Someone who has encouraged me to live with joy is SaraFrankl. I “met” her through (in)courage in the spring of 2010, and I stated following her blog soon after that. Her words and her joy touched my heart and encouraged me to persevere when life was hard.
Sara suffered from Ankylosing Spondylitis, a progressive and systemic autoimmune disease. She lived with severe, unrelenting pain for years. The simple act of breathing was a struggle for her. She was exhausted. She couldn't step onto the patio of her apartment because she was allergic to the outside air. Sara had a hard life, but she lived it joyfully.
Sara’s motto was “Choose Joy,” and it was one that she lived by daily. Choosing joy wasn’t something that she could do by herself. She asked God to change her heart and to help her choose joy. It wasn’t easy, but she kept practicing. She was determined to be joyful and to gratefully live the life God had given her.
This is how Sara defined joy:
Joy: the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.
Sara’s life was harder than mine is, but she lived so joyfully despite such intense physical suffering. Through her blog she gave us all a glimpse into her life and the practical ways she chose joy in the midst of suffering. She trusted God in the midst of the hard and she reminded others to do the same.
In Sara’s words: "Make it about Him, not you. Enjoy every second. Choose joy."
Three weeks ago God called Sara home. Her race on earth is finished, but her legacy lives on. I didn’t know Sara as well as others did, but I have been blessed by her faithful example. Sara encouraged me to press on and not give up, to not be afraid of what the future holds, but to embrace whatever challenges, suffering, and opportunities God brings my way.
I am so thankful for Sara and her example of choosing joy. She was a blessing to all who knew her. Did you know Sara through her blog, through (in)courage, or in real life? How has Sara touched your life?