I have some stories to tell… (part 1)

I expect this might be my most interesting blog post yet. Or at least, it’s gonna have pictures 🙂

Back in September last year I was diagnosed with cancer.

But let’s backtrack a bit…

Seven years earlier, in September 2010, I was inspired to start drawing a photo that my friend had posted on his Facebook page. I made good headway for a while but then got discouraged by how much detail I’d put in it and so it sat unfinished in a drawer until March 2017, when I finally finished it. And here it is below:

Hold that thought.

In August, I discovered the lump on my neck and wondered whether it might be serious. I was due to fly to Portugal on a study year abroad in September so I didn’t want to hold up my trip for something that wasn’t serious, but equally didn’t want to go flying off if it was. So I prayed.

“God, would you just let me know if I need to do something about this?”

And then I went to bed.

That night I had a dream. A friend of mine who was a doctor came up to me, looked at the lump on my neck and then looked me straight in the eye and said, “You need to go and see a doctor straight away.”

Well, it couldn’t have been clearer than that!

In a previous blog post, I described how God gave me the promise from Isaiah 43:1-4: that when I walked through deep waters, I would not be drowned; that He would give others in exchange for my life. And true to His word, cancellations were made on my behalf. The NHS were beyond marvellous in getting me seen and diagnosed as quickly as possible. It was cancer. It was stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; cancer of the blood.

I won’t go into the emotional rollercoaster of that time.

As you might expect, the treatment plan I was placed on was 6 months’ chemotherapy. I was going to have poison pumped into my blood for a good couple of hours every fortnight… and I prayed.

Because I know God can heal, instantly. It doesn’t take a second thought for Him to be able to do it. And I was scared.

But strangely, every time I prayed, I simply felt His assurance that He would be with me and He would hold me through it all. And then, one day, this drawing that had taken me 7 years to finish suddenly caught my eye. The writing on my friend’s hand refers to Mark 16:18. I didn’t remember the whole verse but I remembered this bit:

“…if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them…”

Somehow, it felt like assurance.

(To be continued…)



I was angry tonight. 

I didn’t know it was anger until I tried to release it but the feelings of sadness and despair soon turned to hard, hot tears and a violent heart. 

I was angry with God. I was angry that He is perfect and I couldn’t blame Him. I was angry that He wouldn’t just let everything be perfect and stop bad things from happening. But He knows the weight of the lessons we learn and the value of the character formed in the process – formed with His help of course. 

I can’t blame Him for the mistakes I’ve made. I can’t blame Him for the lies and devastation – He was warning us all along. 

But He doesn’t judge me for my anger.

And the truth is, though He was the only good thing all along, He did take the blame…

For all of it. 

Jesus took the blows for every sin, bore the weight of every curse and wrongdoing, so that I, we, could be free of it. 

With no guilt for our past and no condemnation in our present. And a joyful hope for our future. 

So I am humbled by His perfection. And I am humbled by His love. 

What a God. 


Yesterday I had to take a trip to the hospital. I discovered some lumps on my neck and had to be referred for tests to make sure it’s not cancer. I felt to pray beforehand for wisdom and for favour.

Well the consultant asked me some questions and did a few examinations before referring me for further testing,

Only I’m due to go abroad next week for a study year as part of my degree.

Well it’s not gonna be over in a week so I’ve had to cancel my flight but, knowing the urgency, the consultant looked at his nurse and said,

“I know we’re all full but make some cancellations so that she can be seen within the next 7-10 days. If all is clear we should know and you should be free to go in a month’s time.”

Talk about humbled.

“Because you are precious in My sight, you are honoured and I love you, I will give other men in return for you and other peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4

Let us never take His grace for granted.


And let us remember His Son.

Misplaced Desire

My heart is for you, I am not against you. My desire is towards you, I want you completely. 


When we fell, when we fall

We sense the weight of disconnection 

‘Tween ourselves, and the One

Who lives in light, who is perfection 

Washed in fear and in shame

We felt ourselves the curse of hiding

For our hearts, they long for more

And our desire is unrelenting

So we turned and we sought

Some satisfaction in the darkness

But the more that we seek

The more exposed becomes our weakness

Walking blind, we don’t see

All creation sings the story

Of a God, of a love

Cry I am for you, I am for you

Like Water

I am


In the warmth of Your love


With the rise of the tide


To the deep lowly place


Through the cracks in the walls

You are


On the waves of my heart


To the storms in my mind


All my water to wine


‘Cross the flaws in my life

Things Above

As I was travelling to uni this morning I was reading Colossians 3:

If you then were raised with Christ, desire those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

It’s a profound verse. And I got wondering…

What are the things above?

I mean, I’ve read this verse hundreds of times, but I’ve never actually made a concrete list of what those things above might be referring to. And it’s all very well having this verse in my head but if I have no idea of what it’s talking about then it serves me very little indeed. 


Now God is very kind. Just a little further down He gives us some clues to help us along the way:

So embrace, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, a spirit of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering. Colossians 3:12

Wow, Heaven is beautiful. 

But my lesson didn’t end there. 

No, God is more than just the words on the page and by the time I reached the end of my day He had brought to light some of my ‘mis-focus’ that was in need of His heavenly affection. 

I had come to realise throughout the day just how much I was worrying about what people think of me… and worry is definitely not one of those things above focuses. I mean, who wants to set their affection on worry? That would be ridiculous right?!

Now I’ve heard before, ‘You shouldn’t worry about what people think’. And sometimes I don’t. And sometimes I have hurt people because I don’t. But that’s because there’s more to it than that. 

I shouldn’t spend my time worrying about what people think because a. I died with Christ and b. I have far too much to invest in being concerned about setting my desire to showing kindness, mercy, love, patience, generosity, humility, gentleness, grace…

Those things above. 


Re-focus, back on track. 

The Betrayal

I grew up believing, “Be led by my mind”

But my mind drove me so hard I cracked. 

So I thought to myself, I will follow my heart

But my heart, it turned out, was just weak. 

So I resolved that instead I’d be led by my soul

But my soul was destructive and tricked me to hell. 

Then I broke down in tears and said,

“God where do I go?”

And He whispered so softly,

“Where rivers do flow.”

See we weren’t made to live by our heart or our head

But for all that we are to be poured out in love. 

And the Spirit will lead us so beautifully…

We are free. 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37