Thursday, September 29, 2011
The days have been heavy. I miss her. Sara, Gitzengirl, went to be with Jesus on September 24th. (Check her blog for more information on that and details about what they have planned.)I keep expecting her blog posts to automatically show up in my inbox, but... the only ones that are coming in are the ones posted by her friend, Shannon, explaining funeral plans and the lovely things occuring surrounding Sara's homegoing.
My heart hurts. Funny that I should feel so weepy for someone that I have not met in person, but... that is how much of an influence she had. Her words have become a part of my heart. Her message of joy infectious even in her passing. I do not say it has been easy. I am saying that I really want to daily Choose Joy, and I work at it.
Please continue to keep Sara's family and loved ones in your prayers. If you have lost anyone, you know that this is the beginning of the healing journey. May God's grace sustain them, fill them with peace, and comfort their hearts. He is good, faithful, and never fails. :-)
In the midst of all of these feelings regarding Gitz's death, other challenges, new and heavy, have come about. I am just waiting and praying. I can do nothing but that, but... One thing I know: when I can do nothing, I can rest assured that God hears and answers prayer, and He CAN do something. That is oftentimes the most powerful place to be- On my knees.
So... I hope you are well. May God fill you with His hope and peace, and overflow your soul with faith to believe.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
I remember finding Sara's blog and being completely enchanted by her art words and phrases, not to mention her way with writing, so eloquent and straight-to-the-heart. I always hoped I would win one of her pieces of art, but, though I never did, I can say that I have been blessed over these last few, say 3 or 4, years to read her words and constantly be thought-provoked or encouraged or inspired or even pricked-and-prodded by something she shared, in word or image.
Sara, A.K.A Gitzengirl, did not coin the phrase "choose joy", but it became her motto and she has shared it with her readers whenever, wherever, however. Her insistance to its importance spurred us to at least hold the phrase close to our hearts, until, without realizing it, it became PART of our hearts.
You may be wondering why I am touting this dear sister and bloggy friend... Well, Sara has suffered with a debilitating chronic illness called Ankylosing Spondylitis since she was in her late 20's. You can read what that involves at this post of hers.
Why is it important to mention? Sara, who has chosen the word "praise" for her word of the year, has reached the end. She is currently peacefully waiting. She is in shut-down mode, and waiting to see and praise Jesus in person. For certain this is greatly affecting her family and friends. Even her readers and those just discovering her blog are deeply feeling this. She has become a part of our lives. No matter what anyone says, she is our friend and our sister. While we are so happy for her to be wholly at peace, to be wholly refreshed... we are sad for us. Noone can take Sara's place, for she made herself vulnerable so she could seep Jesus into our hearts every chance she could get. She shared about faith, faithfulness, dedication, persistence, and love through each of her challenges, each beautiful moment, even each sorrow. She shared with such light and hope that it seemed she would always be here, and perhaps we took that for granted. Only, Jesus has seen that she has fulfilled a tremendous purpose and is now calling her Home.
(Home. That is where Jesus is. Wow. I want to go… And, I want to stay. I know He has purpose for me still here. But… I am Homesick. I want to be with Jesus, my baby who went to be with him 6 years ago, and my grandmother who never got to meet my babies.)
Please, join with me to pray for dear Sara and her loved ones. This is a time of great joy and great sadness, and I am sure that they would welcome an extra measure of love and care. Intercession is an awesome and powerful way to do that. Ask the Lord to make a prayer clear to your heart, a perfect and effective expression that would be most beneficial and comforting. I will not fill in words for you, but... I do thank you. Thank you for caring enough to read this, and I hope that you will go to Sara's blog, Gitzengirl: Choose Joy often to browse around, read her words, and share her testimony of God's faithfulness to her life. That is what it is!
Here is my letter to Sara and her family posted here...
You know "choosing joy"... It is not always easy; but either is letting go of someone that has meant something special to my life. So, because when "I am weak, He is strong", because we "walk by faith and not by sight", because God has promised peace that passes all understanding, joy in sorrow, new mercies for every morning, and hope for each moment... well, I will Choose Joy. One of the things that blessed my heart about you, Sara, is how you would remind me constantly through your words that failing happens, but the point that really matters is getting back up and committing over and over and over and over and over again to "Choose Joy" even if we fail along the way, as many times as it takes to keep clinging to WHO really matters- Jesus. I am so grateful to call you my bloggy friend and sister in faith.
Thank you, you and your family, for being a part of my life. Sara, "Choose Joy" will always remind me of you, no matter what stores use it, too. :-) Your example and constant teaching through your life experience imprinted this phrase into our minds and our hearts. You don't even know how very much you have impacted me. Your love, devotion, and care for each other... and us... well, it has touched my heart for years, but... expecially now. How I hope we can be a blessing and encouragement to you as you have been to me, us. May God comfort you and make His Presence known to each of you as you wait, share time together, and say "soon" to Sara. Thinking and praying for you all...
C in Italy
Sara lived "INTENTIONALLY". I hope to do the same. May God help me to do so and to always Choose Joy, even when it hurts, even when it is hard to do sometimes...
P.S. Sara has posted special buttons of inspiration and some very lovely freebies on her blog. I am sure she would love to share them in hopes of encouraging you. Please do look Here... The buttons are posted on her righthand column, and the "freebies" are in her header. Blessings and peace to you...