Friday, September 16, 2011

Joy Breaks Through {Five-Minute Friday}

This has been a long week, and I haven't yet finished my exercises for today or read, let alone answered, the messages in my inbox. Five-Minute Friday writing wasn't on my list today...

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:

...and to Jessica's tribute page at The Mom Creative

The Mom Creative
Another most beautiful tribute by someone who has known Sara in person can be read at A Holy Experience.


  1. Alright, Sister, the post on my blog roll right before yours was this one:

    Check it out.

    I think God's trying to tell me something!

    Love you!

  2. Beautiful. I think you've got it: "(I) wonder if joy is what the Spirit births in God's children when the happy has been knocked out of them by trials." So insightful, and such a fitting tribute to Sara. So glad I hopped over from Lisa-Jo's.

  3. Deep calls to deep. So much in 5 minutes. Profound truth.

  4. Thank you for pointing us to "Choose Joy", your fatigue notwithstanding. Reading not just the recent posts by Shannon, but also some older ones by Sara,I was struck by Sara's clear-eyed courage--a courage not mixed with or propped up by denial about how hard a place she's been in for so long. Sara also came across as wonderfully free from the bitterness that, more than anything else (more even than fear, I think) cuts us off from joy. It's a privilege to be able to pray for her and her family.

    i'm sorry you've had such a long and busy week: may the Lord bring you and Allen rest and joy in abundance this weekend!

  5. Joy birthed when happy has been knocked out by trials - oh what a thought! Her life is a beautiful story of the joy that can only come from clinging to our creator. Beautiful words here.

  6. So beautiful!

    I'm chewing on this: "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."

    It does seem true that so many of the most joyful people are those who have been through the fire. Perhaps it's in those times we realize we need Him the most, and then He can do His work in us.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Choosing joy with you and Sara.


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