Carlene Davis - Redeemed and healed from cancer to Christ


CarleneDavisjesus.jpgStanding in the ashes of a life that's been torn
Burned of all the things I held onto
Till the only thing I have left
Is the solid rock of you
"Standing In The Ashes"

In the midst of my affliction
I could have died without redemption
But through the power of the most High
I confess my sins and received Salvation

This excerpt from Carlene Davis's song "Standing In The Ashes" from her third gospel album, Redeemed is a synopsis of the journey that this now ordained minister of the gospel has taken.

Sharing a similar story to Saul whose life was radically changed while on that road to Damascus, Carlene through her songs speaks of the redemptive power of God in her life.

One of Jamaica's foremost and consistent female singer/songwriter, a household name from the eighties, Carlene Davis is known for such songs as "Like Old Friends Do", "It Must Be Love", "Winnie Mandela", and the social commentary "Santa Claus Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto?" just to name a few.

She has won over 30 awards including and received the 2000 and 2001 Jamaican Federation of Musicians Awards for her gospel albums "Vessel" and "Redeemed" respectively. Also, the Marlin Award for Top Gospel Vocalist and Martin's International Award from Chicago.

Despite all this however, her biggest achievement as she puts it, was accepting Christ as her personal Saviour and being able to prove his promises true. Having been afflicted and delivered from cancer has taught her to lean on God as the source of her strength.

This all happened in the summer of 1996 while she was visiting her husband Tommy Cowan in California. "He was on tour and we took time out to be together, away from the hectic life of the music industry. During this time out my husband discovered a lump in my left breast. As soon as we returned to Jamaica, I visited my doctor and he sent me to do a series of tests. The tests didn't look good and after I visited a specialist and he ran additional tests; days later in early October it was confirmed to be malignant. My husband took charge right away, he tried to keep me away from the details of what was happening to me, knowing that I was one of those persons who tried to eat right, exercise and stay healthy. He spoke to the doctor regarding all the details of the operation. To cut a long story short when the result was confirmed, my husband asked the doctor to call him, not me. He tried so hard to shield me from the news, even though he was feeling it more than me. Leading up to the final results, I spent a lot of time praying and seeking God.

"Before all of this I had led a decent life, my recording career was something I was proud of, I was happy with my accomplishments, having had several number one records touring Japan, USA etc., things were alright. Tommy, the children and I were doing really well. We were busy running a booking and management company, Talent Corporation, where we spent most of our time trying to make the best of a sometimes bad situation. We were responsible for a number of young, up coming artistes and some veterans while running our own careers (my husband is a singer, songwriter, producer/promoter) and taking care of family all at the same time. Within a four - year period, my husband and I lost 6 family members: Tommy's father, 2 brothers and his ex-wife (the latter died violently), my father and an aunt, two people I was very close to.

"This experience took me through a lot of soul searching. I realised that the Lord had his hand upon me all my life, and I'd spent all my life up to that point running away from Him, instead of to him. It was very clear. During this time the Lord reminded me of my youth, going to church and Sunday school. My week was never right if I missed church, that's how sweet God meant to me as a youth. I had committed my life to God when I was a child growing up in a little district called Colonel's Ridge, Clarendon, Jamaica at the Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church.
Carlene Davis – Testimony Cont'd.

I migrated to England as a young student with my other siblings (3 brothers and one sister) to join my parents. I finished my
education there and then went on to live in Canada before returning to Jamaica.

"Again, the Lord reminded me of my years in England when he called me and again I turned away. When I returned to Jamaica it was the same experience. I even went as far as recording a gospel album (my first gospel album) "Jesus Is Only A Prayer Away". Again I drifted. So when I found myself in this situation, there was no doubt in my mind that God was truly at work in my life. I was, how should I put it, "Always one foot in and one foot out". Just like everything else, God made a way for me out of nowhere. He could have prevented the cancer. I am convinced that the Lord led me to this path for me to make a choice, a take it or leave it situation. My church, pastors, family and friends were all praying for the family. They laid hands on me and anointed me. I do remember crying during that session. I remember a week before the operation I prayed this prayer... "Lord I am through with running away from you, take me as I am and use me as your vessel".

"From that moment I felt a peace; all the concerns about the operation was not so important any more, I just wanted to go to church and spend more time in the word. I remember crying again during that particular prayer of repentance. I now realise it was truly the Lord washing, cleansing, forgiving and healing me. Thus the song, "Redeemed"... forgive me Lord for all that I have done, deliver me Lord, take me as I am, and with your grace I'm on my bended knees, your humble servant, Oh Master hear my plea.

"The days spent in the hospital, I was so at peace, even my doctors were amazed, they removed all that had to be removed. The healing process was very short. My doctors kept saying they wished all their patients were like me. I received chemotherapy and yes I was concerned about all the stuff attached to chemo treatment, but I prayed and got as much info about it. Praise be to God I didn't lose any hair, did not get sick, I stayed on a special diet which included juicing carrots and other vegetables and this is still a part of my diet.

"I would have my treatment and go straight to rehearsals, make all the necessary trips that I was committed to, fulfill my general office responsibilities and only my close friends really knew what I was going through. I know God gave me the courage not to walk in the condition I found myself in, but to look to whom my hope lies, and believe in the evidence of things not seen. God kept his hand on me, shielded me from all that and more, put a new song in my heart, He taught me to sing... walk the walk and talk the talk, that Jesus Christ is here to guide me, set me free at Calvary, oh yes he died for you and me." ("Walk The Walk" from the album, 'Vessel').

I thank the Lord..." Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption; who beautifies, dignifies and crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy." (Psalm 103:4-Amp. Bible).