Finding Joy

As this most wonderful time of the year--Christmas--inches closer, many of us don’t feel the joy we’re entitled to. Some are better at masking inner pain than others are. But grief is no less a burden just because we’re good at hiding it.

Personally, the stress my family and I are going through is like nothing we’ve faced before. We’re struggling with a rapid decline in my father-in-law’s health. In navigating the maze of decisions that come with rehab and hospice, it’s an understatement to say that patience has worn thin and emotions have run high. Hurtful words were spoken during what started as loving conversations. Good intentions were perceived as ill. Confidential discussions seemed necessary but ended up alienating somebody.

In all this turmoil, it’s difficult to know who is hurting the most. But it is my father-in-law, Ken, who asked, “How long must I suffer?” His pain is physical, emotional, and spiritual.

I realize I don’t have the answer Ken's looking for, but I do trust that God is weaving something good from this experience. He's blessed us with a sermon that Pastor Janet wrote in 1994. I’m sharing it here and hoping that her words and wisdom offer solace to those hurting during this holiday season.

And because singing helps me through my most difficult times, I added a hymn I found on YouTube. Maybe you're familiar with the song?

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Kelly Bixby

Secretly, I'm writing fictional stories for children and the inspirational nonfiction biography of Pastor Janet Noble-Richardson. But before those are ready for public viewing, I share pieces of me on Deadwood Writers Voices, a group blog; and on Remembering Janet, the website for the nonprofit charity I’m passionate about. I hope you see my love for God, compassion for people, and enthusiasm for learning in all I do.
Kelly Bixby
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4 thoughts on “Finding Joy

  1. Kathy Chapman

    Kelly, you have beautifully woven threads of several deeply moving stories together (including your own painful trials) into one triumphant whole. This has deeply touched my soul, and will stay in my heart forever. May you and yours find God’s love and blessing throughout your sorrows.

    1. Kelly Bixby

      Kathy, I’m sorry I missed seeing your comment until today. Given that my father-in-law has now passed, I’m comforted by the reaction you had to the post and the kindness of your words. Thank you, my dear friend.

      1. Kathy Chapman

        I am so sorry for your loss. May your memories of him, and the love of your family and friends comfort you and your family. Sending much love and many hugs. Xoxo

        1. Kelly Bixby

          Thank you, Kathy. We’re feeling all the positive wishes and appreciate it very much. Love and hugs to you too.

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