I have a friend named Joanne.
Perhaps you've heard of her?
It seems like every blog I click on lately has the "Praying for Joanne" badge on it. It warms my heart. Joanne's stroke on January 11th was the beginning of a hard journey of recovery for her, starting with a battle for her very life.
But it was also the beginning of a faith journey that she's taken thousands of people on with her. We can never know why God does the things he does, but it's apparent that he is using Joanne's stroke and struggles in big ways. It has sparked conversations between friends and I about the work the Lord is doing in Joanne... and in us. It's caused me to pray more consistently. It's made us all believe that God still performs miracles every day, and that Joanne's life is one of them. According to a recent status update from Joanne, even the doctors have been talking about miracles.
Well, today is Joanne's birthday!
While it's pretty crummy to be spending your birthday in a hospital (although she is moving to rehab today, praise God!), it's pretty awesome to have thousands of people around the world celebrating that the Lord has blessed you with another birthday. Because for a time, it was very, very scary.
Over on Joanne's blog today, our good friend Janna has gathered charms from many of Joanne's blog readers to make a virtual charm bracelet for Joanne. Joanne has a MASSIVE charm bracelet - it's featured at the top of her blog.
So here's mine: On one side it says "Love" which just so happens to be Joanne's word for the year. Little did she know when she chose it that it would be all about others loving her.
This charm is really special to me. There's something on the back too, but I think I'll save it for another post. Today, we'll focus on Joanne!
Happy birthday, Joanne! You are so special and so loved. Visiting with you last Friday was the highlight of my weekend! Just keep pushing through this, girl! We are cheering you on and are praising God for your life every day. I am proud to call you friend!