Trials Build Joy

By Gaylyn Williams, , , , , , , , , With 0 comments

Keys to JoyExcerpted from Keys to Joy: How to Unlock God’s Gift of Lasting Happiness

What should have been one of the happiest times of my life turned into one of the most difficult. My second son, Daniel, was born with pneumonia and many abnormalities. Things like this only happened to other people, I thought. After dozens of tests, six surgeries, and examinations from twenty-five pediatric specialists, the doctors told us Daniel’s brain was smaller than usual. But they couldn’t predict how it would affect his life—he could be normal or like a vegetable.

For three agonizing months, tears constantly blurred my eyes. Questions raged in my head. How could a loving God do this to me or my helpless baby? It wasn’t fair! What about the future? Shock, anger, guilt, despair, depression, and self-pity crushed me.

When Daniel developed pneumonia for the fifth time, the doctor told us he didn’t have long to live. Mixed emotions flooded my heart. Sadness combined with an indescribable peace and joy overwhelmed me. I had trusted the doctors to heal Daniel, but now realized that neither they nor I could do anything to save him. Finally, I redirected my trust to God and accepted His plan— whether my son would live or die, whether he would be physically or mentally challenged or normal.

Tim Hansel’s book You Gotta Keep Dancin’ taught me that joy is a choice—in any situation. “Life can be tough,” Hansel writes. “Stress, disappointment, heartache, hurt—all are part of the human condition. But while pain is unavoidable, misery is optional.” I couldn’t choose whether or not to experience pain, but I could choose to be miserable or not.


Tomorrow is Daniel’s birthday. He would have been 27. Wow! He’s been enjoying Heaven for over 26 years. One day I’ll get to see him!

Blessings on you,

Gaylyn Williams, co-author of All Stressed Up and Everywhere to Go, Solutions to De-Stressing Your Life, Recover Your Sanity


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