Disaster strikes. Your world turns upside down. A woman looks into your eyes compassionately and asks, “How are you holding up?”

My mom, Margaret, rolled into Austin around 2 p.m. last Saturday. She is a volunteer chaplain with Samaritan’s Purse. Mom had been serving with Samaritan’s Purse in the tornado recovery in Van, Texas.

Seven hours later, we were huddled together in the closet because of a tornado warning in Austin. Historic floods and storms swept through Texas and much of the central United States. Less than 48 hours later, we were back in the closet for a second round of tornado warnings accompanied by flash flood warnings.

TX Tornados and Samaritan's Purse

The next day after lunch, mom had already committed to serve the flood victims in San Marcos, Texas with Samaritan’s Purse. Volunteers are coming from around the U.S. and from local communities to help. Mom left my house this morning and headed to the airport. She picked up a fellow Samaritan’s Purse volunteer who flew in from Virginia to help in San Marcos and Wimberly.

When was the last time you found yourself in a difficult situation? Storms and disasters come in many different forms. It might be…

  • a natural disaster,
  • a relational storm,
  • a health crisis,
  • or a financial meltdown.

Who are the people that have helped you in your time of crisis? How would you describe them?


  • Willing, available, helper, encourager, compassionate, hospitable, worker, listener…
  • Wife, mom, daughter, sister, servant, widow, grandma, great-grandma, teacher…
  • Wounded by life’s disasters.
  • HEALED to serve others compassionately.
  • A woman who knows how to find joy in the journey serving others in their time of need.
  • My Mom… seventy something… going strong… serving others…

Life is good. Life is gritty. How are you holding up?


  1. Remember the times others have encouraged and helped you.
  2. Be thankful to God and others. Thank you, God for my Mom and her caring and compassionate heart for others. She is an AWESOME role model!
  3. Serve others.

At first glance, the following Bible verse looks like a CRAZY verse…

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials of many kinds,

but you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

You can experience first hand how God can turn your gritty trials into joy. Thank God for the perseverance He is working in your life today. Ask Him to help you demonstrate joy in the gritty and the good circumstances of your life. Thank Him for providing you with the strength and wisdom to take the next right step to find joy in the journey.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3

 QUESTION: Has there been a time in your life when the “gritty” was transformed into something good and joyful? Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.