Out of Adversity Comes Advocacy

Dear Reader:

I was just thinking the other day that when we all face different adversities along our path through life we are also given the opportunity to dig a little deeper inside ourselves to find the healing grace we so seek to persevere. This has certainly been my experience with my foot wound to date.

…And it doesn’t stop there. It also gives us a chance to be an advocate for others approaching the same obstacle as our own…while fighting medical bureaucracy to even get treated depending on one’s ability to have the right insurance. Doesn’t it make many of us feel guilty that we can have a medical procedure approved when others can not? We have so far to still go with leveling the medical, educational, and job opportunity fields in America.

Personally for me….this blog post was created from the uncertainty of a breast cancer diagnosis (with time restrictions) and the desire to reach out to others during this isolated period in my life while simultaneously keeping a family time-line during my continued fight and treatments. It also brought about “Legally Pink” our family/friend team for the annual Race for the Cure advocacy walk.

And here I am..a little over a decade later…still writing and doing what makes me happy. So I can certainly understand the title of this article (below) quite well.

This excerpt from “When You Combine Your Trials with Your Talents” – Sheridan Voysey

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. — Ephesians 4:7

“I made a number of discoveries while writing The Making of Us — one of them being that the trials of life can actually release our greatest gifts into the world.

You think of some of the great artists:

Think about the painter Degas, for example. He suffered from retina disease for the last fifty years of his life. He had to switch from using paint to pastel because the chalk lines were easier for him to see.



What about Renoir? He had to have brushes placed between his fingers when arthritis made them clench like claws.



What about Matisse? When cancer surgery left him immobile, he turned to collage, getting assistants to attach colored pieces of paper to a larger sheet fixed on the wall.


Now here’s the thing: the result for each of them was a new creative breakthrough.

Degas’ Blue Dancers, Renoir’s Girls at the Piano, Matisse’s The Sorrows of the King, and other masterpieces came about from these change of practices for each one of these artists. The melding of their trial with their talent brought something new into existence.

There are other examples:

Think of Maya Angelou. She found her writer’s voice by combing her experiences of poverty and racism with her poetic gifts.


What about Joni Eareckson-Tada? She combined the horrific experience of quadriplegia with a gift of encouragement to start Joni and Friends, an organisation that’s helped countless people with disabilities all across the world.


What about Chuck Colson? After being incarcerated from his part in the Watergate scandal, he used that humbling experience (and it should have been humbling) combined with his leadership abilities to start an amazing organisation called Prison Fellowship, which has changed the lives of inmates and their families everywhere.”


It isn’t just the bumps in the road in life that give us opportunities to advocate for something we believe in….equal medical treatment for all humans, fund-raisers for cures of all cancers, including breast cancer, or whatever other cause you endorse. When we see random acts of kindness we also have an opportunity to respond…to let the givers know how much their kindness and stories have touched others’ lives.

Monday Susan Cadwell, my sister-in-law, felt so moved by the actions of Luke and Chelsey to wash and clean my car Sunday afternoon…that she emailed me to ask what restaurants they liked or perhaps did they frequent the movies?…She wanted to give them a ‘pat on the back’ for all they do for this neighborhood and many others. She loves to hear and read about young people doing such caring deeds.

Yesterday Susan dropped some movie passes off with me to give them… with no note, anonymously (I put the passes in a bag and left them on their front door) but I knew Luke and Chelsey would want to know…so I cut and pasted Susan’s email and sent it to Luke. God Wink…Susan just moved to Summerville from Conway back in the fall…and Luke was in Conway yesterday doing some work there. A double wink….Luke typed:


“OH MY GOSH! That is so nice!!! I’m actually in Conway today and tomorrow working around the Wild Wing Golf Course! I will tell Chelsey about it. So very nice!

And the beat goes on…. the circle of giving continues. Beautiful life.

I had a ‘pause’ moment yesterday when my friend Patty Knight, from Simpsonville, sent me a picture of a book and asked if I had ever read it…It is the story of a teacher with a big red geranium in the window. I mean…REALLY? Deja vu again! 🙂 *I had not read it.

It was published in 1971…the same year I graduated college and began my first year teaching at Alston Middle School where I would spend the next three decades. Another God Wink.

The title is quite intriguing…obviously this teacher didn’t have a “Chelsey” to grab the geranium and produce a clone like I did! 🙂

So until tomorrow…When the next scary wave hits…think how lovely it is going to be on the other side of it…floating happily again through life while that particular wave crashes and disappears from sight.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

On a personal note I would like to send a shout out for prayers for my nephew Lee who is on a jazz tour and will be gone from home about a month. That is tough when you are married and have a little one at home…tough for both spouses. It is the longest time he has had to be away.

On the flip side…I know this is something a jazz musician must dream about…and I am happy for Lee that he is getting this well-deserved experience in his musical career.


Please keep Lee in your thoughts and prayers, as well as, his sweet little family who all miss him. May God keep everyone safe in the Palm of His Hand.


*** Thanks Michele for finding the name of the bush/tree that I found astoundingly beautiful on the Summerville tour the other day…It is called Red Tip Photinia.…used a lot as a hedge…this one was allowed to grow upward apparently….It is beautiful but apparently Michele’s friends also noted that it can have an unpleasant smell…during parts of the growing season….though I didn’t pick up on any of that while taking the picture Monday.


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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5 Responses to Out of Adversity Comes Advocacy

  1. Janet Bender says:

    Love this blog, Becky. We should never waste our trials by looking inward, but seek ways to encourage others and fulfill our God given purposes.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So true Janet….our inward moment should be with God and from that point on seek outward ways to take a challenging situation and (like Father Tim said every morning) pray that we are a blessing to someone else that day and every day..


  2. bcparkison says:

    Thank you Michele for the plant ID. And prayers for Lee and his family.
    You have done it again…wonderful thoughts in this blog. Keep going.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thanks for always being a cheerleader for me and the blog Beverly….it helps getting feedback to monitor myself…to see if I am still on the right path or have wandered too far off. :)..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    Your blog is always packed full of interesting and informative information. So happy for Lee.


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