Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Cinderella

On my way to and from work, I listen to 95.1, Shine FM.  Without traffic, I can make it home in 28 minutes.  With radio commercials, DJs comments, etc, this is enough time to listen to 7 songs.  If I get stopped at an extra red light or traffic is a little heavier than usual, I might be lucky to hear an 8th song.  There must be thousands of songs in a radio station's playlist for each day.  However, in the last 3 days I have driven to work, I have heard the same song each time.

"Cinderella" (click to watch on YouTube) by Steven Curtis Chapman: 
"She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oooooh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone..."

It's funny to me to see how God forces us to deal with our emotions.  Friday was the first time that I heard this song since Caroline's diagnosis.  I turned off the radio.  I thought, "I hate this song!  I'll never be able to listen to it ever again."  I was immediately saddened by the reminder that I will not see her dance at the castle.  I will not ever feel her tug on my arm.  I will never hear her say, "Dad, I need you."

But after a few seconds of somber silence, I humbly prayed for God to give me the courage to face my giant.

After a little while longer, I woefully accepted the pain and bravely turned on the radio again.  Instead of listening to the song and thinking "I hate my life" or "Why did you do this to me God?,"  I was actually able to embrace Caroline's condition...again.  It's weird, because circumstances like this make me feel like I don't know who I am or what I truly feel.  Some days I am at peace with her diagnosis.  Other days, I feel myself trying to bargain with God about her condition.  Friday felt like a day at the market...until I embraced this song for its beauty.  Kind of like embracing Caroline's beauty.  This song will always be beautiful.  Because daughters will always be beautiful. 

Monday morning, I heard the song again.  It was as if God was telling me, "Hey, I'm not done with you.  You've still got to process some lingering emotions!  Oh, by the way...you can dance with her...but you have to dance with Emily at the same time!!"  So, I listened to the whole song this time with a completely different perspective.

I gracefully acknowledged the beautiful lyrics and thought of dancing with my beautiful pregnant wife and Caroline together.  Such a sweet thought.  This made me smile and cry at the same time.

Then, I dreamed of little Caroline dancing in a little white dress with her Heavenly Father, twirling around and around, and hopping and skipping down streets of gold!!  And my heart swelled with pride as I envisioned my little girl spinning and swaying without a care in the world!

Then, today, I heard it once again.  And this time, I couldn't help but laugh at how God had changed my heart in 3 different occasions of listening to the same song.  Today, I was finally able to listen to this song and thank God at the same time for blessing me with such a special little girl.  I know this is difficult for most people to understand.  How could I possibly be thankful for Caroline's fatal diagnosis?  Please let me explain.

By giving us Caroline, God has blessed us with the opportunity to give a little girl a very special life, despite how short lived it may be.  She is loved so much by so many...even complete strangers!!  Once she passes away, God will actually be sparing Caroline from living in this imperfect world.  She will never feel any pain.  She will never be disappointed by anyone, including me as her dad.  Instead, she will almost immediately get to meet Jesus and know what a "perfect world" is like.  She will be in Heaven.  Furthermore, her little life has allowed us, already, the wonderful opportunity to share our journey with numerous others going through their own painful journeys.  Since her diagnosis, God has brought hundreds of people to Emily and me to share their pains, struggles, and questions about life.  And God has given us the words, grace, and strength to help them in their time of need.  I would have never imagined it, but helping others has actually helped me get through my most difficult days so far.

Caroline's condition is ugly.  But she is gorgeous!  She is my Cinderella.  I love you baby girl.  And so does your Heavenly Father!

Then I sang, "So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms [or...in Emily's belly :-)]
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oooooh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone..."


  1. Grace and mercies our Lord Jesus, please.

  2. Hi friend :),

    This is Bethany and I cry every time I hear that song. It has a special place in my heart too. That was the song that my dad and I danced to at my wedding. I can easily picture you swaying and dancing with Emily and baby Caroline in belly :). I'm grateful to the Lord to hear your story behind this song. AMEN to His grace and love for us!


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