But the topic is for Sara this time. Sara who has been choosing joy in her life and on her blog in years of severe chronic pain and restrictions imposed by her Ankylosing Spondylitis. Sara who chose joy in the sudden loss of her dad, when she was too ill to attend the funeral. Sara who learned this week that the disease is winning the battle for her earthly body and is choosing joy in hospice.
The topic this week is joy. I realize now when I think of joy, the people who come to mind are those who have known Christ's fellowship in deep suffering: Margaret, Jeanette, Joni, Sara, Elisabeth.
The faces for "happy" are completely different and inconstant.
That makes me wonder if joy is what the Spirit births in God's children when the happy has been knocked out of them by trials. If that's the kind of joy Jesus promised His followers in the upper room the night before His death.
And yet, is it possible, too, that that kind of joy eventually, even if it's on the other side of death, blooms into happiness, too?. First we consider it all joy, then we discover it all joy, then we see Him who is our joy and find we are happy. Really happy for the first time.
If you would like to join in praying for Sara as she prepares to go Home to the Lord and for the many who love and will miss her, her story is here at her blog, "Choose Joy." She and her blog are the reason blogging seemed like a good and reasonable response a year ago when my doctor put me on bed rest at home temporarily. Though I only know her through reading and commenting on her blog, she has helped me grow in grace, and I'm grateful.
Linking up today to Gypsy Mama and her community, which each week writes for an unedited five minutes on a shared prompt:
Another most beautiful tribute by someone who has known Sara in person can be read at A Holy Experience.