Chapter Two - Defining Moments

It was a defining moment that revealed her purpose. She made her choice. True unconditional forgiveness was born in Joy’s heart at that pivotal time. This defining moment reinforced Joy’s choice made years before—to help people. A new realization dawned that Joy had not seen before. Yes, her stepfather deserved hell, but as a sinner so did she and she didn’t want to go where he was going. Then compassion quietly entered, and Joy started to see the pain and torment that had taunted such a troubled man for so many years. A man can’t give what he doesn’t have, so her stepfather was unable to provide Joy and her siblings the love they desperately needed.

Joy had been to hell and back with him, but for her it was past. For her stepfather it was still an ongoing torture.

After Joy’s mother died, he endured long, lonely hours by himself interrupted occasionally by family visits. Joy knew what she was supposed to do, but she had to get her heart to cooperate.

Hershel’s invitation to take her stepfather to a baseball game was only accepted on the condition that Joy joined them. By now he was old and feeble, and more unlovable than ever. Begrudgingly, Joy agreed, not knowing she was about to enter another situation that would change her life forever.

In the living room, Joy sat as far from her stepfather as possible. He got up trembling with age, his once big body now brittle and bent over. He slowly shuffled into the next room and returned, holding a crumbly piece of typewritten paper.

With gnarled shaking hands, her stepfather passed the paper to Joy, asking her to please read it. “What’s the matter with this? The man doesn’t even know how to write a story on a piece of paper,” she sarcastically thought to herself.

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