Day 19: Tanya Marlow on the Journey-A Guest Post

Today, I’ve asked Tanya Marlow to join us and talk a bit about her journey. Tanya writes at Thorns and Gold, and I’ve gotten to know a bit about her from both her blog and her twitter feed (which is always chock full of great links and good conversation). Both have given me a close up perspective on Tanya’s struggle living with a chronic illness. She shows true faith and grace while facing a very difficult path. I can learn so much from her and I think you can too. It’s an honor to have Tanya here today.


Progress on the Journey 

When was the last time you entered a different country?

There are two ways of entering a country.

The first way is the clear entry. I have been once to the USA. The entry was a noisy airport; announcements, surprisingly personal questions from unsmiling uniformed figures, fingerprinting, forms, heavy luggage. I had arrived.

Or when I stepped out of a plane as a child onto Africa – even before your feet touch the ground, you know you are somewhere different. As soon as the door opens, the air hits you like a thousand warm currant buns, right in the face.

But there is another way of entering a country.

We used to go on camping holidays as a kid in Europe. We lived by the coast in England, and we would stuff the car to the gunnels with tent poles, toys, books, clothes and emergency snacks, cross the channel on the ferry and drive. And then drive some more.

We played memory games, sang songs in harmony in the back of the car, needed the toilet, whined about our siblings’ elbows in our face, read until we were carsick, stuck our heads out of the window into the wind. Then we got out of the car for a break, and then did it all again. I’m not completely sure how my parents stayed sane for the 10-20 hours of the car journey. (Although, as I recall some details of the travelling, I’m not entirely sure that they always were quite sane for the entirely journey…)

Once, we drove for hours to get to Italy. Not every boundary is policed, as we discovered on those convoluted roads of Europe. Sometimes the boundaries between the two countries are right in the middle of a large forested area, and you just aren’t sure which country you’re in.

We stayed overnight in Switzerland (where I remember – with some indignation – that we had a decidedly meagre evening meal because all the budget had been used up on the overnight accommodation. Switzerland was very expensive. As a ten-year-old, I was less than impressed by the view. Never mind the quiet mountains and smug lake – I had been looking forward to eating out at a restaurant.)

Anyway. We set out in the morning to Italy.

There were few signs where we were travelling, and the area was sparsely populated. The changes were hard to track: there were still the tall trees, the winding roads, the mountains. Maybe there was a slight brightening of the light as we travelled South. The houses looked subtly different, though I couldn’t tell you how. Gradually the proportion of car registration plates that passed us switched from being mainly Swiss to mainly Italian.

In that long journey from Switzerland to Italy, there was no notification, no bright shining lights or announcements or officials to tell us that we had changed from one country to another. We travelled for a few hours, then stopped at the nearest fuel station. The mountains looked browner, somehow, and as we stepped out, a tanned, dark-haired man bid us ‘Buon Giorno’ and my parents fumbled through the Swiss Franks to dig out the Lira.

We had arrived in Italy. But I couldn’t tell you when that had happened.


There are two areas of my life where I feel acutely this tension of not knowing exactly where I am.

I have severe M.E., an autoimmune illness which affects my mobility and concentration. It has rendered me housebound for the last two years, and I am unable to leave the house more frequently than once a week, for just a couple of hours, in a wheelchair. When I rest, I tend to get better: gradually, imperceptibly. It takes weeks and weeks of feeling frustrated and that I am not doing as well as I would like – and then, one day, I realise, ‘three months ago I couldn’t do this – now I can. Is that improvement?’ The progress of physical healing comes at a painfully slow pace.

The other area of my life is where I feel this tension is in the process of becoming holy. As Christians, we are on a journey where we are being made into the likeness of Christ. We have turned from the old country. But we won’t really get the stamp on our passports until we enter heaven’s gates. We just know we are progressing in that direction.

Sometimes it can feel like we are definitely in Italy. The light looks brighter, we are joyful, we’re more patient, we notice a love for God’s word. Other times, we frown – we are more selfish than ever, we lack self-control – it is as if we never left Switzerland at all.

This is what holiness feels like: not a tick in the box, a stamp in the passport, approval by officials. It is a long, winding, confusing journey; those gradual, imperceptible changes.

We repeatedly ask, ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

We’re not. But we’re on our way.

Over to you:
– Where do you feel this tension in your life?

– When was the last time you entered a different country?
Tanya Marlow was formerly in Christian ministry for a decade and was Associate Director and lecturer for a university-level Bible training course. Now she reads Bible stories to her toddler as she learns what it means to be a mum who is housebound with an autoimmune illness. She blogs at Thorns and Gold, on the Bible, Suffering, and the messy edges of life. Follow Tanya on Twitter or like her Facebook page.


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  • Thanks for sharing this. I remember as a child driving down to the bottom of France with my family, the songs we used to sing in the car, the priceless moments. I remember also once travelling to Holland through Germany by train. It’s a great metaphor you use here, so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Thanks for your encouragement, James! Glad to have sparked some childhood memories too… 🙂

  • Alice

    Yes! It’s all to easy to just think no progress is being made when it comes to holiness (-especially in my life!). Thank you for the encouragement that even though it may be imperceptible, the journey is happening and I am moving on little by little. xx

    • Thank you, lovely! I also feel like there is little progress made… I am encouraging myself with this thought this week!

  • Ro elliott

    yes…we progress slower than we like both physically and spiritually…but life is a journey…each phase having a richness of it’s own…even those hard days of sickness. May you have continue endurance to run this race…no matter how fast or slow… So thankful God isn’t keeping a time clock on us. blessings to you~

    • Thank you – it’s good for me to remember than each season has a richness of its own – I find that hard to remember!

  • iananddonnac

    This made me laugh! You really nailed it with this metaphor. My journey towards holiness is most certainly long and winding and there are times when it feels like I’ve taken a detour and have somehow gotten back to the main road only to find myself a long way back from where I left it!
    Thank you for this – it’s lovely.

    • Yay! I’m glad you liked it. And I’m very glad your journey is also long and winding!

  • The journey is so important. Sometimes we get caught up in the destination and do not give the journey the attention it needs. Most of our time will be spent on the journey. We must make the most of it. We must relish it.

    • Wise words, Mark! Thanks for stopping by here 🙂

  • Rishma Tayob


    by Diana Manya

    (12 August 2014–FF News) The Russian Military this afternoon, seized

    control of inner Ukraine, seizing their control of power against their

    neighbors about regarding the overthrowing of pro-Russian

    elected president Mr. Viktor Yanukovych…

    “Russia had invaded Ukraine in 2004, and since then have occupied

    and ruled Ukraine. After pro Russian president

    Mr. Viktor Yanukovych missed

    several attempts on his life, he had decided

    to withdraw his state address

    and move back to Russia…” Reuters says on their website…

    Speaking to Footprints in Moscow, Russian

    resident, Miss. Veronica

    Alina says that Ukraine had overthrew their current

    president and

    killed 50 000 Russian soldiers in 2010, and thus their

    approach of


    “Russia had occupied Crimea in March 2014,

    and when

    Ukraine leaders,

    had mass murdered Russian military men close to

    their border, we

    decided to invade other area’s of Ukraine including

    Kiev, Poltava, Vinnystia,

    and other sectors of the country to enable Ukraine

    remains Russia’s property..”

    President of The United States, Mr. Barack Obama said at

    The White House that they will support the likes of Ukraine

    towards a capitalistic economy, and abandon the teachings

    of Communist Russian forces who have occupied Ukraine

    since 2004..

    “We have warned Russia that our support

    lies with Ukraine

    and should further bombings and threats

    be imposed

    against Ukraine we will be forced to send

    our own troops

    to Ukraine.”

    Minister of Military and Arms for Russia, Captain Alexandra

    Boris says that when President Yakukovych has withdrawn

    his election status, it was about time to invade…

    “We had discussed this theory in 2007, when Ukraine


    had martyred Russian businessmen in Kiev. We then

    aimed towards

    holding our authority through the president,

    and after being threatened

    several times, we will still maintain and hold

    power in Ukraine.” he was

    quoted as saying…


    Russian Roulette: The Invasion

    of Ukraine (Dispatch Six) with Footprints Filmworks

    President of Russia Mr. Vladimir Putin who spoke briefly said that he will not take

    The United States

    too seriously, after this battle was being fought

    between Asian country’s and they should

    mind their own businesses…

    “We have already purchased $430 million dollars

    worth of ammunition, nuclear weapons,

    weapons of mass destruction and deployed a

    further 3000 forces with China, to that if Ukraine does not

    surrender by Sunday, 10:am, we will be forced to invade..”

    he was interpreted as saying..

    Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ukraine, Mr. Yadek Kovic

    said in

    a statement to Footprints in Kiev, that they will not allow

    Russian forces to hold Ukraine any longer, and have asked for

    the support of the international community to ‘knock some


    in the skulls of The Russians…’

    “We have already suffered thousands of deaths

    by the majority

    rule of Russia, we have already given birth to

    children who are

    living in fear, we are already too tired to hear

    the gunshots of

    Russian forces in the early hours of night.”

    Prime Minister of England who spoke in a lengthy speech

    this afternoon, saying that Russian leaders were behaving like

    ‘bullies,’ who want to own their neighbors.

    “As far as we go, we as England have aimed to storm away from

    the eye of the crowd and mind our own business…

    If The United States

    requires further support towards Ukraine, we will gladly lend our

    brains and balls in aid for Ukraine.”

    The London Daily, concluded on their website

    saying that should Ukraine

    not surrender to armed forces of Russia

    within the next few days,

    they could find themselves having

    mass funerals everyday…


    russian love song razbila

    serdce sirts kotrir with Footprints Filmworks


    Oscar Pistorius ‘JAILED,’ for 25 years…!!

    by Caren Le Roux

    (15 August 2014–FF News) This Friday, marks the celebration

    of millions of international residents after Judge Thokozile Masipa

    stated to members in The Pretoria High Court, that the accused

    be sanctioned for a period of 25 years with the possibility of paraole

    after 14 years…

    “We see the accused in acting against the laws of Justice, and will

    be carried his sentence with immediate effect..” liberated Mam..

    South African’s who were awaiting at length

    for the verdict since March 2014, have been awaiting

    anxiously for

    the result that ‘tortured-‘n-tormented,’ the global


    since 14 February 2013…

    “Everybody who is everybody has been following

    the trial of

    Oscar Pistorius after murdering his girlfriend

    on the eve

    of Valentines Day.” says Teenzone Magazine…

    Whilst hundreds of journalists waited for the

    verdict, many had

    stormed local newspapers and websites with

    outcomes of the


    “We knew that when he took the stand, Nel

    would destroy him,

    with his theories of the fatal shootings…

    We were aware of the fatal

    screams before the forth bullet that

    actually killed her..” reported

    Janice Kewl, a Los Angel es resident.

    Another resident who spoke to

    Footprints in Pretoria, says that

    the witnesses had heard screams before

    the shooting and the evidence

    presented to the court about the cellphones,

    is what sealed the deal.

    “As everyday residents, we often booked

    the entire day to watch the trail

    and posted our comments to each

    other..When the investigator in charge

    had told the court about Reeva’s messages

    before she died, sealed the deal

    for the state.”

    Prosecutor, Mr. Gerrie Nel who was in an element

    when the verdict

    was read, did some of the crying as

    compared to Oscar’s ‘green-bucket,’

    that he has been using…

    “We knew the witnesses statements

    would support our


    that this was pre mediated murder,

    and they had

    all played their part well…We

    had the support of The ANC Women’s Forum,

    The Crime and Investigation Unit

    of Chicago, thousands of news channels, and people

    who believed that if you

    kill someone, the l a w has to pay full punishment.”

    CBS News reported that this has been ‘the most watched,’ trial

    since OJ Simpson, and whilst many had routed for Oscar to be

    free, instead, the millions of other residents were happy that

    Justice has been served.

    “Let this send a clear message to South African’s

    and the rest

    of the world, that if you own a gun,

    be responsible

    for the

    weight you carry.”

    Oscar Pistorius’s lawyer Mr. Barry Roux was

    unavailable for comment,

    amid his client being stone broke after

    the trial..

    “This trial has cost him all his wealth, and by that we

    talking R58 million rand,

    his career and friends, and will soon be welcomed

    by a prison that is known

    to the court, but is left unidentified until further

    discussion…” noted

    The Dublin Express…


    Oscar Pistorius Trial:

    Tuesday 18 March

    2014, Session 1Footprints Filmworks

    Skeptics who spoke to The Gauteng Times, say that whilst millions of people had wanted

    ‘a trial by media,’ the Judge had played in tune with the media, but in reality, the verdict

    is that Oscar will be moved to Australia, to live his life out..

    “His career is destroyed and Mam had to play in line with

    the expectations of the people…If

    she were to give her true verdict in front of millions,

    who knows what will happen to

    South Africa…”

    Keeping the skeptics in mind, The Ministry of

    Justice in South

    Africa read that the verdict by the

    supreme was in line to expectations

    from the general population…

    “When a murder occurs in Diepsloot, no-one talks about it,

    and the man

    gets 25 years to life…When a rape occurs in Soweto,

    a man is sentenced

    and forced to leave his family alone..

    When a celebrity commits a sin, against

    humanity, the rule of like for like should apply.”

    “He was the blue-eyed boy of our family before he shot

    my precious daughter…When the Judge read the verdict

    today, I could see in his eyes that his poor little blue eyes

    looked rusty..He deserves the punishment for killing my

    daughter and may God bless his soul.” added June Steenkamp.

    The paralytic super star Mr. Oscar Pistorius was being escorted

    by The Pretoria Police as Footprints in Pretoria, tried to catch

    a quick w o r d…


    Michael Jackson – Heal

    The World-with Footprints Filmworks


    The Pretoria SHOW


    Pretoria residents….

    by Zuliakha Khatrada

    (27 August 2014–FF News) Pretoria residents in the

    country will

    be honoring the most talked about show this

    August 2014, and that is Pretoria’s annual 81st

    SHOW, hosted first by Transvaal resident

    Mr. Andre Klaasen…

    “In those days the show

    only consisted of a few


    carts, as compared to today’s roller coaster,

    8D theaters,

    8888 stalls

    and other entertainment…In those days the show

    was a mere

    100 stalls,

    and today we have over e i g h t floors

    of all types of retailers and

    wholesalers…” says Pretoria resident, Miss. Lelane


    The Pretoria SHOW organizer Mr. Zaheed Thompson

    says that

    with so much entertainment over the next eight

    days makes

    The Pretoria SHOW, where all South

    African’s should visit..

    “We received more than substantial

    investment from people who

    have invited their friends, families,

    and other colleagues to the show…

    The show boasts 22nd Century rides,

    over 8000 business and social

    stalls, massive conference rooms and

    other entertainment that is


    he elaborated…

    According to Marketing Manager

    Miss. Sanele Kekane,

    she adds, that this

    year’s Pretoria SHOW is for the teenager who wants

    to romance his

    girlfriend, the brother who wants to spoil his sister,

    the father who wants

    to show his affection to his wife, and friends

    who want to

    l e a r n new styles

    from local and international people…

    “We expect approximately 8 million people over the

    next few days, and

    people from all walks of life,

    should come along, and

    enjoy decadent meals

    and other social events.”

    she grasped.

    Footprints in Pretoria, who spoke to other residents from

    Pretoria, Gauteng, had said that The Pretoria SHOW,

    is a must

    attend event and should people choose

    to purchase tickets, they

    may purchase tickets through Computicket,

    The Ticket Office, Tickets

    and Tags and other ticket distributors, or by purchasing

    the ticket at R81 for adults and R18 for children under

    18 at the door…

    “We have circuses, musical shows, magical theories, and

    bundles more on a Saturday afternoon..” noted a resident.


    LeAnn Rimes – How Do I Live?

    (Greatest Hits)…Footprints Filmworks

    Celebrity Superstar and EFF Leader Mr. Julius Malema said that he will

    celebrate The Pretoria SHOW, by signing

    autographs and a ‘day out with

    the country..”

    “Many of the Economic Freedom Fighters members

    are from Pretoria,

    and I will attend on Sunday, and enjoy a helicopter

    ride over

    the city.”

    The Pretoria News, says that races from all across South Africa

    are welcome to visit The Pretoria SHOW, with added bonus

    of talk shows, dance competitions, youth development and

    a showcase of thousands of dwellers

    from the city who choose

    to sell their art, their garage garbage,

    their creations and other

    items that make a house a home.

    “If you are shopping for new furniture,

    The Pretoria Show

    is the place to be, If you are shopping

    for a new fashion wardrobe,

    The Pretoria Show is the place to be,

    If you are in need for

    that luxurious bedroom suite, The Pretoria

    Show is the place

    to be, we have over one million items

    for sale, so hurry..”

    Metro FM, and other media broadcasters

    are said to attend

    the show, with other personalities

    like you and me…

    “My friends and I have been planning

    what we are going to

    wear, the boys that we will meet,

    and the rides we wanna go

    on..” said a local teenager.

    “I am in need of some office furniture and

    perhaps a suit jacket,

    but I told my wife, my budget is R5000.”

    said a father..

    “I want to buy for my grandpa an opium perfume,


    that is his favorite.” said another grandson.

    Whatever your reason for not coming

    to The Pretoria SHOW,

    this year it better be a good enough reason not to be at

    the most entertaining place in South Africa this August.

    About 31,100 results with Footprints Filmworks


    Jab Tak Hai Jaan – Title song with Lyrics


    New ‘tele-port,’ service

    INTRODUCED in Spain…

    by Ian Johnson

    (19 August 2014–FF News) The Spanish Village of Valencia

    has introduced a revolutionary invention of

    Spain’s first ‘tele-port,’

    media, first introduced by Sir. Alanzo Neiva, and after being

    modified in South Africa by Professor Johan Davids the leading

    company OPIC COMMUNICATIONS has spoken to

    business investors

    to ‘wean-out,’ and prepare the traveling population

    for per second


    “If a person in Argentina wants to travel

    to France without the

    hassle of an international flight,

    she may do

    so by traveling through

    the first teleport-media service in the world.”

    Speaking to Footprints in Valencia, local engineer

    Mr. Richard Solana, he says, that Valencia residents were

    happy with the invention amid Spanish government officials

    first testing the equipment…

    “We are testing if the co-ordinates punched in will arrive at

    the correct destination…We don’t want a scenario where

    our people are sent to a vacuum, never to return…We are

    testing if the device can be used only to transport people,

    but for major co-operations to support

    import and export

    benefits…We are testing if the tele-port device

    will disapprove

    terrorism, as the traveling code is enabled

    to that we require

    the same documentation for the device

    to be used as

    a transport mechanism..”

    Businessman, Mr. Kesera Zanita, added to The Madrid Sun,

    that South African Airways had called him earlier in 2007,

    to negotiate a deal of buying shares into


    and after reviewing the company for several months, he

    had decided to fund the project for $9 billion dollars, with a

    32% share holding in the company…

    “If a person, would like to travel from his destination

    to another

    destination, he merely attends one of our shuttles,

    to arrive

    at his destination within eight minutes, anywhere in the

    world, for

    1/12th the price of an airline ticket internationally…”

    he promised.

    16 videos

    Superman Original Soundtrack with Footprints Filmworks

    Managing Director for OPIC COMMUNICATIONS, Mr. Izakel Simmons,

    wrote in his blog that the invention will save the world from

    ridding of her resources by saving on fossil fuels, energy and


    “We see this as a leading invention that can change

    the world..The tel-port

    device should not be confused with The Time Machine,

    which is

    currently explored by Miss. Sussanah De Silva,

    where we will

    have the results by 11th February 2015.”

    The Time Machine, which is currently being

    experimented with

    by Scientists at The University of Brasilia will allow

    residents to

    change their past experiences by being


    to a n y Century

    and date, allowing scientists an opportunity to

    recreate their long lost


    The United States said in a statement that she

    will allow

    Spain to transgress the work

    with The South African’s and

    Spain, to that the invention

    should pass international laws

    and surpass terrorism,

    epidemics, and other disasters.

    “If Spain can merge their energies with

    South Africa,

    we could

    see the price of natural resources drop,

    we could see the South African

    rand strengthen, we could see increased


    with international

    partners, and we could see a cultural

    mix between


    Nairobi resident, Miss. Michelle Kernzer says

    that her boyfriend

    lives in Lusaka, and sometimes she just wishes

    she could see

    him, without the hassle of paying

    too much for an airline

    ticket, and spending money…

    “Now, it can cost me under 500 to get to him,

    without the hassle of too much expenses.”

    Managing Director for SHELL, Mr. Mohammed

    Abbas Abdullah,

    says that

    OPIC COMMUNICATIONS had approached

    him regarding

    the deal, but still saw the need for power

    for years to come..

    “This invention will only take about twenty

    years to come into

    play, and we still require our military to

    purchase fuel, our

    major corporations to fuel their machines,

    and other devices

    that still do require our power resources..”

    Major companies listed at The London

    Stock Exchange,

    dropped in value this afternoon after

    the announcement

    that teleport media is being

    experimented with and

    could reach the everyday citizen within two years…

    “British Petroleum, British Airways, London

    Oils and Manchester

    Fossil Fuels, all dropped by almost six percent…

    As more work

    is being done to bring the cost of transport

    down, airliners

    are being pressured to lower their

    transport fees.” said a stock


    ntent of this video, and in no …


    Bette Midler – The Rose with Footprints Filmworks



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    Christine Moodley: Christina Aguilera is pregnant.

    Goolam Takolia: I am a senior political lecturer at

    The University of Pretoria, and if you could be so

    kind and post my thoughts about the country, I will

    gladly welcome your interest.

    Jessica David: More news about Cape Town, pweez.

    Waheed Koor: How about a motoring section,


    Samantha Van Wyk: My husband and I run a

    plumbing business

    in Limpopo and want to know more, fax us the



    Husky Dog Talking – ” I love you ”

    Xolani Dlamini: I like the article about the

    time machine.

    Nazeera Kalla: Please email me

    Zakkiyyah Kalla’s contacts.

    Princess: I think Ahmed Essop from

    Lenasia, is the hottest

    guy in the world!!!!

    Mansoor Mahomed: Hi, I am a Sydney resident,

    and there is

    a large Asian community over here, and if you

    allow me the

    privilege, I would like to tell my story.

    Marcus Liebenburg: Phone me footprints,

    I want to advertise.

    Michelle Oostheizen: Really like this concept

    of fictional news,

    it correlates to cool broadcasting and opinion based reporting.

    Abigal Chisenga: That Oscar Pistorius got want he deserved,

    some jail time.

    Mark Kone: With the E tolls and other inflated expenses

    that The ANC has incurred against the consumer, makes

    SA the most corrupt country in the world.


    Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris – Baby
    with Footprints Filmworks