Friday, January 8, 2016

Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts




When I met Sara in 2008, I was a mess. My husband and I were separated. I was living with my sister in NW Indiana, while my husband and and sons were in a St Louis suburb.

I was living with chronic pain and had been for years. I could not understand why my husband and family were not empathetic or understanding, and no matter what I did it never seemed enough. I had pushed my body to the point that I could not even take care of myself, let alone my sons. I was deeply ensnared in the abyss of self-pity.

And then I met Sara. I was new to social media. To Twitter and Facebook. Through Divine intervention and seemingly random connections, I met my Sweet Soul Sisters; Tammy, Alece, Jenni, Cathi and Sara. Let's not forget Matthew Paul, Chad, Mark, Pete, Blake, Anne Marie and all of the folks at Crosspoint.tv. Each and everyone of these people would have a profound impact on my life and still do, but it was Sara who changed my life.

I remember very clearly the first time I read her blog. It was called "A Week in The Life", and it was a brutally honest series of posts about her life, her autoimmune disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and what it is like to live every moment of your life in your home. Being allergic to the very air we breath and take for granted. The amount of medication she took on a daily basis to just live astounded me. Yet, the most amazing and impactful thing about Sara was how she chose joy and was completely grateful for what abilities and amenities she still had. Her faith and trust in God was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Sara gave me a true picture of what it means to be a faithful follower of Christ.

The more time I spent with Sara on social media, her blog, and CPTV, the more I realized that I had that same choice. I found that my diagnoses did not define me and even though I was in pain all the time, I didn't have to live like I was. I could choose joy. And I did. I still do every day.

This gift that Sara gave me is one that I will forever be grateful for and will share her story until my final breath. This book is a reminder of her voice, when choosing is hard, That "no moment from my God is a rock of burden. it's just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones."


1 comment:

Laura said...

Blessings to you from Sara's family!! Thank you for opening up and sharing. Praying this ministry continues to bless others! Peace!