Chasing Joy

A broken marriage, 81 hours of support-group meetings and a 2,000-mile motor-home trip across the country with her son.

By Amanda Bastoni, Peterborough, New Hampshire

As appeared in

We told them our story and one of them, a guy with a wild-man beard, told us he had some gas at his house. A couple of minutes later he was back with enough to get us to a station. He even posed for a picture with one of our T-shirts.

A simple prayer had worked in an immediate way for us. Why worry so much when God is there, listening?

On August 15, three weeks after we started, we pulled our Defiant Joy RV into the parking lot at Cannon Beach. Trace had some playmates along–kids of friends of mine in Portland.

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We piled out of the RV and flew kites on the beach. There wouldn’t be a sunset. The fog was thick and the wind coming off the slate-gray ocean was cold.

But we didn’t care. We stayed on the beach all afternoon, until light began to fade from the sky. Watching Trace and his friends play, I thought back to that day–it seemed like so long ago!–when an image of this very moment had come into my head, seemingly out of nowhere.

I knew now who’d sent that message. Amanda, you’re going to be okay. I’m here. I’ve got some great things planned for you.

All I had to do was trust. Back then, joy seemed like the last thing I’d ever find again. But I reached for it anyway. I did joy, the way it says in Scripture. And God, the way he always does, did the rest.

See Amanda's snapshots from the road!


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Your Comments (7)

What a wonderful story. to learn trust and grow as you go.
I would love to know the name of the app you used. Can you share it?

What a fantastic story. You Rock. You stepped out on faith and you made a difference in your sons life. God and And many others are pulling for you. You are not alone. Sorry your husband was a D Bag but he has to answer to God. You will be alright as you already know. Godspeed to you. God will restore what tge locusts have eaten and in the end it'll be ok.
God Bless you and may you continue to have much "Defiant Joy"

These weekly Guidepost inspirational stories have been such a blessing to me this year. They have lifted my spirits on days when I really needed to hang on to God and His promises. Thank you.

I am so happy for you and your son. Yes the Lord is always with you through the good and bad. Gods blessings to you and your son.

I have been a devoted Guidepost reader and look forward to reading these online stories every morning. I understand the need to sell this, so a pop up ad appears as you read the message. But that pop up message keeps popping up with no X to click out of it, making the story you've printed IMPOSSIBLE to read. So then I just delete your entire message feeling frustrated and annoyed at not being able to read the message. So now when I see information from you in my email, I mostly delete your emails without EVER looking to see what you've written.
I just thought you would want to know what effect this has on a reader.

If you zoom in to enlarge the (too small) print, the popup frame with also enlarge, pushing the borders of the popup outside of the window and hiding the "X". To bring that devilish "X" back into view, simply zoom out to reduce the size of the popup frame.

There are several ways to zoom in and out. The simplest is to hold down the control key while moving the scroll wheel on your computer mouse. Another is to hold down the control key and press the "+" key to zoom in or press the "-" key to zoom out. Less convenient is to select the "ZOOM" function on the View drop-down menu.

If it is the same popup I get scroll down and X will appear at top right in popup.