Faith of Cancer

We should have named her Ariel.  Madison is a fish.  Born in Florida, raised in the pool, she is at home in the water.  At the age of 3, I removed her floating aid and decided that I was going to teach her to swim.  She pushed away from me and took off kicking through the water.  No one ever told her that was something she was supposed to learn.  It goes to reason that she is now on the swim team.  An amazing swim program with amazing facilities.

Last night, I sat with her Daddy at swim practice.  At the far end of the olympic pool, there is a high dive.  Occasionally, the coaches let the younger kids wander over to the massive giant and take the leap.  First timers take the ladder with shaking knees, climb to the top, take a look over the edge, and then almost always climb back down to safety.  After a few times of this march, they eventually push their nerve over the end, screaming the whole way down.

Last night, a lone girl stood with her coach beside the skyscraper high dive.  She climbed the ladder with confidence.  She grabbed our attention.  We fixed our gaze as she walked to the end and stopped.  Time paused. Slowly, she bent at a 90 degree angle.  Arms stretched out straight to her side.  Balance gained, she lifted her toes.  Paused.  Fixed.  If there had been a slight breeze from behind, she would have tipped over the side, but she stood.  She stood in strength and she stood in confidence.

The leap of faith.  The lighting of the torch.  The bullet ignited.  It was so graceful, I wanted to stand.  She slowly tipped over the side, soaring through the air with the most captivating beauty and grace.  A perfect swan dive.  The beauty was in the falling, not in the safety of returning to the pool.

Life is scary.  We climb life hurdles with our knees knocking, scared to death.  The diving boards are such huge scary monsters that we do our best to avoid.  And then we have no option, we kick and scream and we don’t want to, but we are forced over the edge.  Jesus is the Diving Team.  He is the best facility available.  He is the coach that never takes his eyes away.  Once you have done it, there is nothing to fear.  Fall into his mercy.  Fall into his grace.  Fall in to his loving arms with resolute confidence.  Cancer is one graceful swan dive.

Once you have taken the plunge, the standard diving board, Nothing.  I jump right off that thing like it never existed.  Once I have, literally, fallen on my knees and prayed for the health of my three month old, financial problems don’t make me blink.  Once I have been covered with scars and swelling, the popularity club doesn’t seem worth my time.  Loss of a job.  Transfer of schools.  Social drama.  Political upheaval.  Dreams crushed.  Swan dive in to the arms of my Jesus.

I have the faith of cancer.

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61 thoughts on “Faith of Cancer

  1. This was beautiful. Cancer, while its been a gnarly journey, I don’t know if my faith in Jesus has ever been stronger. I guess when everything gets striped away and all you have is Jesus, it’s a good place to be. Thanks again for writing.

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  2. This was so beautifully written. Thank you so much for following me (another act of God)… I’ve been captivated by your writing ever since! My husband and I have learned a few tough life lessons over these past few years (no where near the obstacles you have faced and overcome) and that’s what it took for us to finally take the leap off the high dive. People always think we’re crazy… But you’ve put what we feel into such beautifully written words. My husband always reminds me that the opportunities (which are sometimes presented to us as challenges or tests) are always there, just like that looming high dive. And we have the support system and everything we need to finally overcome that fear and experience something so amazing and life changing.

    I look forward to reading more from you!

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  3. Some people think of God (or Gods) as almighty.
    Personally speaking, I don’t think so, if God were almighty there would be a lot of things that would be different or would not be at all. But I know there is something more that this world and this life, I had lots of proofs.
    As a little girl I always liked Jesus, and I know he likes me too, even if its name, gender or number is different of what we the Christians are taught it is, which in fact is not as easy to grasp as only the Son, Jesus, remember there’s the Father, and the Holy Spirit too.
    I don’t think he would be happy with people using his name for other than love, peace, truth, and of course I am sure he is not happy with things as wars, hunger, and some other things that I think He does not like either.
    It is not pleasant to see how society and people turn their backs on other people’s problems. To see how selfish and empty their lives and souls are. How they start looking at people with problems as if they wouldn’t be exactly the same as they were before their problem was known by them.
    At least you and I know He (or They are) is there.
    May God (or Gods) help you to withstand with the wills, hands and actions of other people’s deeds.
    May God help all of us.
    A big hug.

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful writing. I will read all of your posts. I feel like I am going to learn a lot about life and it’s meaning by reading your blog. I’m inspired.

    So thank you for following me, I’m glad it let me to your blog.

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  5. Hello Caroline,
    I just wanted to stop by and praise you for your craft. You are a very gifted and talented writer, thank you for finding me. I love the imagery of this post and the contrast. Wow is so right! I look forward to reading more of your blogs. I just started blogging recently and it truly is the most liberating and freeing thing. Cancer is such a sensitive topic for me as I have lost many loved ones, due to the disease. I would love to know more about you and will continue to follow and read your blog postings. You seriously gave me chills and I have tears in my eyes. May God continue to shine his light on you.
    Cheers!

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  6. You have a great talent for writing beautiful analogies. Thank you for following me so i could find you. I am strengthened by your words. I hope to think of swan diving through my next challenge with help from “the coach that never takes his eyes away.” I love that.

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  7. This is amazing. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have Lupus, and sometimes life with side effects is frustrating, but you’re right; in the grand scheme, Lupus gives me bigger faith to deal with the other stuff. Thanks for the encouragement–you’re awesome.

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  8. As I wander around in your earliest posts, I find myself looking at my morning coffee through watery eyes. You and your family are simply amazing and I love reading your stories of strength… of survival… of love. I don’t even mind the watery eyes… it just makes my eyes a little bluer and gives me a clearer vision of love and life… Thank you Caroline for always being an inspiration through all that you have faced. You are the encouragement that helps many of us face each new day…
    Have a beautiful Sunday morning…
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

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