I love Thanksgiving. In fact, this past October when our family took a weekend-trip to the North Shore, the restaurant near our cabin was offering a Thanksgiving meal for their Sunday-night special and although I had already prepared a meal for that evening, my husband insisted that he take me to the restaurant. I love that meal!
Perhaps more than the meal (which is saying quite a lot), I enjoy the conversation around the table. Before we eat, we take turns sharing one thing we are thankful for and the most meaningful things are spoken in these moments of sheer gratitude: Health, Family, A country that allows us to worship Christ freely, A Savior who came to rescue and redeem us.
But what if the pangs that have touched your life this year are ones you are not thankful for? Pangs that threaten to take away everything on this earth you’ve ever been thankful for? I have been following Joey’s story on her husband, Rory’s, blog: This Life I Live. For those who are unfamiliar with this couple, they are a beautiful country singer/songwriter couple. Rory’s post on June 19 is the beginning of their most recent stream of posts, entitled Stage 4 Love.
Please take a minute to read this post. It is worth the minute or two it will take to get a glimpse of this woman’s heart and this family’s faith walk on a road that no one would ask to travel. It will pull you in and beckon you to follow along on their journey.
Thankful for cancer? Absolutely not. Thankful for love and support? More than words can express. Thankful for prayer/talk-time with the Lord. It is their life-line. Here is Joey’s:
Joey is now home with hospice care. In Rory’s Nov. 9 post, he ends with these words:
“Joey is at peace with where she is and where she’s going. So am I. An answer to prayer.”
In another post, Rory writes:
“I am so incredibly humbled by the outpouring of love that has come our way. We have just lived our lives and sang our songs, and often thought that we are making no difference at all. But thousands of blog and Facebook comments and emails tell us otherwise. I read them to Joey and the tears stream down her cheeks and mine. And once more we smile and look at each other – in awe of this extraordinary, ordinary life we live.”
May we all learn from this powerful story and woman of incredible faith that life is far bigger than what we know on this side of heaven. Joey has lived on this side of heaven fully committed to Christ and the life He has chosen for her, even when it has not been what she would have asked for.
As she prepares to meet her Savior face to face, she looks to the simplest things in life, as she always has, and is thankful. In the most recent post, it’s snow!
Truth: I am thankful (regardless of my circumstances)
Be thankful for today, for this moment, and for a sureness that the best is yet to come: Life everlasting in a permanent home of perfection for those who love Christ and seek a relationship with Him.
Please continue to pray for Joey and her family. May God continue to use their story to impact others. They are a beautiful example of how to bring glory to God in all the moments of life and to be thankful.
I am sure Joey and Rory would echo: For better or worse, stay committed to Christ. Trust Him and be thankful– not for the storm, but in the storm.
Joey and Rory: I will share your story at the Thanksgiving table. Your lives have and continue to impact many. I am thankful for the many ways you have used your lives on this earth to glorify God, your commitment to follow Jesus no matter what comes your way, and your willingness to invite others to come along on this journey. I pray for the peace of God which surpasses all understanding to continue to sustain you as you trust Him for His decision. Thank you for living out loud.
“The Lord is at hand; do no be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 5b-7, ESV)
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.