From Ashes to Beauty

20 Mar

Yesterday was a first for me – my very first book signing event. Fresh pink flowers, fancy little pastries, a book store full of family and friends, and a stack of brand new books. I still can’t believe the name on the cover is mine.

As one of my friends hugged me in that crowded store yesterday, she said “From ashes to beauty, Jill.” And I nodded. I knew what she meant. She has been with me on this cancer journey from the beginning. Although yesterday was a day of celebration, she remembers just how ugly this journey was when it began. Ashes, mourning, despair. A happy ending seemed unimaginable. Little did we know then, that this journey would eventually lead us to this book store celebration.

Lots of people have held my hand on this journey. Some were with me from the very beginning. Others have joined in along the way. I couldn’t have made it without any of you. And I can’t ever thank you enough for all of your prayers and the endless encouragement and love you have so generously lavished upon me and my family.

I usually don’t mess with New Year’s resolutions. They just don’t make sense to me. I mean, if I want to resolve something, why wait till the New Year? But this year, my friend Karen suggested trying something different – a one-word resolution. Perhaps you’ve heard of the idea. As I understood it, the resolution is summed up in one word. Concise. To the point. I liked that. After giving it some thought, I decided my one-word New Year’s resolution for 2011 would be renewal.

This is the year in which my cancer treatment, God willing, will at last come to an end. I am anticipating a time of restoration, a renewing of my body, mind, and spirit. That’s right, a year of renewal. I’m ready for it.

From ashes to beauty.

Bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.
Isaiah 61:3

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7 Responses to “From Ashes to Beauty”

  1. Kim Forseth March 21, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Jill- Congratulations on the publication of your book! I will continue to pray for God’s strength to face what comes your way. Blessings to you and your family. Kim Forseth

  2. Connie March 21, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Dearest Jill,
    I came home from the bookstore Saturday afternoon, plopped on the couch and read your amazing book in one sitting. I wept for you as I read of the humiliating and painful aspects of your journey, laughed at your sense of the ridiculous through it all, and I thanked our compassionate, heavenly Father for lavishing His love on you. I believe you and the Lawrences will enjoy many more Superbowl games together, and that’s a good thing when you HAVE HAD cancer…
    You are an inspiration to me.
    Connie

  3. Donelda Lea March 21, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Jill,
    We were so honored to host your booksigning and very pleased that it went well for you. You can tell a lot about someone by their friends and family. Obviously, you are very much loved. We look forward to the future with you.
    Rick and Donelda Lea
    North Star Books

  4. Shannon March 21, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    You ARE truly beautiful, Jill, and a godsend. We thank GOD for giving us just a glimpse of your amazing journey.

    Congratulations on your first signing!!!!

    Shannon
    Jebaire

  5. Donna Myers March 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Jill,
    Your blog today was lovely. It made me cry (and I’m at work). I am so happy for you. Thanks for signing my book. You are one of the most inspiring people I have ever met.

  6. Kathy Burns March 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    What an uplifting entry! I’m cheering you on! GO JILL!!!

  7. writergirldreams March 25, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Mine came in the mail today, and I felt so proud of you Sister. I held your beauty made from ashes in my hands and read your words and cried. I closed my eyes and wished you were here to read out loud to me. I want to hear your voice, the one that goes with that heart, the one that answers when someone calls out Jill.

    You remind me God will turn my ashes into beauty too, and bestow a crown upon my head, just like yours. Let’s practice our parade wave, as we cruise in a pink cadillac convertible, Princesses celebrating the year of renewal.

    Renewal of faith.

    much love, writergirl

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