A Cancer Journal
Since being diagnosed with Stage Four cancer with a very undesirable prognosis, I have been posting a nearly everyday journal entry to chronicle the sorrows and joys of my journey. According to my doctors, this is “not your ordinary prostate cancer”; being a “Highly Aggressive” and “High Grade” cancer that—at least according to their professional opinion—will not give me a long time to live. God will have something to say about that, of course. But in the meantime we have to deal with what is, and find God in the midst of it all.
When I let my friends know of my cancer through my Facebook page, the response of love and concern was so strong and affecting that it led me to start a very public “Cancer Journal”, which many are now following faithfully. I’m calling the journal: “Thou Art the Potter: Faith Reflections from a Cancer Oven”, based upon the comfort and conviction expressed by an ancient man of God— “But now o LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the Potter. We are all the work of your hand” (Isa. 64:8)
My “Thou Art the Potter” journal began as a way of keeping an account of my cancer battle, and of communicating with my congregation (and others) along the way. I’ve wanted to chronicle God’s dealings with me while in the “shadowlands” (to borrow from C.S. Lewis) so that others might see into (and I might look back on), what God has done.
As time has passed many have felt that the Lord was giving me a rare opportunity to offer people an extended view into real human suffering and God’s grace, while inside the furnace.
Here are a few points of interest about my “Thou Art the Potter” journal:
- I have not written or edited this as one would a book. It is a journal that I have been asked to make public as an expression of faith and hope while still in a furnace of affliction.
- No professional (or non-professional) editing/polishing eyes (except my own very non-professional eyes) have previewed this journal, or had any input into what is written.
- I have no author-designed order to this journal other than the order of life as it unfolds in the Providential timing of life, and possibly death.
- I make no effort to remove repetitive elements in this record.
- I have not corrected any errors of dates or medical terms or treatments that I may have inadvertently included, so that the journal will maintain is authentic nature as just that: a journal.
- I have made no effort to make each entry equal in length or form. The entries are what they are, and how they came to me.
- I have written in real time, and so this is best read that way—as in: “What is God saying to Tim today?” Via daily posts (so long as I am able) I am offering real and real-time updates on the hopes and laments of my experience.
- Since written in real time I have no knowledge of the ending. In a way, the journal is a cliff-hanger, with no one, including the writer, knowing how the story is going to turn out.
- My aim in this record is to chronicle my cancer journey as seen through my eyes, my ignorance, my fears, my joys, and my faith—not through anyone else’s eyes whatsoever.
Those following along include many dozens, if not hundreds, if not more, who have decided to join our journey in prayer and care. Thank you so very much. My hope is simply to bless by writing a Cancer Journal that will faithfully chronicle my big “C” (Christ) over little “c’ (cancer) experience—to the glory and praise of his grace.
PLEASE NOTE: over time, if the Lord enables and as my health permits, I hope to create Topical and Scripture indices to be posted on my website to increase blessing for those who read.
And now I recall the words of the famed 17th century pastor-author, John Bunyan:
“[I]f thou do find [in this, even] a parcel of plain, yet sound [and] true… sayings, attribute that to the Lord Jesus, and His gifts and abilities, which He hath bestowed upon such a poor creature as I am… And if thou, being a seeing [discerning] Christian, dost find me coming short, though rightly
touching at some things, attribute that either to my brevity, or, if thou wilt, to my weaknesses, for I am full of them both.”
If you would like to follow along, please click here and go to my Caring Bridge site where the whole journal may be found.