GREAT-JOYI love books that serve as companions when we’re walking through difficult times. The author’s voice can literally be the friend in the room with us, holding our hand, helping us know we’re not alone. I want to share a book like that with you.

Fight Back with Joy is the latest book and corresponding study from my friend, Margaret Feinberg. When Breathing Room released, Margaret sent me a handwritten note in the mail with a tiny bag filled with colorful confetti. In the note she told me to go outside and throw the confetti up in the air and stand under it, showering myself with celebration. How thoughtful is that?!?

Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago and she has since been fighting for her life. At the time she was diagnosed, she was working on a book. Her diagnosis injected this project with a whole new dimension.

Here’s the story behind the book, in Margaret’s words:

Fight Back with Joy is the most vulnerable book and Bible study I’ve ever written, and maybe it’s because I originally started it to be a very different book. Two years before I was diagnosed, I became obsessed with the more than 400 references of joy in Scripture and just before my diagnosis I started the finishing touches on a book on joy. But then I got the phone call that changed my life forever. I had to scrap the entire project because I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly talk about something as fluffy as joy in the midst of the darkness I felt. Up until that time, I had been searching for joy in the relatively good times of life. But, after cancer, I started to read those scriptures so differently.

I discovered facets of joy that no one ever taught me—more than whimsy, joy is a weapon we can use to fight life’s battles.

The thing is, no one signs up for that discovery project—finding joy in suffering. No one. I’ve never felt so surefooted on my path to a joyful life. I know now that without shadows, joy can feel shallow. But, when we can discover joy while in the fight of our lives—no mater what that is—it is lasting.

Everyone who has faced a challenge, or who knows someone in the midst, needs to know that suffering doesn’t win. Joy wins.

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If you are in the midst of a difficult valley, or you know someone who is, and a companion on that journey would be helpful, I so encourage you to check out Margaret’s story in Fight Back with Joy.

No matter what you’re going through today, what discouragement you’re facing, I just want to encourage you to keep fighting. Believing in you,

Leeana

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