Then, wiping away the tears, she said to her, “Take courage, my daughter; the Lord of heaven grant you joy in place of your sorrow. Take courage, my daughter.”
~ Tobit 7:16
This blog title had been sitting in my Drafts folder for a few weeks, and then sadly today, I was inspired. I say sadly because I was inspired by the life of a member of my church community who passed away in a tragic accident this past week- she was always full of joy.
Every community has those “church ladies”, the kind, smiling, usually older women who look to chat with everyone before and after mass- Jeanne was one of those women. I don’t think I ever saw her at mass when she wasn’t smiling- seriously! I try to be cheerful and say hello at church, but she always appeared to be the happiest woman in the building.
I know that she had her trials and struggles. Jeanne cared for her mother and husband during their long illnesses, and then lost them both with 18 months of each other. Yet, she continued forward, caring for her family during these times of sorrow by reminding them, “The Lord doesn’t give you only what you can handle, he helps you handle what he gives you.” She continued forward in this manner until the day of her tragic death. In short- Jeanne knew where the joy was- in the Lord.
I will miss Jeanne each time I pass her “seat” at church without a smile, but I am going to smile as I pass, and hope that I too can show people where the joy is at.
God Bless Jeanne’s family, and I know that she is up in heaven, smiling on us still.