Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife is about the struggle of a long distance marriage brought on by childhood cancer and deployments.

Finding Joy Book

As a military spouse and mother (with one of her children being a young cancer survivor), Hope has faced some long, lonely nights questioning God’s faithfulness and the strength of her marriage. If you’ve ever found yourself in a long-distance marriage and wondered if it was possible not only to survive but also to thrive, then this book is for you. Hope invites you—through personal experience, examples of others in history, and Scripture—to explore the possibility of a stronger more fulfilling marriage. Together we are stronger. Together we can overcome any obstacle. You don’t have to do it alone.
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Life never turns out as we expect. Growing up, no matter how many tv shows I watched or novels I read where the plot pivoted on an unexpected challenge, I somehow missed this. Frodo only finds an adventure when danger is presented. Disney and Shakespeare survive on plot lines of falling in love with the wrong person. Harry Potter would be nothing without the trials of Voldermort. 

I had the perfect plan for my life. The idea was to go to seminary, start a family, write, and work full time in ministry. 

It didn’t work out quite as I expected. 

At 6 months old our daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Retinoblastoma. We were introduced into a new life, a new fear, and a network of loving nurses and doctors at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. We found ourselves apart more then together. Me with the kids traveling back and forth to Tennessee and John working long hours trying to make ends meet.

Then one day my husband came home and told me he was enlisting. I had plans but my husband had a calling, to serve his country. So I begrudgingly packed my bags and followed with baby three on the way. We’ve been at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, TX ever since. 

Neither cancer or military life were on my bucket list. Both entered unexpected and left me feeling lost. But I wasn’t. There was a purpose and plan for my life as well and these unexpected twists were just part of the journey in finding them. 

Long distance marriage is challenging but not hopeless. My desire in writing Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife is to walk alongside other spouses who feel alone and whisper into their darkness that they are not. Purpose and passion is attainable. Using the stories of those who have gone before us in Scripture and in History my goal is to bring encouragement and hope to everyone who picks up this book. 

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hopeAs Fort Bliss Military Spouse of the Year 2015, Hope N. Griffin writes about her experience as a military spouse. Hope has an MABS from Dallas Theological Seminary. She writes for various online magazines and blogs, both fiction and nonfiction. Currently, Hope serves as the Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian in El Paso, TX. Her free time is spent loving on her children, volunteering, and drinking coffee on the back porch with her soldier.