To Rise Above — Choose Joy

“For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.” (Job 5:18–NKJV)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before him.” (Job 13:15 NKJV).

 No book that I have read about any person’s life has most reminded me of Job and Job’s character amid devastation than the book From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez. Just launched by Shiloh Press, Barbour Publishing, her “Journey of Beauty from Ashes” will strengthen your faith and challenge you to choose joy – even in the midst of the storm.

Infertility, miscarriage, cancer, death of loved ones, severe illnesses pour into Sarah’s life . . . but along the way, she finds reasons to hope and hold on, and she discovers that the Lord never lets go of her.

In her introduction, Sarah calls her journey a “high-speed train toward a life that was anything but normal,” so buckle up your seat belt because once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down.

My favorite quotes from the book:

“In the midst of our sorrow, we would make a choice to choose joy over sadness . . . by blessing others.” (p. 163)

“When despair could’ve drowned me, joy enveloped me.” P. 166

“Grief is a difficult road to walk. You never know when a day of sorrow will hit.” P. 169

depths“As much as they wanted me to enjoy the day, they got it. They understood. . . . I was walking through grief and joy at the same time. With those competing emotions, joy isn’t always the clear winner.” P. 171

“I had no reason to believe it would happen now at the eleventh hour. Yet still, even as little faith as I had left, I still had that tiny mustard seed of belief He could do the impossible. . .. That moment revealed something deep within me, for as much as I thought my faith was all but gone, the core essence of who I was is one who still, against all odds, believed. At that point I didn’t believe He would, but I knew He could, and though I had exhausted myself in asking before, I still had to ask one last time.” P. 231

I know what it is like to pour out raw, honest thoughts before the Lord: Heartsong One: Windows to the Soul. People have often looked at things I’ve been through or experienced and said to me: “I don’t think I’d be able to handle that.” Reading Sarah’s journey, I had some similar thoughts. I am very thankful God carries us through the challenges He uses to refine our lives. Sarah’s “Choose Joy Project” reminds me of the choices I was challenged to make by the book I read last week Everything is Possible by Jen Bricker.

Like Sarah, I also wrote about my tiny mustard seed of faith in God’s ability to do the impossible. “Because somewhere in my heart where God Spirit dwells . . . I still believe in miracles!” Read Still Believing in Miracles.

From Depths We Rise just launched October 1st. You can get your copy from one of the links below:

Shiloh Run–Barbour Publishing

Journey of Sarah blog

A poem I wrote about one of the little ones we will see again in heaven … click here.





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