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The Greatest JOY

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"In the dust of sadness comes the greatest joy" resonated repeatedly in my head today. It was made in reference to a young boy who went off to war and came home to America a happier, changed man. He had looked death up and down, and had almost been taken away by it.  People whispered about him, they thought he would be angry, or disturbed, as young men who have seen horrible things are expected to be. As I stood united with my family, the four of us, I kept playing a reel over again and again in my head. My eyes welled up with tears, and I didn't need to speak to my family to know we were all on the same wave length. I kept thinking of everything we have been through together in the past 7 weeks and even 3 years before that.

Getting to the JOY is part of the journey. It takes working your way through the darkness, the sadness, the rough stuff, to find all the joy placed in your life. The solider was facing death and saw things that no one should see. He faced death and then he had JOY when he arrived home. He was a changed man, a happy man.  Jesus faced pain and suffering for us on the cross so we could have a life full of JOY. Even I faced sorrow and pain in my life for a great deal of time, and now I appreciate the days I experience JOY with my family and friends.

I originally wrote a long winded approach to this simple message above and I deleted it. When I arrived at church today Tyler, my brother, reached over to me and whispered "I read your blog this morning." I smiled, and moments later my dad said "You should write an Easter post." I felt encouraged by the men in my family and it brought me joy. I was never alone in my journey, and never will be, because for whatever reason, I was chosen to have parents who taught me how to love people and forgive. I don't know why I was given to them, but I am thankful for that today. I am thankful Jesus chose to die for us and give us JOY. I am thankful to have experienced pain and sorrow so that my joy can be even greater than before. I guess you could say my whole family has "changed" and I am pretty sure it's in a good way, a joyous way. HOSANNA!

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