How suffering can bring JOY.


A woman fell down to her knees sobbing. She looked up to the heavens and prayed. She begged God to save her little girl. She promised she would do anything if he would allow her child to live.

 “Why was God punishing her?” 

“Why wouldn’t God help protect an innocent child?”   

 The mother stood up and looked out the window of the hospital room where she sat night after night with her daughter. The rain was pouring down from the sky as the tears streamed down her cheeks. The perfect storm just hit all around them and she was struggling to hold it all together.      

On that dark night she closed her eyes and her mind drifted off thinking about her favorite movie, Ben Hur. She thought about the rain healing the leper’s in the movie. And, for a brief moment, she thought of running out into the storm with her badly burned baby. Maybe the rain would wash away the burns that covered her tiny body. Her dream was as vivid as in the movie Ben Hur when the rain fell and healed the Leper’s. 

She opened her eyes and reality sunk in. Her dream had vanished like a cloud of smoke. This was not a movie and the rain was not going to heal her daughter. She had no control of the situation and her only hope was God.

She prayed…

Thirty six years ago my mother fought her battles with God. She couldn’t stand to see her child suffer.  Every parent wants their child’s life to be filled with joy. I know she has had more battles throughout her life. Over time she acknowledged that consistent faith could help her find Joy. 

There are days when life seems unbearable, when everything seems to unravel. Everyone faces struggles in their lives. They are all different. Maybe we have lost a loved one, or are fighting addiction. Possibly we have been injured or are facing divorce. It may be that we are just trying to parent our children. We see our scars each and every day when we look in the mirror.

I have realized we have to withstand and wait out each storm. As a storm comes our way we have to face it. Sometimes when a storm comes, it can bring about destruction in our lives. But the important part is rebuilding and finding joy again. 

Rebuilding is a path that takes the most courage. It takes perseverance, strength, and faith. There were many days I lie in bed and prayed for God to “transform” me into a new self. Praying for God to give me another teenage body.  I struggled to parent three children under the age of three. 

My next struggle could be a mid-life crisis… UGH… Then my husband will be praying!

When we need God the most, his presence is unmistakable. He can give us strength, it is often the only way to survive. These are times when it is difficult to find Joy, but knowing that God is by your side can help you get through the tough times.

“You are one of the lucky ones.”

My mom told me this when I was younger. 

“LUCKY!!!” “REALLY??”   

 It took me a very long time to understand why I was so lucky. But I now get it. Those who never suffer, may never come to fully know God. The people that turn to God with their pain, can find true Joy. I will still have pain in my life. I know this to be true. And during the most challenging moments I know God alone can fill us with his Joy.

I can’t fathom the pain my mother went through so many years ago, but I know God answered her prayers on that day. It takes time but Joy will come through pain. I watch my children and pray each day for that they have Joy in their lives.  Life is full of challenges that I know they will have to face.  My hope is for all those who are suffering that they find Joy with God’s unending love in their own circumstances. 


 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”           James 1:2-3


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I have been blessed with a loving and supportive husband. We have three spunky and smart children. My oldest Sophia is ten. Benjamin and Natalee are 7 year old twins. I also have three stepchildren who are now in college and out starting their paths as young adults. I call home Johnstown, Pennsylvania although I lived in Roanoke Virginia for some time as well. Home is now further south in Florence, Alabama. In my free time I love to kayak, be outdoors and spend time with family and friends. I am unsure of what direction this blog will take, although God has laid it on my heart to share my story. After being severely burned as a child I now have the gift to share my experiences. You will hear about moments of sadness, pain and how joy has filled my life. I hope you will share this journey of self discovery with me.

5 thoughts on “How suffering can bring JOY.”

  1. I’m not on Facebook often but ran across this post. I absolutely love it. Some of the most memorable moments in my life have been with you Shauna. I wanted to post the picture of Michael Jackson routine you choreographed. I’m going to put it on your Facebook page. Wouldn’t let me copy it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shauna,

    I am very moved by your post. My mother often told the story of how she hugged and rocked and prayed all night inside a “coup tent” with my little brother when he was a baby. As a result, all eight of her children still carry that same level faith throughout their lives. I sat with a friend 2 nights ago who is struggling and had just experienced a major setback. He asked why did this happen to me and I explained to him that the Lord saw where he was at and reached down, grabbed him by the collar, and put him back on the path. Looking back, the lowest points in my life have been the greatest things that have ever happened to me. Without pain, there is no growth and only the Lord knows where he is steering you in those darkest hours. Life is so much less stressful when you can sit back and let him do the driving.


    1. Bill,
      I am glad you were touched by this piece. The story about your mother reminds me of my grandmother keeping rocks, rosaries, and other items under her pillow. Faith is so important to me and I’m glad you share yours. ❤


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