All Posts, Blog, Suffering

Transformation: This is who I am.

Hey there! I am impressed that I am cracking out these blog posts now! I thought I would only ever write a few but I am determined to keep writing. It’s all good practice. Admittedly I have a degree and a creative writing course that must be completed but for now, I just like to write, write, write on here.

I have a confession to make. This blogging comes with a nice little stats counter, which until recently, I was really keen to keep an eye on and get as many people reading it as I could. To be honest, it’s lovely to watch as the numbers increase. However, it can become a dangerous sidetrack to what the purpose of my blog is about. I love having readers. It’s any writers dream. But I am writing this blog with the aim of keeping an account of my life and putting God at the centre of all I do. I try to write it so people can understand how great God is within my life. It keeps me focused and grounded and I absolutely love applying the Lord in all I write because He is in all I am. I understand it is not to everyone’s taste or beliefs. However, it is also there for encouragement, informing those who do not know that there IS a God who loves them even in the most challenging circumstances and also for Christians who believe and want to see things from my angle.

This leads me onto another confession. I woke up doubting my blog the other morning. Thinking, ‘What if my theology is all off? What if other Christians disagree with my blog posts?’ So many what ifs. I prayed that morning that God would just keep me focused on Him and only Him when I write. I believe I am being influenced by God when my fingers touch the keys of my keyboard. Ideas and thoughts flow, but I would dislike it if my blog became too distracted. I am always consciously slowing down my typing to make sure everything I say has something to say! A message within it. In some form or another! I prayed that I would always remain focused on Jesus when I write and that my blog will bless someone out there. It’s amazing who can end up reading it. I find that exciting. The unknown. Anyways, after I prayed, it was time for church. My time at the ‘hospital for the broken’. Such an amazing way of describing it. I was praying for some source of encouragement throughout the service that I could be reassured that what I was doing was just fine. Then came the sermon.

The sermon was the medicine I needed. Basically, it said that we should take heart in our opportunities when we share God with others. Not to wait until we feel perfect with theology (let’s face it we will never have all the answers or no every detail) before we start serving; we can share Jesus by just being ourselves – using our skills and JUST DO IT. I should not underestimate my blog or what I am doing when I teach because I don’t know who is being affected. It seems like common sense but it was the right message at the right time. I am hoping that my blogs will do the same and be the right message for someone at the right time. I do pray that there will be many visitors of my blog, not for my own pride but for the glory of God, that His message will be known to the whole world.

This is me. I can't be anymore or anyless than that!

Now that I have confessed my concerns and am feeling much brighter about it all, I will share with you something that profoundly spoke to me regarding my illness. When I was going through cancer, it was a time of drawing so close to God and relying on Him through it all. Not that I don’t normally, but when you are put in a situation like that it gives you a wake up call and an even greater demand for faith in action. I cried all the time. I asked God to heal me and take all that was bad and impure from me through this. I was uncertain of how it would all work out. But I was certain of the One who was leading me through it. He would never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5) and I was confident in the Lord for it is written: ” 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ Thanks be to God that I have finished my treatment and have returned to Plymouth to study. It was a test of my faith and it definately has built up my character. One of my favourite bible verses is:

3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5).

This really summarises the battle I went through and it will be applied to the battles I am to face in the future. After all my chemotherapy had finished, I had a lot of time to reflect and I always do to some extent. I was reading Isaiah one day and came across a few verses that I could really relate to.

14 I cried like a swift or thrush,
   I moaned like a mourning dove.
My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.
   I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”

 15 But what can I say?
   He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.
I will walk humbly all my years
   because of this anguish of my soul.
16 Lord, by such things people live;
   and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
   and let me live.
17 Surely it was for my benefit
   that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
   from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
   behind your back.

This verse spoke to me so much because it clearly shows a complaint voiced to God and a desperate cry for help. Then it goes on to how God has used the suffering for the benefit and how His love kept Hezekiah (who its referring to) from death. In my study bible there are some excellent notes to accompany these verses. It states that physical and spiritual healing are sometimes linked together. When I read that, it was like a breath of fresh air as I applied it directly to my life. Going through cancer was a challenging experience for me but from a spiritual point of view, it was one of the most rewarding and positive life changing experiences of my life. It helped to build up my faith and prepare me for this blog, for helping others by being a source of encouragement, for letting me appreciate the gift of life that little bit more. Most importantly though, my relationship with God was being refined and renewed and I have been getting closer to God and more in the bible ever since. What a complete blessing! Satan hates it and I know he is on my back to drag me down, but one of my favourite quotes from Joyce Meyer is when the devil reminds you of your past, be quick to remind him of his future! Amen to that!

Enjoying creation!

Finally, I want to finish by letting you know that I am hoping to be baptised in the summer! It has been a long time coming for several reasons but I am now at a place where it is what I want to do. I have a lovely church, a lovely support network with friends and family and I am turning 21. What a better way to celebrate than saying goodbye to my old life and welcoming in the new life as I turn 21! I have been born again for as long as I can remember but now, I feel that me and God have made it to the right time for me and as my mum sees me blossom into an adult, the Lord is now refining me as His daughter on a mission that I want to share witht the world!

Thank you for an amazing Mum who has seen me through these years of my life and will continue blessing me in many years to come! I love you Mum so much and thank you for everything, for loving me and giving me your all. I would not be the same in my walk with God if you hadn’t been there (especially playing the worship casettes from an early age!) But thanks to the Lord, who has been there from Day 1 and will be there forever more with all the love and guidance that anyone could ever ask for. I love you God – with all my heart. Thank you for sending your Son to die on a cross for me. You are worthy of all praise! Amen!

This is me. Forever more. 🙂 I offer my all to God and this is best expressed in a song by Tim Hughes ‘Living for you Glory’. Enjoy! Take care and God Bless!

-Ruthie- xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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