Do you believe joy is possible in the midst of painful circumstances? If not, I pray your perspective will change once I tell you about an incredible book I read this weekend and the awe-inspiring woman who won ECPA’s Best New Author Award 2021 for writing it.
As a top ten sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, Dawn Barton led her team to hit a million dollars in revenue in a single year, an achievement few had done before her. Yet, when God told her to quit her job and write a book, His chosen topic didn’t celebrate the joys of her worldly achievements and success. On the contrary, in Laughing Through the Ugly Cry…and Finding Unstoppable Joy, Dawn shares how horrific losses led her to find joy in Jesus.
While trouble is inevitable while living in this fallen world, it seems Dawn Barton has experienced far more than one person should have to bear: death of a child, divorce, rape (just four months after losing her baby daughter, Madison), stage 3 breast cancer, her only sister’s death, her mother’s sudden illness, and her husband’s addiction.
I met Dawn in person at a charity event for the Hands & Feet Project Saturday night. I’d just finished listening to her Audible book earlier that day, so her story was still fresh in my heart. Despite the pain of her past, Dawn exudes a contagious joy, and she’s not ashamed to declare Jesus as its source. Even in telling the hardest parts of her story, Dawn has an uncanny ability to do it with humor. (Oh my gosh, the Lucky story will make you laugh until your belly hurts!!)
One of the things I admire most is Dawn’s honesty about her faith walk, which she says was a bit one-sided at times: “I say that I broke up with God; I was so angry. God didn’t break up with me, but I broke up with God. I mean like plate-throwing angry. How could I love a God that takes babies from mommies?”
Looking back over those ten years, Dawn can see how her anger did not diminish God’s love or His active presence in her life. She says, “He sprinkled people in my life that I needed to bring me closer to Him. Not the people that were – ‘do you know Jesus?’ It was people that the light of Jesus was shining through them – in their actions and who they were. And it made me want to be closer to them.”
All of us could use a little more joy in our lives, and Dawn Barton’s book delivers a megadose of it. No matter what you are walking through, Laughing Through the Ugly Cry…and Finding Unstoppable Joy will inspire you to be bold, be brave and choose joy!
Sending love, peace, and prayers to all,
Order Laughing Through the Ugly Cry…and Finding Unstoppable Joy on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2EPyR0G
To learn more about Dawn, you can visit her website www.dawnbarton.com