In 2011, she was married.
In 2012, she gave birth to Isaiah.
In 2013, she transferred to the presence of Jesus.
I am amazed over and over that she chose joy as the expression of her life--all through those last years.
I am always on the lookout for the word 'joy' in the Bible. It catches me by surprise.
"Consider it pure joy when you encounter various trials."
"Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross."
I ran across a new one today.
Hebrews 11:34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
Ah, the key to joy. We know that we have better and lasting possessions. What can be better than a life here?
Christina instructed us as she left this world--seeing beyond the thin veil. Seeing what Jesus had prepared for her. Telling us of her awakening spirit--"more alive than I've ever been".
Instructing us to not pity her or her circumstances. "I love my story!"
I am so thankful for Christina's battle for joy. She knew the truth of 2 Corinthians 4:18.
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal."
This is a world full of difficulty--internationally, nationally, personally, organizationally. What are we to do in a place where it is easy to lose heart?
I really think Christina, in the power of God, showed us a way through difficulty. She was present, she was thankful, she shared her hope, and she kept joy alive by keeping her eyes on Jesus.
Christina left a legacy of courage and joy as she walked through the last few years of her life on earth. I am looking forward to sharing that legacy with Isaiah. He seems to share that same joy. Someday, he will understand the great gift that his birth mom lived out.