Beauty From Ashes, Cancer, Spiritual Journey

Setting Up Signposts


Set up signposts… Make landmarks…
Jeremiah 31:21

I believe passionately that Jesus exchanges ashes for beauty; both my personal and professional lives are built on this very truth. But life just now feels like ashes in transition….

Since October 2015 when my husband, universally known as Papa John, was diagnosed, out of nowhere, with prostate cancer, then advanced prostate cancer, then bone cancer, then aggressive advanced prostate cancer with extensive bone cancer and finally with cancerous tumours in the lungs and lymph-nodes, we have been walking a road without landmarks or signposts.

Things which seemed clear and sure only a handful of weeks ago are clear and sure no longer.

Ministering at Beaty from Ashes, travelling on the road, speaking at groups, churches and conferences, being involved in leading retreats, seeing Jesus do miracles every day is my passion and joy. I could see maybe another ten years then a gentle retirement, times to go deeper into His heart, trips with friends, winters in Spain, that trip round Italy we had always talked about…. I had landmarks. All that changed one Thursday afternoon in October and then there were no landmarks anymore.

For, if we are not to share growing old together, then I do not know what my future looks like. I have never lived alone in all my 58 years. I’m scared of the dark, I don’t know how to change a plug or set the alarm clock. I can cook only only four meals…

There are also conundrums of etiquette….. Can you yell at a husband with cancer because, yet again, he drops his socks on the floor instead of in the laundry basket; is it OK to get frustrated with someone whose female hormone injections turn him into a caricature of unreasonable woman with permanent pre menstrual syndrome?

There are many hundreds of things I do not know and, right now, only two things I know for sure.

I know that the length of Papa John’s days was written in the Lord’s book at the beginning (Psalm 139:16) and however long or short that number of days, I know that not one can be stolen by cancer – because that would make cancer more powerful than Jesus – which it is emphatically not.

I know too, ‘Whom I have believed…’ He hasn’t changed with this diagnosis. He remains, as usual, cagey about questions that start out with ‘Why or how long….. but…..

But for this we have Jesus….

We are blessed with an overnight spa break – we will relax and be pampered. We will also be setting up a signpost….

Follow Papa John on his journey on his Facebook page

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25 thoughts on “Setting Up Signposts

  1. Gina watson says:

    So glad that you can relate all these experiences into opportunities for the Lord to show His heart and love, to reach others. Stand firm and listen for the small still voice, He will continue to bless and use you both for His purpose and glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda Bedzrah says:

    Glory to God. I stand amazed at your faith. That even in a season where many will crumble, you know who God is. Your house is built on solid rock so the blowing of thus wind avails not much. God will never dissapoint you. Love you loads.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Wootton says:

    It was a Thursday in October, some years ago that we were given the devastating news that my husband had MND.
    Our hopes and dreams went out of the window. We also had planned to travel around Italy.
    Why am I telling you this Carol, it is because although we travelled through the valley, God was with us every step of the way. He was our shield, rod and staff. I believed we were kept in the eye of the storm and if I put my hand out I would touch Jesus, he was that close.
    This is my prayer for you both.
    Love Susan x
    Psalm 16:8

    Liked by 1 person

  4. alizagdayton says:

    what a heart-warming, heart breakingly honest post. you are both such an inspiration, event though I hardly know you. Thank you for sharing this tough journey with us all, and I pray for you every day. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Written with such human honesty just like Jenny does, yet speaking the truth of God and his word, I just can relate so much to the human feelings that so many christians won’t admit or look at. I feel so deeply for you both, may God strenghen you, comfort you and as your days are so your strength will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane Hartland says:

    Well put – straight from your heart, very real!.. You are doing Amazing as i know this is a tough unknown journey you’re both treading on…(btw i still cant change a plug)! .Encouraging to see how much closer you both are to your beloved Jesus thro this ordeal….Shalom & Hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

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