My wife Janey has terminal cancer. It’s is almost certain (save a miracle that we and many, many other people continue to pray for) that she will ‘pass’ this year. We say ‘pass’ as we have faith for an eternal after-life (an integral truth of the Christian faith) and so whilst we face death from this life, there is genuine excitement about Janey’s resurrected life with God. Alright for her then when she ‘passes’; hard for us as we’ll miss her so much.
It’s been our intention on our path of suffering (a path that we recognise many other people face in many different ways) to be as transparent as possible about how we are doing…how we are feeling. We don’t want to be hidden in our pain, somehow pretending that because of our faith in God, pain somehow isn’t really there. I can assure you it is. In fact, being a follower of Jesus comes with a nail-on promise that suffering will certainly come. Thank God in Jesus that we know we follow one who has already walked a path of suffering himself.
As a result of our desire to be real then, we have regularly been honest with family and friends about where we are at; and I have been regularly updating our church family (Oasis Church, Birmingham — part of the Catalyst family of churches) with how things are. I will be sharing again this Sunday (21st January 2018) from 10.30am at South Street, Harborne, Birmingham.
The purpose of this new blog is to have another vehicle where we can give everyone another view into our world. I plan to share how our story has unfolded, and complement that story with the odd creative piece.
The first of these creative pieces is a song that I and my daughter Issy wrote (we don’t have any other songs yet!) I wrote the lyrics after Janey’s last major surgery in September when her recovery was slow and uncertain. It was a time when we particularly wanted to God to feel present, and yet he seemed so distant. No quick-fix solution to Janey’s agonising pain seemed to come. It was almost as though he wasn’t really there.
So the song was written like a Psalm (Psalms are songs in the Bible where the writers express raw emotions about God and their circumstances) and in our Psalm I crafted three parts: ‘1. Where are you God? I need you but you aren’t there…’; ‘2. Oh, there you are!’; ‘3. Ah, it’s alright now.’
Not that it matters, but just for the record, I wrote the lyrics and shared the melody with Issy; Issy took the melody and sang and produced the song. She only had a couple of days to do it as we wanted to share it with Janey at Christmas time. It’s a raw first cut then, and we know it needs a little more work, but we think does unravel all of our emotions. We hope you might find it helpful on your journey of suffering when you’re on one.