About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at DaySpring.com
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Sara touched me deeply. Her dowloaded words were something I came across a bit ago and reminded me of her joy. Joy is something I am deeply seeking presently – attempting to find or create here and now even thought I feel very differently. Mary, thank you for keeping Sara’s message, Jesus’ message alive. Thank you.

    • Pamela, thank you for your kind words. I’m constantly encouraged by Sara’s words and am grateful to hear how she continues to change hearts even now.

  2. Sara was a dear friend to me. When her illness was at its worst, I was going through an untimely liver transplant at age 23. (Also due to an autoimmune disease) Even on her hardest, most painful days, she would send me encouraging emails, and we would exchange prayers and thoughts together. I’ll never forget what a gift to the world God sent us in Sara, even though her time was so limited. God’s ways are perfect, and He showed us that by sending Sara. Sara let God use her in such beautiful ways. I’ll always miss her, but we take joy knowing that she isn’t in any pain anymore!

  3. Mary, thank you for sharing this amazing post, and the graphic. Such simplicity yet, profundity in the asking for the eyes to see. The heart to choose. When I don’t understand why He’s allowed friends to get sick, and be in pain, to walk through such hard things, I must remember (and maybe be the reminder) that God is Good. All the time. When we can look beyond our circumstances into the truth of who God is, then we can see His goodness. Then we can ask Him to help us choose joy.

    I’ll be meditating on this post today. Thank you so much for sharing Sara’s words.

    • You’re so welcome, Jeanne! Spending so much time with Sara’s words has helped me make this – the CHOOSING – more of a habit. But even so, I must keep asking Him to keep me focused and help me choose!

  4. Mary, your words and those of Sara are so uplifting and encouraging. I am so sorry for your deep loss, but thankful to God for using it to His Glory. Your words (especially: I asked Him to allow me to be the person He made me to be.) remind me of one of my Mum’s favorite Scriptures from Philippians 4 (she passed away from brain cancer):

    “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

    And one of my new favorites from Colossians 3:

    Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. HE is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you.

    For the first time really, I noticed that one little verse: “HE is your life.” And because HE is our life, nothing, absolutely nothing can defeat us or overcome us. Praise God!!!

  5. You’re right, Mary: Step One is to ask God to help me choose joy. On the tough days, trying to muster up joy by sheer will power doesn’t work anyway. And asking him to open my eyes will no doubt open the door of my attitude as well, so negativity can be dismissed, and positivity welcomed. Last, praising God no matter what is a powerful joy-maker. Thank you, Mary! (Now Lord, may I put into practice what I know to be true!)

    • I’m so grateful for this reminder from Sara! It’s so simple – and so easily overlooked as the way to follow through on our commitment to choosing joy!

  6. Here we are on January 12th, which is 7 days after the book release, and until now I managed not to buy it but wait and put it on my wishlist. But right now? I failed :). Just ordered it, unfortunately now I have to wait 5-7 days until it arrives here in the Netherlands.

    I remember watching her story on Youtube for the first time, and I was a mess, feeling kind of “sad” I didn’t had the chance to meet her (whether online or in real life), because I joined the (in)Courage community just over a year ago, but I’m looking forward to hug her in Heaven.

    So grateful God brought this online community into my life. Thank you Mary for sharing Sara’s message!

    • Seven days after the release sounds like the perfect time to “give in” and buy it. Thank you! I hope you are encouraged by Sara’s story in book form!!

      • Oh no doubt about that, I think it will be the perfect time to learn her lessons looking at where I’m at in life. (Yay anxiety disorder…)

        Now where am I gonna find the patience to wait another 5-7 workdays until it will be delivered at my door….

  7. I just finished reading this book for the second time last night. It is so helpful, encouraging, and filled with joy. Thank you, Mary, for helping to tell Sara’s story! Your words wove the story together beautifully.

  8. Mary,
    Thank you for this great post of one amazing woman. I often don’t choose joy in the midst of my troubles! Her story is so inspiring!! I will strive to be more like her and ask God for the strength to choose joy in all circumstances!! Only God can help us dismiss the negativity of life at that minute!!
    Blessings 🙂