About the Author

Marianne Rutledge Jones leads a joyful life as a wife, mama and mama-in-law. She has come to know a deeper layer of God's goodness through a terminal cancer diagnosis and though her nest has recently emptied, she enjoys filling it with vintage treasures, cherished friends and depth in conversation.

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  1. Marianne,
    Time and time again I am amazed by the strength shown by people…God’s children….who have terminal diagnoses. I wonder how can this be? You answered this so beautifully in that God does not give us His grace in our imagining, He gives us grace in our time of trial. Praise that you can look at all that you’ve been through and still see His goodness…to have the eternal perspective that the best is yet to come. I think God has magnificently named your story and thank you SO much for sharing your very personal journey here. We all like to hear “healed on this earth” stories, but yours is greater….Healed for all eternity. Praying for you for strength and peace as you walk hand in hand in these days with your loving Heavenly Father.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thank you, Bev for your kind words and prayers. The longer I live the more I understand how true his presence is amidst the suffering of His people. It seems we are all singing different verses of the same song: “Life is Hardbut He is Good”. So grateful….for Him, for His goodness and for His sweet family that continually lift me up with their kindness and prayers. Blessings!
      Marianne

  2. May God continue to bless you on this journey. Thank you for sharing your insight. You have blessed all who walk a similar path.

    • Thank you Carol…for your kind words and taking a moment to write them.
      Marianne

  3. God bless you, sister in Christ, and thank you for being a bright light in this oftentimes dark world. Praise for His Kingdom to come! Prayers lifted up for you today.

    • Thank you Tina. For your prayers and kind words. May God show you today a new snippet of that Kingdom to come!

    • Thank you Elizabeth for your kind words. The deeper I dig the more certain I become that a strong faith is really all about the trustworthiness of the object of the faith. He is truly so so good….despite the huge varieties of muck surrounding us in our day. He really is who He says He is and it makes all the difference. Blessings and thank you again for taking a moment to encourage me.
      Marianne

  4. Marianne, the church needs your story, because sometimes the answer is “no” and our hearts have to reconcile the collision of refusal and steadfast love. Thank you for doing that here so beautifully and for allowing your sisters in Christ to have access to the truth that is flowing forth from your life in this present moment.

    • Oh Michele….you speak it so eloquently…”the collision of refusal and steadfast love.” Yes. Such a dilemma for our aching hearts. I’m grateful my family and I have had 5 years to grapple with that justaposition of truth. And I’m grateful for His patience to be with us in the grappling!
      Blessings!
      Marianne

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this! I, too, have been recently diagnosed with a disease, neuroendocrine carcinoid. It’s what Steve Jobs, the Apple guy, had. Scheduled for a PET scan at Duke on May 1st to illuminate other tumors. I could so relate to everything you said. God’s presence has been phenomenal. I would not have wanted to miss the blessings that I have received while going through this – a peace that passes all understanding, my faith has been strengthened in small and large things, my husband and I are closer than ever, and many others. I have been able to see God’s hand in the details of my life and how he’s worked everything together. One of my prayers is from 2 Timothy 2:10: “God, may I be willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those you have chosen.” Another comforting verse for me that reminds of the light you saw at your feet is from Isaiah 42:16: “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” God is good all the time! I love him so much! Thank you so much for sharing your story, I really needed to hear it! God bless you! You’re so right, the best is yet to come! We can’t lose sight of that ever.

    • Ah, Lynda…what a kindred heart. And what a faithful God. What He has done for me He will do for all who call upon His name…..because He is so good. I love hearing of your faith even as you begin this journey. It (He) will not disappoint. Big love from here in Texas and prayers for you and your family as you walk this out.
      Marianne

    • Precious sisters,
      Crying and rejoicing with both of you! GOD is so great and so good!
      Marianne and Lynda, I love you!
      That is all I can say for now…I love you sisters!

      • Oh Nona and Marianne! Thank you so very much!! You have no idea how much your comments mean to me! Love you! What a journey! I will rest in His promises. My confidence is in His faithfulness.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story, your journey of faith and acceptance and courage. You will touch many lives, change lives with all those twinkling lights that will shine for others who need strength to face their trials. Your story gives hope.

    • Thank you Andrea, for your kind words and taking a moment to write them. They encourage me.
      Marianne

    • Blessings on you – Jessica. Soul-salve….not sure I’ve ever heard those words directed my way but I like them very much. Reminds me of “the balm of Gilead”….His love is so soothing, isn’t it!
      Marianne

    • Thank you, Elizabeth for taking a moment to comment and for adding your voice to the chorus of those who know just how good He is!
      Marianne

  7. You have given us grace in hearing your words . May Jesus continue to walk beside you until you meet His awesome Father. Blessings and love . Brenda ❤️

  8. Oh Marianne, thank you so much for sharing! Your story has truly touched my heart. I am praying for you and your family during this time. Your faith is so strong and beautiful and our God sees and hears every prayer. Praying for your healing and for His good and perfect will to be done in your life. God bless you and your family. Sending love, peace, and prayers ❤️

    • Thank you Stephanie…for your uplifting words and prayers. I’m so touched when I am able to tell my story in a way that reminds the listener that He hears and He cares. So true. Thanks again for your encouraging words.
      Marianne

  9. So sweet and encouraging. I need a ressurection in my walk with Jesus. Doubt and fear have invaded for a long time. Thank you for this encouragement.

    • Dearest MaryMargaret….I wish fear and doubt were never a part of our walks here on earth. But sadly both are at times.. The truth is that God will be found to be just who He says He is and all the promises He makes us will prove to be true. Even the ones we struggle with when life gets hard. Blessings on you for your transparency and on your very honest struggle.

      Marianne

  10. You’re God’s precious daughter, Marianne. He is blessing you with the peace that only He can give…no matter what.

    Peace…John 14:27
    Faith…Hebrews 11:1

    • Thank youVickie. Bless you for speaking those words over me. I receive and find rest in them.

      Marianne

  11. Marianne, I feel like I have stepped into a holy moment through your words, even while I sit at my messy desk in my mismatched pajamas with my kids’ Saturday morning cartoons buzzing in the background. I’m deeply touched by the hope and joy and light that shines through your words in a season that, for many, could hold only despair and darkness. Thank you for allowing us to see the goodness of God through your story. Wish I could reach through this screen and hug you.

    What a great honor it is to host your words today at (in)courage.

    • Thank you Becky. Your words touch me deeply and I too (in my mismatched pjs) would love a hug from a kindred sister.
      Consider it done new friend!
      Marianne

  12. Marianne
    ,Despite what you are going through, you live it in good Faith. Thank-you for sharing with us. Peace, strength, and comfort to you…..
    Blessings to you all,
    Penny

    • Thank you Penny…for your kind words and taking a moment to share them.
      Marianne

  13. Thank you for lifting my heart with your story and reminding me of God’s goodness. I lost my husband suddenly two months ago, and I feel adrift while I wonder what my story will be in this next chapter without him. Thank you for reminding me that not only does my beloved husband now share in the ultimate promise, but that God is still here with me, too.

    • Oh Dani. I’m sorry for the road He has asked you to walk. And yet we know the same God who lovesbeyond our imagination will provide comfort and allthat we need to walk it out. My heart hurts for the grief you must be feeling…and I’m glad if even in a small way I was able to speak a truth that might provide a glimmer of respite. Bless. You. And thank you for commenting.

    • Dani,
      I wish I could give you a hug and just sit beside you a sister I never met but the pain you experience and now that we know it causes pain in our hearts too…
      You are not alone, the Body of Christ is as One and you are the part of it, we are the part of each other.

      May the Lord bless you and keep you,
      May his face shine upon you!

      To all the children of God – His Shalom!

  14. Oh how blessed I was to read your column this morning . To be reminded that God can be trusted because he is good even though our circumstances or not.
    The word GOOD has been my word for the year 2018.
    I can imagine that these last five years of your life have probably been the most precious as you see God holding you every day. How often those of us who appear to be “well“ do not see this. Thank you to those who shared the precious words of our Father that sustains us each and every day

    • Thank you Phyllis for sharing. I love that the word He gave you is “good”. I bet you and the Lord are having fun this year exchanging definitions of what He means and what man sometimes means when we use that word! Bottom line….He is good….He defines good….and He bestows nothing but good! Love this so much!

  15. Praying for you and your family on this journey. Your honesty and vulnerability, your faith, your heart to encourage others with your story…all testament to our Faithful God.

    • Thank you Kristen….for your kind words, prayers and for joining in the chorus of those who know He is faithful!
      Marianne

  16. God bless you and your family. I pray for your strength and know that you are an amazing woman of God.

  17. Thank you for sharing each part of your journey, Marianne. You continually uplift those near and far. I’m so grateful for you and any visits we’ve been able to have over the years. You continue to be in my thoughts and in my prayers.

    • Well that was beautiful….right now in my mind….you are ethereal….and so am I. None of us chooses how we come in nor how we go out. I picture us holding hands and going on together and it’s very very real. And you have that beautiful smile and sweet spirit and you’re telling me….”we’ve got this”…..and I believe you. Cause I know He’s got you….and I need to let go of your hand. I treasure the time we have had and the time we will have again. What a gift you are to so many of us…struggling to live out our sanctification. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given on to us,that we should be called the children of God. I love you dearly….keep writing….or grab a recorder….your gift of encouragement is eternal. ♥️

      • Dearest Beryl. You sing to me even when there is no music. Thank you for day’s past and the certainty of things to come. Love you so.
        Marianne

    • Cousin Kim,
      Thank you for always being my cheerleader. I hear your laughter from afar and see in my head your joy and heartfelt love from when we’ve been together. love to you and all those grandgirls! ❤️

      Marianne

  18. Marianne, thank you for sharing. Your story is so inspiring and touching. What a witness this is to Him and His goodness. I love the verse from John. This is a real blessing to me today and I send this comment off with a prayer for you and your family as you continue to walk this difficult path with such faith and witness to His goodness.

    • Thank you Leslie – for taking the time to write such uplifting and encouraging words. And for your prayers. They mean so much.

      Marianne

  19. I admire your faith in Christ! I’m certain you are a shining light in this dark world to many, many people! God bless you and your family! Much love, prayers and {{hugs}}.

    • Thank you Theresa! And hugs and blessings right back at you and the ones you love!
      Marianne

  20. Marianne,

    Thank you for sharing a personal story. I’ve found that it is through trials we truly see the goodness of God. In those times we depend on Him more, really see & understand the nature of God & his unsurpassing love. The church needs to hear more stories like yours where the outcome may not be what we want, but we are still trusting God for His resurrection power. As i age I begin to look at life differently. My perspective on death is that we win!! We get to spend Eternity with Jesus in all His glory!! Sickness & ill health can end in two way & either way the victim wins. You will be healed one way or the other. Praying for you and your family. May God bring a sense of peace & calm to you all.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Oh Beth….you are so right…because of what Jesus did on the cross WE WIN! And that makes all the difference whether we have hundreds of days left on earth or just a few! We win. Blessings!
      Marianne

  21. Marianne Rutledge Jones,
    Your poignant and poetic words have blessed me deeply. Thank you for sharing part of your story for others here today. I wish I had plane fare money to pray for you in person, but know I am lifting you and your family in deep prayer today. Know there’s a sister-in-Christ in Connecticut who’s thinking of you. Thanks to Our King, we will meet again, Marianne.

    With the love of Christ,
    Jessica

    • Indeed we will, Jessica. And what a day that will be. Thank you for taking a moment to write…and esp for your prayers. God has been so faithful to listen and hear those cries.

      Blessings!
      Marianne

  22. Marianne,
    This has touched my heart and soul, more than I can even tell you. My life has not been an easy one, but I knew God cared and helped me through the tough times. My younger brother has AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) he has gone through all the chemo since before Thanksgiving, and just finished his last treatment last week. None of the siblings are young enough to give him bone marrow, the only one that is, has MS and cannot because of that. He has had such a positive attitude through it all, and a deep belief that God will heal him, for that, I am forever thankful, he was not sick at all, just some weakness, finally they will do a biopsy to make sure, but the last one said he was in remission, and am quite sure it will be the same. Mainly because of his huge faith. I am not sure I could be so strong, but hope I can. My brother is 14 years younger than I am, and I mainly took care of him when he was young, so I feel very close to him. His doctor has even given him a tentative date to go back to work if the tests continue to be good. Such a Blessing. I think his faith has increased mine, although I thought my faith was strong, I believe it can be stronger, and after reading your story, I know it can be.

    May God Bless you, as you have touched many. Can’t thank you enough for lifting my heart and soul today.

    • Dear Linda. I am awed by how much of life’s “ugly” you have endured. And I’m grateful you know how to cling to the one who calls Himself Faithful. One day our faith will be sight and we will rejoice in ways we don’t even know this side of heaven! Blessings on you and your family. Marianne

  23. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your deep faith has encouraged me and reminded me that we do not walk alone. My journey with cancer is quiet at this time and I pray I may use this time to encourage others. God numbers our days and I thank you for reminding us of His constant presence with us. May God continue to strengthen you and your family and pour His grace into your luves.

    • Bless you Velta on your journey and as you seek to encourage others! So happy to hear your battle w the C- Word is quiet right now. Praise God for that beautiful victory!
      Marianne

  24. I like the idea when God names your story. The story can have many twists and turns before the ending is revealed. I have seen God do things at the last minute, many times. Just the other day, I prayed for a lady on FB because her friend asked, she was already in surgery. What I did not know was how terrified she had been, no wonder. Two doctors had turned her down giving her a zero % chance, the third, 35%. Everyone was elated when she made it and had many tumors removed from a major artery. I am writing about miracles in May. I believe a lot of stories are not over. while we are limited He isn’t. Jesus raised a lot of people, and was Himself raised at Easter, spirit ,soul and body. I know for unknown reasons, because I’m not God, that not everyone receives a miracle, but I believe we all have the capacity to. I think people get tired, wearied in waiting, and it gets hard to believe the impossible. We are supposed to agree with His promises of yes and amen. I pray you find strength and encouragement. And He can even change your story again.

    • Dear Rebecca – He is an amazing God, isn’t He? For the things He reveals and the things He keeps a mystery. Blessings!
      Marianne

  25. Thank you, Marianne, this is so beautiful. Being in a long-suffering season of emotional pain, this brings balm to my soul. Somehow, you saying the Words, “Jesus loves us…Jesus loves his Father” resonated to me even though I’ve thought and known that a 1000 times. We always think about about how Jesus loves us. I just think the words “He loves his Father” moved something in me b/c I guess I feel so much love for my Heavenly Father too and this reminded me of this. I was thinking the other day that one of His miracles is that He draws us to Him. It’s not me its Him. And this is a gift. I thanked him profusely b/c what IF I didn’t feel this way towards my beautiful Father in Heaven. What if I didn’t think about Him all day long. What if I didn’t want to know Him better. What if I could care less about Him and just constantly did my own thing. That would be hell for me (literally and figuratively). I cried and thanked Him deeply weeping that He’s never take this love and affection towards Him away, especially in a world where my immediate family has brought me great grief and required much of me to long-suffer. I know His affection would never wain for me but I don’t want to ever loose that no matter how hard things remain. Thank you for encouraging me this morning. God bless you, God be with you and may God cast a thousand lights of miracles around you today. Love, Cindy

    • Thank you Cindy, for your beautifully transparent words. Your heart as I read your words reminds me of a passage in Isaiah 66 that says “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (v 2). I sense the Lord esteems you greatly. Blessings.
      Marianne

      • This is a blessing to me more than you know. I am now going to let this be my next scripture memory verse I do! Love. Love. Love. God bless you Marianne, Cindy xx

  26. Marianne, thank you for your heart felt reminder of why we are here. Your story touched my heart. Today I pray for you, that you feel his love today more than ever.

    • Thank you Nancy for your kind words andcesoecially your prayers. They honor me greatly.
      Marianne

  27. Marianne, I don’t remember ever reading “I am in hospice now.” What an unbelievable journey you and your family have been on. Thank you for making the effort to share with us a glimpse of the glory that is possible in the most impossible circumstance. It encourages me to do the long, hard work of sharing the story God has given me. (It also includes not getting what we have begged God for!) May God continue to pour out grace and mercy and peace beyond comprehension on you and your beloveds.

    • Thank you, Melissa for taking a moment to write. And may you share your story boldly…esp as you come to see in deeper and deeper ways the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord throughout His “yes” and his “no” Bless you, friend as you walk on in perseverance!
      Marianne

  28. Marianne,
    Thank you for the effort it took to share your story. It blesses me to read it. You mentioned how God has made His presence known to you in many ways during this five year journey. That is what your story has done for me. It’s as if you are standing a little closer to His light and it is shining brightly through you. You have encouraged me in whatever difficulty we may be experiencing, God is good and His presence outweighs whatever we are facing at the moment. I am praying for you and your family to have many more beautiful moments wrapped in His love and comfort.

  29. What strength, courage and hope I hear from your story…I resonated with your words that spoke of people that God brought into your life as twinkling lights of kindness as well as truths from His Word! I’m so sorry for your hard but thankful for yet another story telling of the goodness, kindness, love and compassion our great God and mighty Savior gives to His children! ❤️

  30. Marianne, you will be one of ‘the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before’ which inspire and encourage us to keep running our race until we, too, are called home. I lost a friend to breast cancer last year – aged 41 – and she still inspires me because, like you, she could thank God for her cancer and for the joy and depth that it brought to her walk with God. She shared His glorious light wherever she went. Well done, to each good and faithful servant.

  31. Marianne,

    Thank you for sharing such Truth even in the midst of suffering. So often we hear about the healing but God often has greater, far reaching plans. While I am not dealing with a life threatening diagnosis I have been struggling with chronic health issues for many years. Your faith is an encouragement. I want to daily choose to “see” His goodness & faithfulness even if my health challenges do not change. I’m lifting you & your family up in prayer as each of you continue to lean into Him.

  32. Marianne,
    Your legacy of words is a beautiful roadmap for those of us who will follow you. Praying for peace for your beautiful family.

  33. Dear Sister Marianne,

    You are a woman of strength, courage and humility. I thank you for sharing your story, as it could not have come at a better time.

    I also am battling with a painful “medical condition.” No one can seem to diagnose it with a name. I consider it the woman with the issue of blood, suffering day in and out. However, I refuse to give it power and meditate on the word of God for healing scriptures. Day in and day out I’m professing Isaiah 53:5, Jeremiah 30:17 and just today as I was listening to a sermon on healing from Kenneth Copeland (KCM.org ) on healing and deliverance and Pastor Copeland spoke on Mark1:40; Mark 2 and Luke 5. The rest of the day was spent immersing myself in the word and could feel the presence of the holy spirit reassuring me that everything is going to be alright. As you so calmly stated in your story…His grace is sufficient. Please know that my prayers are with you and believing for a miracle. GOD in still in the healing and miracle business. Sending you well wishes and blessings.

    Love & Light,

    Sister Jill Cheatham

    If you need a little extra encouragement, give Kenneth Copeland Ministries a call to pray with you.

  34. Thank you Marianne. You are finishing so well, just as you have walked in His ways on this path these years. May God grant you peace and rest until you reach the ultimate rest. Heaven waits to rejoice at your arrival and Jesus has a special place prepared for you. Love always. See you in the other side.