I am told that I have given others hope. I have been told that others love the relationship I have with Jesus. I have been told that I have encouraged others. They say, “If Joanne can face and overcome such tragedy, I can too.” I want to be known as someone who, when great loss came to our family, made the choice to find my comfort and peace in Jesus. I am not “just getting by” as the days pass. Life is good. My life is good. I still have so many things to be grateful for.

My daughter is doing good and places her trust in God.

My husband and I just celebrated our 42nd Anniversary. I am so thankful for a godly husband. One that I can lean on and find comfort as we go through this together.

I am grateful for the lot we own at Sourdough Ranches, in Utah, where we can get away and enjoy God’s awesome creation when we camp there on the weekends. It has been a place of healing and solitude.

I am so very thankful that Russell and Shawna’s friends stay in touch and include us in their children’s birthday parties, and baby showers.

God has blessed us with wonderful friends who remember us on special occasions with words of encouragement.

I was so glad I got to go to Virginia this past June, with my twin and see my nephew and his wife’s new baby girl. What a doll baby.

I was so excited to get a phone call from Russell’s best friend telling me that he and his wife just had a baby girl. He asked me, “Are you ready to be a Nana again?” I grinned so much my cheeks hurt.

I thank God for the beautiful sunsets and sunrises, ladybugs that come and land on my hand that remind me of Tylee. I thank God for yellow butterflies that fly by and I think of Blake. Dragonflies, hummingbirds, rushing water and moose at our campsite. The wind that whispers to my heart, “All is well.” I love the way God lets me know that my loved ones are thinking of me and He has them in the palm of His hands. I laugh when I see a pair of high heal shoes that Shawna would just love to have worn, and quickly remove when her feet got sore.

I am thankful that God has given me a work to do to bring Hope and Healing to others.

I stay close to Jesus. I am still safely folded in His arms. I don’t ever go very far.

I am changed, of course. I will never be the same and that’s okay. I need more “alone time.” I need my quiet moments. I find I get anxious if I get myself too busy and can’t get away like I want to.

I like to read Romans 4:20-21. It talks about Abraham and his faith he had in God that He would keep His promise to him and Sarah, and give them a child. “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith AS he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.”

So, as I recall the promises God has given me these pass two years I give Him glory and my faith remains strong in Him.

It hasn’t been easy by any means! Some days are so hard to get through. However, my God has placed my feet on solid ground and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) I can get through one more day; one more grief burst, one more holiday. I don’t turn to the right or to the left. I stay on that straight road that leads me to Jesus every single time.

I pray others will see what God has done for me and give Him glory and place their trust in Him.