All Posts, Blog, Cancer, On Writing, Suffering

Back to the Beginning: A Ministry of Hope

Do you ever cringe when you think about some of the things you used to do or say? As a writer, I look back at some of my earlier work and quietly chuckle to myself hoping no one will ever read it. I know I am my worst critic and perhaps deserve to cut myself some slack here. Writers write. I certainly write more than I have ever done and I like to believe that I’m much better with words these days. But I will let the readers form their own opinion!

This blog started when I was a 19-year-old who had a passion to write, had something to say about cancer, Jesus and life, and took a step and started to type. The nearly 32-year-old that is typing right now thought it could be fun (and equally horrifying) to revisit her earliest posts and work her way back through them. I am also equally amused and shocked that I am going between the first and third person in this paragraph. Anyways…

My first ever post was just one little paragraph:

Hi! I finally got this thing up and running after talking abuse ever so politely at the screen for several minutes! The purpose of this blog is to document my thoughts, views and other such nonsense as well as the odd bit about my life. When I get the hang of how all of this works, I am sure it will be a delightful read, but don’t take my word for it. I am just a girl with a passion to write. That is all 🙂

May 15, 2011

‘Talking abuse ever so politely?’ I mean, what?

The purpose was broad which I like. It gave me a LOT of scope to change it up a little over the years. Including ‘other such nonsense’ and we all like a little bit of nonsense now and then, right?

I am not sure it’s always ‘a delightful read’, but my humour is still ticking on like a reliable watch…

‘I am just a girl with a passion to write.’ Yes, that is very true. It has not changed and I believe this will not change. Hurrah for consistency.

‘That is all’ followed by an emoji. Nice ending. This was before WhatsApp, TikTok and ‘apps’ to my younger readers out there. The internet was ‘cool’ back in the day.

Reflecting on my first post, made me wonder what my second ever post had in store…

I’ll share one paragraph with you, which I believe summarises the heart behind today. Looking back, I am in awe of how God knows and brings the pieces of my life together in His perfect timing. I had my own ideas and plans for my life and the blog, but He has established it as a ministry. I still make plans, dream dreams, and have bold, creative ideas bouncing around my head. But I’m excited that it does not depend on me. Everything I do here is an offering to God, to glorify Him, to help others and, it turns out, encourage me in my own faith.

I shared 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 which says, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” Then I wrote:

This encouraged me greatly as it highlights that as Christians we are with Jesus celebrating His victory (triumphal procession) whilst God uses us to spread the good news to everyone that we meet. I love that we are described as an ‘aroma’. We can reach many by starting out somewhere and then spreading out to all. Such a lovely verse. I am hoping to minister to those around me by being that pleasing aroma for God and using my experiences to bless others.

June 8, 2011

‘We can reach many by starting out somewhere and then spreading out to all.’ It has been such a joy to start a little blog to document a cancer journey and how I have trusted in Jesus in my suffering. This blog has grown over the years, and has been read all across the world which is truly humbling and a blessing of technology. It has also provided a wonderful point of connection with many people, through the podcast, the Hope Mailing List (email subscribers), my other writing, and now a mentoring ministry that is in its very early stages.

I am hoping to minister to those around me by being that pleasing aroma for God and using my experiences to bless others.‘ These words are as true in 2023 as they were in 2011.

I don’t think I could have written that better. I guess going back to the beginning reminds me where I started, and it encourages me to continue this journey in faith, with God’s help.

This is also why I have changed my website’s tagline from a list of what I ‘do’ and have replaced it with ‘A ministry of hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity’.

That has always been my heart, and I have been distracted a lot along the way from the One in whom I long to serve. It’s strangely freeing to walk away from the label of ‘writer and blogger’ and go back to the beginning, knowing that the Lord I serve is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I pray that the offerings read, listened to, or seen here will encourage, challenge and build others up, for our ultimate good and His everlasting glory.