If Only I had asked her for a date, If Only I hadn't married him, If Only I had taken that job, If Only I hadn't robbed that bank.
Useless. What's past is past.
Let's turn that on its head, and look at Only If.
Only If you give up on your life does cancer win.
It's not about dying; everyone dies, including a certain carpenter who was God become Man.
No one here gets out alive, but if we throw in the towel, we give the devil his victory.
It's also not the feel-good twaddle about 'not giving up on your dreams'; that somehow, a Santa-Claus God will give you a way to achieve them.
Your dreams are not validated by achievement; if they are given you by the Almighty, they are validated by the way you care for them.
If you stay true to their purpose when you can't advance an inch to the goal, if you hold their value in your heart when the progress you've made is torn asunder, then you've remained true to the reason God gave you them in the first place.
The devil can win only if you let him.
Here's a wonderful clip from Avengers: Infinity War that illustrates the point (and yes, there's a poem below)..
The season of cancer came,
and before it my soul quailed.
I wanted my old life, the same,
but my heartfelt entreaties failed.
Without insurance, I surely learned
of the full extent of pain,
but the resentment I might have earned
proved unworthy of the name.
In my private hell, I fully saw
the Saviour's bleeding Passion,
and it's with a kind of awe
that I can mirror this, in action.
I'm not the Christ, but if I yet Love
I am no stain on God above.
And if you want music, here's Enya with...what else...Only If.
Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.
Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.