Being Faithful Doesn’t Require Being Fearless

Dear Reader:

I took this picture last Wednesday when I returned to Mandy and John’s house to help with the grandchildren while John was gone to an out-of-state meeting. The beautiful diverse orange flowers’ arrangement was still glowing in the aftermath of  Jake’s and my birthday party four days earlier. (Last Saturday)

There were a few tell-tale signs that some slight wilting was beginning to transpire but over all, at first glance, it looked as radiant as it did at the party.

By the time I left though (Friday) all the flowers had dropped their blooms and the leaves were turning dark. The arrangement’s time had come to an end. But still…what impressed me was that….knowing the ending was near…the flowers fearlessly kept living life to the fullest for as long as they possibly good.

Don’t we sometimes get down on ourselves and equate fearfulness with lack of faith? Yet when we study the men and women from scripture who God called to perform certain tasks, we realize they were just like us. “Who am I that I could pull something off like what You asked?” (We ask ourselves this still today when we sense God’s tugging at our sleeve to do something for Him in our daily lives. We think to ourselves… ‘I am fearful and find my self-confidence and faith waning when I need it the most.’ 

That was why I wrote that note to myself while waiting on my CAT-Scan results. My mouth was dry, my heart pounding, and my hands shaking while I wrote the note but I needed to see my inner thoughts written down. I was anxious but I still had faith that God was with me and whatever unveiled was with His knowledge… He would be there regardless of the outcome.

When this same thought was orally re-iterated by my oncologist (when I told her about the message)…I felt God’s presence in that tiny cubicle… it suddenly loomed larger with more space to breathe.

Yesterday I woke up to the beautiful sounds of thunder rolling off in the distance and lightning streaks across the bedroom…oh the perfect day to roll back over and think how glorious it is that the garden is being watered by God on this particular morning. He does a much better job than me!

After one of the showers I walked around to ‘see how my garden grew.’ Each photo once again told the story of how life fights to the finish each day to stay in the light just a little bit longer….Plants are no different than humans in that regard….life is too precious to easily let go. Hope is eternal.

I really thought I lost my bottlebrush to the ice storm last January….only sticks jutting out of the ground showed where it once was…it was late spring before the first green leaf appeared and then slowly but surely it started climbing back up along the branches. Yesterday the first sighting of a red and soon-to-be-seen formation of a bottlebrush was evident it had survived. This plant never gave up hope.

We expect to see mums as fall arrives but this container (filled to the brim with little mum blooms) survived an extremely hot summer without burning up and wilting away like many of the other mum planters. It survived when others didn’t….it knew rain and cooler weather was coming…it just had to keep on keeping on. Hope survived.

 

 Spider lily….this delicate bloom had not been seen for two years and was feared killed by the lawn mower. But three days ago it popped back up looking more beautiful than I remembered it…deep inside the earth for such a long time it never forgot the light of life and left the darkness to be reborn again. It never gave up hope.

 

 


When I spotted this brown and white striped moth (or butterfly) on a brown, dead looking flower bloom I wondered what possible nutrition it could get from a dead bloom. Obviously a lot…what I have learned from gardening…is to give seeds and plants a second or third chance at life because things that appear dead to us are only resting to return again.

 

A terrible aroma lead me to this discovery Friday night…my Race for the Cure pumpkin, after two years of sitting prettily on a book shelf succumbed and it was not a pleasant smell…however the pink breast cancer sign, along with the letters HOPE, remained until I threw it all in the trash bag….and chlorox’ed the whole shelf.

Which brings me back to the letter H on the cloth letters HOPE hanging on the back deck….I already mentioned the O letter had holes in it and now the H is tattered with a hole in it….but tattered and torn HOPE never gives up and that is all we need to remember….fearful or faithful or fearless and faithless…we just never can give up hope and must always keep the faith. We are not alone.

*God Wink….Yesterday Honey and seven friends traveled to St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope in Trust, NC and there she found “the” picture of me, Mandy, and baby Eva Cate front center on the altar table. She placed a little stone in front of the picture…on it was written the word H O P E. Unbelievable….something special  happens when Honey makes her pilgrimage to the little chapel in the woods. There is always a mystical connection.

So until tomorrow….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

*When you are four and your whole world exists around toy cars and trucks…”Happiness is”…. Jake displaying all his ‘hot wheels’…too cute!

 

 

 

I am sure Mollie must think….”I don’t remember anything in the baby books about having to take three children to a school fundraiser on a rainy Saturday morning”.…it was Rutledge’s school but Lachlan heard ‘paint race’ and he was all in.

 

*This is how I felt at halftime yesterday (Clemson and Syracuse- 10 pts behind…we lost our second (now first-string) quarterback and were looking to put in the third string quarterback. Deflated.

I have to admit a little Eeyore was beginning to settle inside me….but miraculously the team pulled together and got by with a victory….it looked like something out of a movie…with a good ending! It will definitely be a testing time of character and perseverance for the Clemson team….”Keep the faith boys!

 

*I will keep the “home fires” burning! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Happy “Official” Birthday to my only and most favorite son-in-law John! I am so happy you came into our family…what an asset!

 id!

 

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.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Being Faithful Doesn’t Require Being Fearless

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    I enjoyed this message about faith, and how close hope and faith seem to be. I don’t want to even think about a world without faith, hope and belief in things we can not see or understand. This is such a strong message especially as we see your beautiful flowers and the promise of life in each of them. The words from Brene Brown are powerful. Thanks!

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      You are welcome Jo…we each need to reiterate these basic concepts of our united faiths…as we are more alike than different. Each of us is just trying to make our way down our individual journeys on earth…with a lot of help from each other and God.

      Like

  2. Patty Knight says:

    Hope and faith … holding on to these!
    Love you!

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      They go together hand in hand don’t they? Since I don’t get on Facebook very much these days…after working on the next day’s blog and answering emails and comments I am about technologied out. But please keep us abreast (sorry no pun intended) of Kirsten’s next stage in the journey so we can pray during the benchmark surgeries or treatments. Chapel of Hope Stories has a good batting average with prayers! 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.