Remembering Sara

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“At times our own light goes out
and is rekindled by a spark
from another person.
Each of us has cause to think
with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame
within us.”

(Albert Schweitzer) 

Light

Two years ago today a very special light went out in our world. Sara Frankl, known around the blogosphere and by her family and friends as Gitz, died. She had a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, a genetic, systemic, autoimmune disease.

Sara was a person who had every reason to complain, but instead she chose a more positive route. On her ‘Gitzen Girl‘ blog she said, “I’m just a girl who used to write for a magazine to make a living, and now writes a blog to make a life. Extremely blessed, well-loved and choosing joy while learning that homebound doesn’t limit your life, just your location.”

Sara & Riley

(Sara and her Riley, borrowed with thanks from the Gitzen Girl blog)

In one of her later blog posts she explained that she was allergic to most of the drugs the doctors would have liked to give her, and “the one medication I take for the disease [other than the pain killers] I can only take in a limited amount before my white counts drop to a level the doctors aren’t comfortable with. In other words, I’m stuck. And I’ve exhausted every option. And yes, I’ve tried homeopathic things that were worse for me than any drug I’ve ever taken. I spent years fighting, and I will always try what I can in the future, but accepting what is, living with it, embracing it and finding joy in it is the only way I know how to live a productive life.”

She was a light in so many lives, right up until hers flickered out. But her life continues to inspire. It was because of Sara that my focus word in 2011 was “Joy“. That year hers was “Praise“. Through her I found Ann Voskamp‘s ‘A Holy Experience‘ website and later, Ann’s book, ‘1000 Gifts‘ that urges us to thankfulness by living fully and counting small everyday joys.

The (in)Courage community created a video about her for their online conference last year… ‘Sara’s Story‘. When you have a half hour to spare I encourage you to watch it. Or hop over to SoundCloud and listen to her sing. I hope you’re provoked to Choose Joy for yourself.

I’m remembering Sara today.

~

“In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father
who is in heaven.”

(Matthew 5:16)

~  ~  ~

 

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6 thoughts on “Remembering Sara

  1. Judith Robl says:

    Beautiful! Our children can teach us so much about living and dying. We forget that we are all terminal. The day we are born we begin to walk closer to the day of our death tin this world. The comfort is that God knew our last breath before we took the first one. And he is with us for each breath in between. Thank you, Lord, for Sara.

  2. Heather says:

    What a legacy to leave. Choose joy. Always.

  3. S. Etole says:

    Hers was one of the first blogs I happened upon. What an encouragement she was and continues to be.

  4. pastordt says:

    What a lovely tribute, Carol. Gitz was one of my early ‘finds’ when I started serious blogging three years ago – I looked for her name above all others, to tell you the truth, because I knew I would get the real deal at her place. . . and that the real would be beautifully expressed. Thanks for this good reminder of a dear cyber-friend.

  5. Carol says:

    I loved how Sara reminded us that having joy is a choice… that it doesn’t fall into our laps; we have to make a conscious decision to choose it. “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy….” (Hab. 3:18)

  6. Sara sounds like a worthy hero. It’s great when the LOrd brings those into our lives, to balance out the thorny ones!

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