Write Brilliant

10 Inspiring Images of Defiant Joy

Since the release of the Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, we’ve heard incredible stories of people poking holes in the darkness until it bleeds light. We’ve also been sent photos of people who are living out a defiant joy.

Take a moment to hunt for the hidden joy in each of these 10 photos.

First you must meet J. R. Harvey. Somewhere around 20 weeks pregnant, his parents discovered he had congenital heart disease, a defect that impacts 1 of 110 babies. It’s that common. (See Mended Little Hearts).

J.R.’s defect turned out to be among the most severe. In order to survive, the infant required three heart surgeries. The Harvey family committed to fighting back with joy

…even when the surgeries led to complications.

But Momma Harvey turned his hospital room into a nursery and began knitting plush hats and animals—some as gifts for fellow hospital refugees.

These are images of a family fighting back with joy:

1. Iron Man


2. Bumble Bee


3. Super J.R. (My favorite)


4. Leaving the hospital


5. Or my sweet friend, Amanda, whose husband left her. Though depression tried to sink her, she fought back with joy by creating a one word declaration regarding her true identity above her bed:

May we all remember this beautiful truth of who we are at our core.


6. Or consider Annette McAllister Lewis (you can become her friend on Facebook to learn more of her story). When she discovered she had to endure four more months of chemotheraphy, she responded with a defiant joy.

She showed up at the doctor’s office ready to share toys, laughter, and hugs.

Blowing bubbles in the doctor’s office.


7. Wearing what she calls “cancer kickers,” Annette is embracing the discipline of celebration. On a recent treatment, she invited friends to wear their Converse and remember her in prayer.

She asked them to post pics of their happy feet on her Facebook wall. Feel free to add some of your own on her Facebook page Annette McAllister Lewis.

Cancer Kickers

8. And then there’s the mighty duo of Fiona and Rhonda. They became inspired by Fight Back With Joy Bible Study and committed to searching high and low for the goodness of God. They are determined to toss joy bombs wherever they go.

Check out the license plate. If you see them on the road, you’ve been joy bombed!

Joy Bomb Car

9. Fiona, who has been battling brain cancer, discovered joy as weaponry in the midst of difficult medical appointments. To battle the downward spiral of anxiety and fear, she started a joke collection with doosies like this one…

So these two cannibals are eating a clown.  One looks at the other and says… Does this taste funny to you?

Clown Joke

You can read more of Fiona’s amazing story at:

10. Or consider my friend, Margot Starbuck, a talented writer and supermom. After her divorce, she fought back with joy with a one of a kind tree topper.

Joy is Contagious

Read more of her story at her blog or become a fan on Facebook. or

How are you fighting back with joy? Share your story or one of a friend in the comments below. Our team will select one person to win a $20 Starbucks gift card.

(Because we all know coffee is one of the best joy bombs).

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