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  • Writer's pictureStephanie

On the concept of time

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Cancer has a funny way of making your brain work overtime.

One day as my mom and I were looking through pictures of me as a child, a thought dawned on me: God knew before I was born that I was going to get breast cancer.

I wasn't angered by this, as I'd have expected to be. Instead, I was in awe and felt a sense of sadness.

God didn't create cancer and I am confident of His love for me. Knowing these things, I think His heart was grieved knowing what I would go through.

I've know that our concept of time is different from God's perspective but I have never been so amazed by it before. He wasn't surprised on the day I found out I had cancer because he had known since the beginning of time and yet he was still present with me in that moment, all the while still very much aware of what my future held.

Past, Present, Future. All at once.

It was an overwhelming realization.

Tuesday night something happened that turned these thoughts into less of an abstract thought and more of a beautiful picture. If you follow my other blog to lose oneself, you've heard me talk about how I feel God uses the arts to speak to us. Books, movies, music and paintings have all had a profound impact on my life. Tuesday night was one of those unexpected moments where art went beyond the natural and pierced my very soul.

I arbitrarily decided to watch a movie entitled "Arrival". Other than the fact that it was about a linguist being recruited to communicate with aliens that landed on earth, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly was not expecting a moving piece of cinematography that would expand my understanding of God.

I have no intention of spoiling the movie for you so I will not go into any details. But as the credits rolled, I found myself overcome with emotion. The movie is based on a short story entitled "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang, which I have not read yet. But that title explains why I feel I connected with this movie so deeply.

There is so much about this world we don't understand. Time is truly a baffling concept when you try to sort it out. But "Arrival" opened my eyes to a perspective that goes beyond the immediate of the here and now.

I was amazed by the sheer creativity of the author of the story and the team that moved it from page to screen. I have long been inspired by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien; they created worlds that didn't exist. While this movie did not create a new world, it expanded concepts that exist in our world and I was in awe. In the presence of this type of imagination I find myself undone.

One of the deepest desires of my heart is to become an author. I feel my soul respond to the call to create. In the past, my excuse for not working toward this has been that life's responsibilities got in the way. But cancer has stripped my life down to the bare bones, so that can't be an excuse anymore. Time is plentiful and begging to be used.

The entry for my daily devotional from January 29th ended with a statement from Frederick Buechner that felt like yet another confirmation that there is more for me to do. I cannot say what that will look like but I can say that my heart is rejoicing at the thought.

All my love,


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