’ve tried to go without prayer.

In those moments, things were great, going my way. I felt on top of it all and in control. When time would run out and it was difficult to fit prayer into my day, I’d go without.

Before you know it, prayer would fall out of my routine completely. Over time, my spirit would get weighed down. As more time lapsed, I’d get grumpier and more out of sorts. My priorities would get jumbled, and I’d focus on the wrong things, neglecting what really mattered.

Inevitably, I’d hit a wall, gasping for grace, desperate for peace. The good news is: When we’re in need, God doesn’t make us wait for a refill or an appointment. He’s always waiting for us to turn to Him, and He responds immediately when we do.

Each time He washes away my angst and refills me with peace, I realize all over again that I will always be dependent on Him. The difference is: My inhaler is the outward fix that I need to help me breathe. God is the inward answer, in every circumstance, that gives my soul life.

Copyright 2021 Claire McGarry
Image: Canva Pro