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Free Fall

Free Fall

by Janey Dalrymple

This article was first published on

“I acknowledge that there is no such thing as a perfect airplane, a perfectly packed parachute or a perfect skydiving instructor.”

That statement and many others, which included all the ways you can die while skydiving, were in a five page document that required multiple signatures and initials. My daughter and I signed our names, willingly forfeited our right to sue if something happened, smiled at each other, glanced at the poster on the wall that said “Everything MAY turn out all right,” and put on our jumpsuits.

My girls grew up hearing me say that I would NEVER wrap them in cotton and make them sit on the couch. Adventure awaits, I told them. Manage your risks. Step out of your comfort zones. Live. Experience. Get out there.

Skydiving was a gift to my 18 year-old whose career goal is to be a medic on an Emergency Evac helicopter. After two cancellations due to weather, winter and one knee replacement (mine) we were finally on our way, over one year later than the intended date.

It had been frustrating to wait so long after the excitement of the gift, but I see now God timed that for me, even though the adventure was really for my daughter.

During that wait time, the exhaustion and unhappiness I felt after my battle with cancer turned into full blown depression, so thick and black I couldn’t pray, think or exercise it away. I hit critical mass.

Through intervention and prayer, I learned that everything I had been experiencing came as a side effect from the maintenance drug I was on. My oncologist told me to stop taking it, and within two weeks, I felt like I could breathe again. The sky looked blue once more, and the breeze didn’t go by unnoticed. Flowers took back their color. After four weeks I felt like myself, and the fear that this was the new post-cancer me, faded. The drug I’m on now has some annoying side effects, but I’ll take those over depression, any day.

I guess there is no such thing as a perfect drug, either.

We reached jumping altitude. My instructor, who catnapped and vaped on the way up, seemed a bit jaded by the whole thing. Clearly, there is no such thing as the perfect job.

It was fun to see my daughter’s excitement and to watch her fearlessly exit the plane. Free fall was exhilarating and symbolic – rushing away from the fog of depression that had chained me.

Our chutes did, indeed, open, with a jerk so violent I still feel the toll that it took on my left shoulder. No such thing as a perfect body.

The patchwork quilt of land we saw coming down, intricately marked with ribbons of rivers and laces of streams, was beautiful, marred only by the smoke rising from the smokestacks of a local factory. Beautiful creation, seen from a high and unusual perspective, but not perfect.

Really, nothing is. We say, “Oh, that’s perfect!” so much that the word has lost some meaning.

Perfection just doesn’t exist in this world. We do, however, have a perfect Savior. You do. I do.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) (Italics, mine)

“God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Jesus is the perfect God-man who gave up everything that is truly perfect to come to our imperfect world. He lived a perfectly sinless life, and willingly chose to take our imperfections on Himself so we could have life eternal, which will be perfect, in the real sense of the word.

Whatever you are going through right now, don’t give up. Reach out. Ask questions. Seek answers. Engage people to pray for you. Don’t go it alone. Call out to the One who is perfect, Jesus Christ. He is real. He loves you. Trust Him.

Free Fall into Him.

Romans 8:38 (NIV)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Categories: Faith  Self  

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Written by

Janey Dalrymple

Thankful to Jesus. Convicted that God is always good. Wife, homeschool mom, survivor. Fascinated by horses, nature and words.

Published October 13, 2022

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