Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days of Joy: Sara Frankl



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. 


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?

8 comments:

lindseyfoj said...

Oh in so many ways...that I am still talking about! Thank you for reminding me of her beautiful JOY-filled life!  And of yours!!

Elizabeth said...

I have AS too--Sara was a true inspiration and how CHOOSING how you live is so important.

Rachel Lundy said...

I'm sorry that you have AS too. It's a rough disease. I'm glad that Sara was an inspiration to you.  I pray that you will be drawn closer to the Lord because of your AS and that God will use it in your life for great good.  Choose joy!

Chickadeesmama said...

I knew her in all of the ways you listed, and her touch on the lives of the four in my home is without words. She was a sister, friend, aunt, and partner of the heart and in crime. Our lives, because of the gift of her friendship, will never be the same, and I'm forever thankful.  Beautiful post, Rachel.

Rachel Lundy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment about sweet Sara. I'm so glad that you had the opportunity to know her and love her so well!  It was obvious by reading Sara's blog that your family and your friendship was a huge blessing to her.  I've been thinking of you and praying for you, as I know that your grief must be a heavy weight to bear.  May the Lord bring you comfort and peace as only He can.

Chickadeesmama said...

Thanks...we've felt the prayers and are so appreciative of them. You are a lovely writer who said it very well...thanks for sharing with all of us.

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Laura Jinkins said...

Lovely post about a lovely person - rarely a day goes by that I don't think of Sara and the beautiful way she lived her life to God's glory.  She was (and is) a great example to us all.  I miss her very much, but know that she completed her work here on earth and is enjoying a much deserved rest with the Lord.  Can't wait to meet her in person some day!  :)

Rachel Lundy said...

I can't wait to meet her in person some day too!  Thanks for stopping by my blog, Laura, and for sharing kind words about Sara.

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