We were all uplifted and challenged on Sunday as Bill Hoffman talked about his wife, Tammy, and her unwavering faith during her recent battle with pancreatic cancer. Bill emailed me a transcript of what he said and gave me permission to post it on our website. I am honored to share this with all of you.
Wade a little deeper
Have you ever visited the ocean? Have you ever watched the waves come ashore? You can walk out into the water and let it splash around your feet. You can wade out a little farther and the water will swirl around your knees. At most beaches you can wade even farther and the water will get shallow again but this is where things start to get interesting. You see, this is where the waves crash and they pile the sand up and although the water is shallow the sandy bottom is always changing and the water is pushing you around. If you walk out a little farther you get to the point where the waves are cresting. If you jump just right you can go over them but after a while you get worn down and eventually your timing will be off and one of those waves will get you and plant you in the sandy bottom. The good news is that if you keep going out even though the water is over your head, you get to a point where you can just float. You see, the salt water actually allows you to float if you just let it.
Why is this important? Life is a lot like that. You can stand and watch things happen, like looking at the ocean. You can wade in a little and let life happen around you without doing much. You can get a little more involved and sometimes life can become a struggle, like the waves crashing into you. Sometimes the struggle is good, it’s fun, it’s invigorating, and it’s exciting. After a while though, you get worn down. You get tired and you have a choice to make. You can either go back home or somewhere safe or you can get more involved and help someone else instead of feeling sorry for yourself.
I remember a time when Tammy, Matt and I were in the ocean. We were out where the waves were breaking. We were jumping over the waves and diving through them having fun. Tammy got tired and said she was going back to the shore. We watched her going back and a big wave blocked our view. When the wave crashed, Tammy was gone. We looked for her but she was gone and Matt and I went to find her. She finally popped up almost on the shore. When we got to her she said the wave knocked her over and rolled her along the bottom. She thought she was going to drown. She told Matt and me she was done and would not be going back in.
I tell this story because when life did this to her she did not head to shore, she waded out a little deeper. When she found out she had cancer she didn’t give up. We had a deal – I would always be there for her as long as she never gave up. Sometimes when she was really beat down from a chemo treatment or she was so tired she had trouble walking from room to room I would ask her if she was giving up and her answer was always the same, NO. She didn’t let life wear her out. She went out and lived life. She relaxed and let God hold her up. I know that some people saw her, felt her confidence and were amazed by it. I have to say I’m happy she helped me to do it also. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that “life happens” and it does, the waves will always crash to shore. And we always have a choice to either head to shore or wade a little deeper. Don’t let life wear you down. Put your trust in God. Let him sustain you and wade a little deeper.