Faith on a Foggy Morning

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Dear Reader:

If I don’t have to drive in the fog…I really love the sense of fog settling in around my home, yard, and neighborhood. Some of my favorite garden jaunts last summer were early foggy morning escapes….because fog changes our whole perspective on what we consider normal and ordinary. Fog creates another dimension and look into our daily lives that affords us a chance to see another side of life.

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I have just finished reading the “Grape” series by author Laura Bradbury…the nickname given four novels about her personal memoirs of France… from her first trip as a high school senior exchange student to meeting her French husband, having three girls, and living between two countries…Canada and France.

7451326Today she and her husband own four rental cottages (they personally renovated) in Burgundy France and they still divide their time between her country of Canada and her husband’s native France.

 

Now you might be thinking to yourself… “Is Becky a little foggy today?” (actually “foggier”?) I mean this is all nice about this author and her memoirs…but what does that have to do with a foggy day.

Well…let me tell you. At the end of the third book… “My Grape Wedding” there was personal “postlude” on Bradbury that made me stop and re-read the lines again…she is facing a liver transplant to save her life and she was telling her readers that she didn’t know how she completed the ‘wedding story’ because she was so sick some days she couldn’t get out of bed.

Here is a short excerpt from her observation:

” This year has been one of the hardest in my life. My auto-immune bile duct and liver disease (PSC) has not only made me extremely ill but consumed my time through medical testing and appointments. I have just finally been accepted as a transplant candidate at a liver transplant center in Edmonton, Canada.

A life-saving liver transplant brings along with it great risks, but as the alternative at this point is certain death, it is a risk I am not just willing but eager to take.” 

Laura Bradbury then went on to share three new observations on life she has experienced since her diagnosis. In no particular order… let me share one with you today.

FEAR

Fear is life’s greatest illusion – I always have thought of fear as a solid, tangible thing, like a wall that stood between me and a full life. I was scared of so many things: elevators, walking alone after dark, earthquakes, being a failed writer, traveling on airplanes…yet all these fears and many more simply evaporated the day I was diagnosed with PSC.

My fears (at the time that felt so threatening)  ended up being less substantial than the water drops that make up a cloud.

These days I am pretty much only scared by the prospect of dying and leaving my girls without their mother, but I know now that even this fear has no substance. Fear is life’s biggest trickster. Walk straight through it just as you would a foggy morning. (See I have come full circle) Do not let it ever stop you from doing anything!

(*Laura Bradbury started her first published novel after getting the news about her life-threatening disease…she self-published and it was received so well…she wrote the other three and found a publisher who believed in her. She overcame her fear of being a failure as a writer.

Her first “Grape” memoir was The Grape Escape because she felt she needed to  think back on a time when she had to show her greatest courage, in order to help her find it again deep down-  the bravery to fight this terrible disease. She traveled mentally and emotionally back in time to her first experiences in France as a eighteen-year-old exchange student. )

Sunday in church our minister, Jeff Kackley, read a line of scripture from the Christmas Story that we are all familiar with:

And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

He emphasized the line…”which shall be to ALL PEOPLE!” (Not just some shepherds but to everyone!)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to our mailbox one day and a find an envelope from THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL with the scripture lines inside…addressed just for us. EXCEPT we notice that everyone else is getting the same message from the same angel. Talk about a street party…I think we would all have the most joyous one around!

So until tomorrow…Let us tuck our fears away and replace them with faith…faith on a foggy morning…faith that God will see us through our dreams, hopes, crossroads, and troubled times.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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*Update: I went on Laura’s Facebook blog and saw some articles dating from Nov 18, about a week or so ago, and apparently she is still waiting on an organ liver but that doesn’t mean she isn’t busy…she is very active in trying to improve the organ donor process in Canada and is a spokesperson for this cause. I pray for Laura and the thousands of others whose lives depend on organ donations.

 

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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