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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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