"Joy in the Journey" by Steve and Sharol Hayner. A Review

Joy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of DeathJoy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death by Steve Hayner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Joy in the Journey” came in the mail yesterday and I plowed through it in three hours. It was a fertile piece that brought me to tears in places, made me stop and ponder in spots, and cheered my heart in other locations. With my own father-in-law’s death not too far past, I reflected on how there were similarities and differences between his and the Hayners’ situation. But I also mused over my own inevitable demise. It truly was a fertile piece.

The story is about one life, Steve Haynor’s, being quickly enveloped by cancer, decline and death. The stages are chronicled from the first of May 2014 till the thirty-first of January 2015, and a couple of weeks beyond. Each entry is drawn from Steve and Sharol’s CaringBridge notes, as well as their grown daughter’s, which give them an “in-the-moment” urgency and authenticity. The up-and-down, step-by-step development brings the reader into the emotions, hopes, disappointments, prayers, expectations, let-downs and surrenders that course through each page. Not long into the book, and one begins to think of close family members who have gone, or are going, through similar circumstances. This little book pulses and throbs with hope at every turn, the hope that can only come through Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. The gospel of Christ is the sun around which each part of the journey revolves; and is the fountain from which the Hayner’s joy is drawn.

“Joy in the Journey” would be a helpful tool for preparing family members of cancer patients preparing to enter their treatment regimen, or who have moved into palliative care and hospice, as well as for use in grief counseling. The Hayner’s story will touch readers in places they didn’t know could be touched. I highly recommend the book.

My deep thanks to InterVarsity Press for the free copy of the book used for this review.

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