I didn't know Sara personally. I mean, sure, we communicated back and forth a wee bit through blogs and comments and email--but she was sweet that way--always taking the time to keep the conversation her blog posts prompted going.
Nope, I didn't really know her. But she taught me in the way a friend does. She taught me by her gentle words, by her example, and by her perspective. I couldn't begin to understand her life. You see, Sara was severely debilitated by chronic illness--in constant pain, had limited movement, and was isolated due to the fact that she could rarely have visitors and could not leave her home--or go outside or even open a window. However, she created community on the internet, and she chose joy.
I first met Sara (known as Gitz) when she guest posted here (totally worth the read). I knew I loved her right away and spent hours reading her story on her blog. She mostly posted about other things...and I learned quickly her illness did not define her. I also learned how no matter what your circumstances are, you can choose how you live...how you see things. She influenced countless people--even though she met few of them--and I'm glad I am one of them.
On Saturday, Sara's illness ushered her into Jesus' arms. I knew the end was near, but reading the words made it so final. At first, I was tempted to be sad. But then I tried to picture (even though I can't) what Sara is experiencing right now. And all I could think of is that she must be dancing. And singing. And she no longer had to "choose joy" (her earthly motto). Instead she must be consumed with Joy...no choosing needed.
Nope, I didn't know her, but she has left her joyful mark on my soul. Dance on, sweet one, to the tune of your Savior's words, "well done, good and faithful servant".
Click here if you would like to read more tributes to Gitz.