9.23.2014

Choosing the Joy

"consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.." James 1:2

A couple of weeks ago Erik and I were asked to go speak with a new family who's 11 year old son was diagnosed with brain cancer.  It was such a raw, emotional experience.

We've spoken with several families and made friends with more over the past few years who were walking down the same path as us.  But there was something different about this family.  Something between us fused a relationship on a much deeper level than what should have been likely.  It was a level of intimacy that only a cancer family can share.  We laughed, we cried, we talked and then cried some more.

It was a surreal night and when we left after 2 hours, I was so sick.  I had a migraine, I was nauseated and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I had no clue that reliving such memories would make me so ill.  I'm so thankful for the friends we made and I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to face some of my worst memories.  It was like looking a monster in the face.

One thing I talked to my new friend about was allowing herself to find joy in each day.  Let me tell you, walking the halls of a cancer hospital with a dying child is pure hell.  Seriously, pure hell.  BUT, joy is there.  You have to look. You have to make a choice.  You have to choose joy.

And can I tell you what that joy is like?  The joy you can find, the joy I have found, during our darkest days is the joy that is with me now.  It's God's way of whispering "you can do this.  I will give you what it takes to make it through the hour, and I will reward you with a memory that you will cherish forever. "  Isn't it amazing how God chooses to bless us in the most unlikely ways and during the most unlikely times?  But you have to be aware.  You have to choose the joy.

My new friend, her 11 year old son and their family have a very hard fight ahead of them.  I believe in miracles and our new little friend Mason is a strong fighter.  When I talk to her, which is almost every day, I pray over our conversation.  I pray that something, one thing, will encourage her.  That God would speak through me to help her find her joy in that moment.

Life is so temporal.  So many of us run through life passing quickly through the minutes in search of the hour.  We let the opportunity to live in a moment slip by us while we search out the grander event.  How do we not realize that life is chock full of "moments"?  Many us only experience those truly grand events a few times in our lifetime, if we are lucky!  Just think of all the memories, smiles, laughs and tears we can miss if we aren't careful.  

For so long I was forced to live in a world where day by day was all I possibly had with my daughter.  I was given a choice.  I could have allowed myself to get lost in sorrow and miss the sweet moments with Lucy that presented themselves every single or I could choose joy.  I can honestly say there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't find something to be thankful for.  There was always one thing I  could smile about at the end of every day.  And you know what, there still is.

Today was hard.  A discouraging report from Lucy's teacher could have easily sabotage my attitude.  Instead, I am choosing to go to sleep thinking about how amazing, simply miraculous, it was watching Lucy practice with the school golf team.  Who would have ever thought this would be possible?

I don't know what trial you are facing right now.  I have no idea what monster you will fight tomorrow.  I just want to encourage you to seek out joy.  It's there, I promise.  You just have to make up your mind to find it.

"Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously..." James 1:3-5


14 comments:

  1. Very encouraging, Kate! Thank you! What a huge blessing you must be to these other families who undoubtedly are walking through their darkest days. And for those of us who aren't.....still....it really is about choosing to find joy everyday. Thank you for that reminder!

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  2. Wow! The Lord continues to speak to me through you! Thank you for writing this blog! You are so busy and are being pulled in so many directions...I am here to tell you that you are changing lives! ��

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  3. This is a lovely post. Thank you.

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  4. Blessings hon, very encouraging! Yes choose joy in all situations even the direst of the them, and you will find joy.

    Always praying for you guys. :)

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  5. It's been a little while since I visited your blog but I always find inspiration and love your posts!!! You have an amazing and beautiful family!!!

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  6. Thank you. You provided the words that I needed to hear tonight.

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  7. Kate,
    I can not say it enough how much you inspire me. I want to be truthful with you I am not as religious as I assume that you are but you just bring me to tears when I read posts of yours like this one and so many others. I can't imagine living through what you have and being able to find good in every day but I will tell you because of you I try hard to find good in everyday because if you can I should be able too! Thanks Kate

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  8. This is just what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for your honesty.

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  9. Thank you so much for this post. You have no idea how much I needed this today. My troubles seem so small compared to all you have gone through but they weigh heavy on my heart today. Your post blessed me so and made me realize I need to find joy in my circumstances. Thank you.

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  10. Thanks for this post and for allowing God to use you in the lives of others! (Even though it's painful.)

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  11. Thank you for this post, it's exactly what I needed to hear today as I face putting my beloved dog to sleep this evening. I need to remember there is joy in life and remember the joy she has brought to me. You're an amazing family. God bless.

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  12. Thank you for your encouragement in this post. It is inspiring to hear from someone who has faced much deeper troubles than what we're currently living through.

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  13. Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart. I need to keep these words on my heart.

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