I mentioned the other day that I have been reading two amazing books. Why are they amazing, you ask?
The words change me.
Writing is a form of communication at it’s simplest form. But when words convey meaning and meaning gets into the heart and soul of the reader, then impact and change can happen.
Margaret Feinberg is that writer.
In two of her books I’ve recently read she has masterfully conveyed meaning that goes deep; deeper than simply reading the stories. She gets to the heart.
With a tag line “Celebrate more, Regret Less, Stare Down Your Greatest Fears” you might respond with curiosity at least. But the title itself gives purpose to the tag line.
Fight Back with JOY.
The red balloon on the cover was enough for me. I was curious.
I have had my share of brokenness to navigate. In this current season my waters are calm but they’re swirling for others. I recognize my part in this season is encourager; the role of Aaron and Hur coming alongside Moses to support him in prayer.
Margaret writes from first person experience of the dreaded diagnosis: Cancer. Her words are raw and purposeful. She shares the journey of truly fighting back with JOY in the midst of an incredibly dark and grueling season.
The beauty of her words floats above the bleak wasteland that must be navigated in the battle with cancer. There is no glossing over the realities; no pretending life is other than. Margaret tells it like it is and yet doesn’t leave us being overwhelmed with sorrow for her. She masterfully shows the struggles of others, not only with cancer, but within the struggles of the human condition. Fight Back with JOY presents tangible acts that bring humor, light and abiding joy into her days. And ours.
Her words are rays of light piercing the dark cloth covering my heart; the bitterness that has surrounded me for far too long. I’ve written of loss that is not unique to me, yet how we are in any loss is what matters most. I saw in Margaret’s responses how I had allowed this darkness to settle around me; I had accepted this shroud as part of the grief process. The Light shining through the holes in the weave was just enough for me to see the Lies I had accepted as truth.
Oh my goodness. Scripture speaks of not allowing a root of bitterness to take hold lest many be defiled. But let me tell you, apart from Light revealing where those lies have taken hold, I was blind to what I was accepting into my life: the less than and bound up life.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Jesus invites us to freedom. In fact His entire life, death and resurrection secured us freedom.
“Come to Me ALL you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
I have been subjected again to a yoke of slavery: the yoke of bitterness toward those who had actively wounded me and those who by their inaction had inflicted wounds. My battlefield was real although not with cancer. Yet I had allowed darkness to shroud the fullness of life that is mine in Christ.
Fight Back with JOY speaks into those places. Margaret shows me tangible options for dealing with the real hurts.
And I am choosing to act. No more sitting under the shroud of shame and bitterness. Not only have I clipped the black threads but they’re tied off! I’m beginning to weave in new, colorful threads of JOY.
Doing unexpected things for people. Singing again. Dancing and twirling when I used to sit still. Yes twirling.
From these new threads of color and JOY I already see how God has been working in preparation for my response to Him.
JOY is possible. JOY is available. JOY is not simply a feeling but a result; a Way.
Margaret leads out in showing the Way to know God more deeply, to let go of the bitterness that can creep in, to actively Fight Back with JOY.
Don’t you want that in your life?
Watch this preview video of Margaret’s Bible study.
Anyone want to join me in this?