My girls have twirled in tutus to Tchaikovsky since they were young enough to toddle. And ever since they have been able to sit still, I have filled their heads with visions and stories of all things pertaining to girlhood. Last July, Sam ‘title paged’ her new journal with these words. ‘Hold onto what you have . So no one can take away your crown.’ Revelation 3:11
Every now and then we share excerpts from our journals, my girls and I. These are amongst my most treasured times together, pondering the past and dreaming for the future.
I love Sam’s creative streak, how she always finds just the right picture to paint a thousand words. She is the quieter one of my daughters, my melancholy and meditative one. She is also extremely strong and bold. Her journal is a collection of pictures from magazines and sketches of her own. They also contain scriptures, quotes and thoughts; always brief and to the point.
Emma’s journals are full of words, lines from films, lists of things to accomplish, deep revelations from scripture and lyrics from songs. I love to read the journals from her 7 months stay in the North of France when all she wanted to do was come home. She is passionate and determined about the goals she has for her life but her laid back nature also has the quirky capacity to make me laugh.
On the way to hospital today we squeezed in a visit to “Fleur Wood.” We love this shop; it embodies the feminine spirit and makes the kitsch collections of my childhood seem cool. Standing outside the change room while Sam tried on dresses for Amy’s wedding I find myself wishing I still had those pastel colored ballet prints from my childhood room. I am taking in my surroundings, reveling in my reverie when suddenly I remember Sam. Folding back the heavy chintz floral curtain I see my girl looking back at herself in the old timber framed mirror. She is sad and tears have left their stain on the silky ruffled folds of the dress. “I don’t know what I like anymore. I am tired of tights and t-shirts, flat shoes and no hair!” She runs her fingers through her wig, adjusting it from the nape of her neck trying to position it perfectly. To make matters worse, the Hickman’s catheter can be seen through the soft fabric and I feel her pain. I have no words.
Not once in the last 6 months has she complained about the way she looks. “Don’t let anyone steal your crown,” I think but I do not say. How can I tell her how to feel? Every morning since her diagnosis, she has been the perfect example of a woman who knows who she is. She has coped with me covering her catheter in glad wrap for her shower, and doing her daily dressing. She has felt exposed and humiliated time and again but still she gets up to fight another day. She has carried this diagnosis with such dignity. She is clothed in white, splendid in her purity, strongly trusting that things will all work out.
I imagine the pictures on the wall alive with activity and Samantha being Odette from the Ballet, Swan Lake. It is as if some evil sorcerer has placed a spell on her and she is transformed also for a season. Yet when Prince Siegfried comes to the lake at dusk he sees who she really is. She is the swan who is wearing her crown. She is the queen of the lake. His undying love for her will transform all the other swans and bring about their deliverance from the evil spell. In the story both Siegfried and Odette die in the lake, their spirits transcend to the heavens. Through their death the swans on the lake are transformed from their spell, set free to be human again.
When Jesus went to the cross, he died once for all. He paid the price that we deserved to pay so that everyone could have eternal life, if only they would trust in and believe on the power of His name. His coming was prophesied in Isaiah 53: 2 -5
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
In Matthew 8:14-17, we see Jesus doing what it was prophesied He would do. By the word of God he drove out demons, restored the sick to health.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me. (Romans 8:11) I know that the life I have found in God is not just for eternal life but for life, healing, prosperity and wholeness on earth as well.
Tomorrow we are going to St Vincent’s Hospital. It is right near where my girls once took their ballet exams at the RAD. We are going to discuss the alternatives for Sam’s treatment; whether to continue with chemotherapy or to have an un-related bone marrow transplant. Neither of these paths are easy. I feel like Jesus most have felt that night in the garden of Gethsemane.
Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done. Luke 22:42
No parent wants to see their child go through what my daughter is going through now. She is young, beautiful and at the prime of her life. Yet life happens. To some of us it is very difficult. Our dreams feel fragmented but just for a moment. My Father in Heaven knows how I love a romantic fairytale. Just for me, he saddles the white horse. He takes his bow. He rides valiantly across my life. He captured the heart of my daughter when she was only 16. She dies not in the lake but her sacrifice is enormous. The price she pays now will bring hope to many. She will overcome and to him or her who overcomes they shall receive a crown of life.
“I looked, and saw there a white horse whose rider carried a bow. And a crown was given him, and he rode forth conquering and to conquer.” Revelation 6:2
These truths in my life are better than the drama of any ballet, or any fairytale. They are not just recorded for me. They are recorded for all who will believe, adhere to trust in, rely on Him.
Heaven records the chronicles of Samantha. Her life is on the altar. God always provides another sacrifice. As he did for Abraham, so He will do for me.