Choose Joy

To be honest, I’ ve tried to write this post about twel

ve times.

The words just aren’t there…because sometimes, there are none.

L ast J

anuary I started a blog. And in starting that blog, I also looked around.

Found a few blogs. (Or more than a few…ahem.) Have visited them several times a week since then.

I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve gotten angry a few times…but it’s been so good to be a small part of this kind

of community.

And one of the blogs I stumbled upon was written by a woman named Sara.

(aka: Gitzen Girl) Gitz’s blog immediately became one of my favorites. She has a way of sharing her heart, her faith, her JOY… through her words.

In fact, she chose the title Choose Joy for her blogand I truly believe that she has demonstrated

that through her life.

It was only after reading a few pieces she’d written that I poked around her blog a little more and found her story. Sara isn’t just a writer with a gift; I found that she is a writer with heart, and through her words allowed her readers, her friends, to share her life and her struggles.

Sara suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis. (You are really better off reading her explanation. :)) She hadn’t left her home for years. She missed her own father’s funeral. She missed out on so many things that are part of normal life that each of us take for granted.

And yet, she didn’t complain.

She just loved.

It was what she did so well…for all of us.

Even those, like me, who never got to know her in person.

But we still knew her because she wanted us to.

Last week Gitz found out that her battle is almost over.

She’s on her way Home.

When I pulled up her blog yesterday and began to read, the tears just flowed.

Then they turned into sobs, and I realized just how important this online community of friends is.

We may not be physically next to each other to offer a hug or a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, but we offer so much more…

Just as Gitz did.

We offer our lives and our hearts…out for the world to see.

A chance to know us just a little.

Or a lot.

I never had the chance to meet Sara, but I can tell you that she is leaving a huge hole in this circle of friends. Not only will I miss the JOY she shared each time she’d write….

I’ll miss her.

My sister in Christ.

And my friend.

Sara wrote a beautiful piece that I actually read a few months ago when she first wrote it. For a girl searching for “home” for the last year, I guess it met my heart where it was at the time.

And now, it takes on a completely new meaning.

Eight months is not a long time to know someone, and yet Sara has passed on a lifetime of wisdom to each of us.

And that wisdom is simple…no matter what,

Choose Joy.

I want to hang on to those two words for the rest of my life and never, ever forget them. Never let them leave my heart or my life. I will choose to find the joy that surrounds me each and every day.

Thank you, Gitz, for all you are.

I will miss you, my friend.


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