In every generation, the Church's remnant is the comparatively small company of wholly surrendered uncompromising "disciples indeed" who continue walking closely with Jesus while the majority of their professing Christian peers live in spiritual lukewarmness or full-blown apostasy. -Greg Hinnant
Back in May, I wrote about getting my Choose Joy tattoo. As of last night, I’ve meet two incredible women who knew Sara’s story. I wanted to share my experience with the both of them.
The first person I met was Jen. She and her husband, Greg, came to our church a few months ago and I met them at when we all attended a marriage conference together. When we broke for lunch, the four of us ate together. Jen noticed my tattoo and we discovered that we had both read Sara’s blog and been deeply moved by her life. Jen’s story is an amazing one, but it’s her’s to tell. I just think that she’s a beautiful and amazing wife, mother, and woman. I’m looking forward to getting to know her better as time goes by.
Then, last night my family and I were at church for the Matthew West “Into The Light” concert tour. He was traveling with Mike’s Chair, Lindsay McCaul, and Everfound. My dad, who’s head of security, placed my mom and I as Lindsay’s security. We had to follow her everywhere, but we had a fun time doing it. I found out some cool things about her and she was as gracious and as nice as could be. As we were waiting to take her out to sign autographs after the concert, she handed her phone to one of the guys in Mike’s Chair and asked him to take a picture of her with mom and me. Afterwards, I handed him my phone and asked him to take a picture for me as well. When I did that, Lindsay noticed my Choose Joy tattoo. I said that I had really been touched by Sara’s blog and that I had a friend that died of the same condition that she had. Lindsay turned to me in shock and said that she had read Sara’s blog as well. She explained that she had been working on a new song called “Choose Joy” with another artist and it was because of Sara’s blog that they had been inspired to write the new song. Needless to say, I can’t wait to hear it!
I was thinking how cool it was that Sara didn’t know me or Jen or Lindsay, but that the ripples of her life were continuing to move forward just like a pebble in a pond, touching lives even after she’s been with our Lord for over a year. And even today, Sara reminds us to continue to Choose Joy!
I got the design idea from Sara. She and my friend Phyllis had the same disease: ankylosing spondylosis. Phyllis died on December 31, 2010 and Sara died on September 24, 2011.
Phyllis died a very unhappy, angry, depressed woman. I really did love her. She and I hit it off immediately when we met when she was a temp at my office. She and I were soul sisters. She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. I admit that she had a very hard life. She was rejected by her family for leaving their Jehovah’s Witness beliefs and becoming a Christian. She had husbands who were not very kind. Ultimately, I had her removed from her husband’s care and she was moved to Hospice due to her chronic, uncontrolled pain. Five months after she entered Hospice care, she died. She stopped eating two months before she died. She wished for and longed for death in life.
I got to know Sara by her blog. I met her in her last post or two before she became too sick to blog. Sara was full of life even in her dying days. Her life phrase was “Choose Joy”. After she died, her friends got together a bunch of her doodles and made tattoo templates for her readers. I chose mine as soon as I saw it. I just didn’t have an opportunity to get it until today.
My 18 year old son and only child Tim wanted a tattoo for his birthday. He had a great one planned. It was the symbol for the Voice of the Martyrs with the words “Jesus Freak” surrounding it. It was a great time for mother and son to bond and get tattoos together. I’m excited to share. My tattoo is the one above and I had it done on the inside of my right forearm. Tim’s tattoo is on his right shoulder and is pictured below: