She gracefully hops out of the pool and walks towards me, leaving a zig-zag trail of wet footprints in her wake. She pushes up her pink and orange goggles and folds her arms across her chest. Her expression is Switzerland, and I can’t tell if it’s been a good practice or not. It wouldn’t have been for me. 1200 meters back and forth, 500 of them without stopping. 500 of them while doing the butterfly.
And how do people not swim backwards on the butterfly stroke, anyhow?
She’s getting closer and my face tenses as I get the nerve to ask,
“So? How was it?”
She stops and pulls off her swim cap. She smiles as I wrap the oversized white towel around her.
“That was the. most. fun. I’ve ever had in my whole life!”
We head to the showers and I feel my own spring from my eyes. One year ago this week, Faith had surgery to fuse her top two vertebrae. One year ago this week we had to hold her hand to walk down stairs. Her list of no-can-do’s read long. No running. No riding bikes. And certainly no more of her favorite sport: gymnastics.
For our active, would-rather-be-upside-down-than-right-side-up girl, that last one hurt more than all the other no’s put together. For much of the year, the shadow of that sport looms large.
December is the Advent Holy of Holies when we celebrate Love coming down to be with us. But the other 11 months of the year hold times of waiting and trusting, too. And as the earth has spun around the sun one whole time since last December, my husband and I witness our daughter move full circle, too. Not only is she able to participate in most activities, we see the shadow of gymnastics shorten and Faith sit in the sun and smile.
I have no idea if Faith will still love swimming six months from now or if she’ll be content doing something else or nothing at all. But this I do know: On a chilly December day as most people around the pool see Faith participating in an ordinary swim team class, I see what she believed in faith unfold in sight. I see a girl who knows Love came down for her, too.
And watching her live this just might be the most fun I’ve had in my whole life.
“Even if it seems some doors are closing…
…you haven’t missed a thing -
God is going to open up the right one just for you.” ~DaySpring card of Faith’s
How have you seen Love come down for you this week? How has what you believed in faith before show itself now?
Happily linked up with the brilliant Emily’s Tuesdays Unwrapped.