For those who feel they are drowning under the pressures of life and struggling to stay afloat.
Cancer makes normal everyday tasks that we take for granted difficult, like grocery shopping. My mom and I would usually end up in the furniture section of the store so she could regain energy before checking off our list. One of these times, my mom explained to me how living with cancer could be compared to treading water.
Everyone you love is living life on the surface. You try to stay afloat but each cancer treatment drags you down. No one knows you are living life underwater watching as others live life as if everything is normal. You keep trying to swim to the surface and catch a breath, but it is only for a short time before you are pulled under again. You are drowning and there is nothing anyone can do to help. You can see the smiles of your loved ones above you and hear their muffled laughter under the water, but you are not part of it. The worst part is they don’t seem to notice.
My heart breaks as I recall this conversation. You want your family to forget you are sick but sometimes it makes you feel so alone. No matter how people treat your cancer I think it’s hard to not feel this way. Trails of any kind can be isolating. People can be sympathetic, but they can’t understand what you are going through, not really. It’s hard to relate unless you are going through it yourself.
Trials can be isolating, but we are never alone. In the darkness God reveals beauty that others never experience.
On a family vacation to Hawaii, my brother and I went scuba diving with our cousin. My adventurous mom normally would’ve joined, but her ileostomy bag prevented her from going below the surface, so she snorkeled above us while we dived. From my perspective, I saw a lot of sand, rocks and fish. My mom on the other hand saw the sunlight shimmering through our air bubbles so that they looked like crystals. Later she told us it was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen and would’ve missed out on it if she had been down with us.
So if you feel you are drowning under the pressures of life and struggling to stay afloat, remember Who is your life preserver. He is with you and will give you treasures in the darkness.
At one point during the dive, I looked up at my mom who was waving back at me. I took a photo of her floating at the surface with my underwater camera. I still have the picture to this day. It reminds me that we can go through life with the same memories, but it’s our perspective that changes our experience. I’m still living life under water, but now it’s my mom who is experiencing life fully in eternity with our Heavenly Father. I like to think she is still waving back at me.