“I’ve come to know that God can smoothen my path, calm the storm, make everything beautiful, and keep me and all who I care about safe. I’d like you to feel inspired and encouraged through the stories that have been shared in this book.”
The restorative power which runs through these words definitively gives rise to Joyce Ataro’s book, “Hope Undeterred: How To Stay Hopeful in Every Circumstance”.
Through personal experience and reference to Holy Scripture, Ataro chronicles her walk with God and how she has managed to surmount many odds stacked against her to achieve so much in life.
Indeed, her personal testimonies extend her positive-thinking and vibes thereof into useful techniques for understanding, developing and cementing one’s spirit into “a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation” Isaiah 28:16.
Ataro, a team leader at National Water & Sewerage corporation, is an inspirational lady who comports herself with poise, dignity and a self-confidence nurtured through her Christian faith.
It is this faith that has shaped her consciousness and manifested itself in a non-physical determination to take charge of her life in order to create physical outcomes that suit her own holistic wellbeing.
“Pain is a decision, and I choose not to go down that road. It is not easy to avoid though, because it often is the mind’s default position especially if we don’t practice self-control. Whether you experience pain or not is entirely up to how you control your mind,” she writes.
At a physical level, such decisiveness clears neutral pathways towards non-physical manifestations – such as happiness; which implies a willingness to overcome pain and overcome Goliaths of self-doubt and a lack of faith.
This willingness then sets in train neural processes, which are ultimately physical processes that lead to a smile on your face.
On a spiritual level, Joyce recognizes happiness in earthly life as a means towards preparing her for the ultimate happiness through union with God.
This soaring belief in salvation frees her from damnation, which is the very essence of pain.
Again, this spirituality fortified her when she lost her mother to throat cancer in 2010. It also ensured she was not lost at sea emotionally when she felt herself psychically adrift:
“In 2011, my lovely daughter was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer. She was one year old by then and my heart almost came to a standstill. When the Doctor broke the news to me, I could not tell mummy. The numerous times when we were admitted at the hospital were tough on us. It was not easy for the family. I thank God for the caring husband and family who supported me. The Lord called her on 10th January 2012.”
After that double loss, she doubled down in her faith and went through a “healing process” which made her appreciate that her loved ones had gone to a better place.
As she repurposed her life towards God, she found herself in hospital on Christmas day in 2015.
However, this didn’t make her question God’s existence or her own faith in the Lord, instead she decided to treat every moment as a blessing from above:
“I realized that to enjoy more Christmas gatherings with family, attend my children’s graduation, wedding, see their children’s children and age gracefully, I had to change and begin loving my body and taking good care of it.”
One of Joyce’s most prized possessions is a book by John Maxwell entitled “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.”
It is in the edifying book that she found the empowering words: “It takes a bad experience for us to face the change we need to make in our lives.’’
Treating this lesson as something to live by, she was able to turn debt into profit, pain into purpose and live her life with the intention to grow through everything that seems to diminish her life.
Today, Joyce has successfully aligned her hopes with her passion in order to find meaning in a world where so much meaning is lost in translation between faith and faithless living.
Always honest with herself, Joyce consistently acts in consonance with insights she has gleaned from self-reflection and personal growth.
Whether it’s her goals or her day, she has designed her personal growth to match where she is with where she wants to be.
This book is essentially about a woman of faith whose humility and character has colored all her social interactions with gratitude and an abiding devotion to serving others.
I am no fan of self-help books or Christian texts; they often come across as too preachy and sanctimonious for my literary palate.
However this book is different, because the personal testimony herein will challenge your faith before restoring your hope and trust in the awesome power of God.