Sara and Riley

A week ago I learned that my friend and fellow (in)courage author, Sara (or Gitz, as she is affectionately known), won’t be here with us much longer. Sara suffers from a disease with a long, complicated name. She has been homebound for some time, gets sick easily, and lives with constant pain.

Sara’s mother, brother, and sister are there now, taking care of her and reading emails, texts, and Facebook comments aloud from people who love Sara and want to say goodbye. Hospice is providing some much-needed pain relief and the rest that comes with it; however, Sara will soon see both her heavenly Father and her earthly one, whom she lost last year.

If you don’t already know Sara, you might be surprised to find that her blog is titled Choose Joy, but that’s exactly what she does:

I need His will to be done in my life whether it is comfortable or not. There is not one thing that feels comfortable about my world right now, but I need Him more than I need to change my circumstances.

It’s still brutally hard. I have to remind myself of these facts every day. It doesn’t always come easily.

But it doesn’t make the truth any less true.

And the truth is that I can choose the joy.

So I do.
~ Gitz

Sara not only chooses joy for herself, she gives it to others, too. This post from last summer made me laugh until I cried. I’m always excited to receive an email or comment from Sara; she blesses others with her gift of encouragement.

Sara and her example have been ever-present with me lately; they challenge my thoughts and attitudes.

Joy is something that we choose either to embrace or deny. Every day.

When I feel overwhelmed and incapable . . . choose joy.

When my kids are disrespectful and our house is a mess . . . choose joy.

In the midst of day-to-day stress . . . choose joy.

Sara, if you can choose joy, surely I can, too. I love you, sweet friend.

{Read other celebrations of Sara linked up on Jessica’s blog.}

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