What Brings You Joy?
Weeping may last through the night, but joy
comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5b
“I had no idea…I always thought you lived the perfect life!”
Her words still echo in my mind...
I am thankful that she heard my real story. I am thankful that I removed my mask, opened my heart, bared my soul for all to see.
I was speaking on faith at a women’s retreat at my church.
It was an amazing experience. Our retreat resulted from a team of 18 women who met for a year and a half, sharing our stories of gain and loss, life and death, triumph and tragedy.
We drew together each week, sometimes celebrating a sister’s breakthrough or holding another as she recounted her pain, unimaginable. We became so real to one another, no longer hiding behind the put-together outfit, the bright smile, the “Fine thanks, how are you?” that often marked our Sunday morning church greetings.
Buoyed by one another, we became brave enough to share our truth, the honest truth of sin and doubt and broken relationships and even shocking stories of what had gone on behind closed doors, beyond the brightly painted doors of homes that had “curb appeal.” We went “there.” And we held each other through and grew. Till we were ready. Ready to tell our stories to our sisters who didn’t know.
To dispel lies.
If just one person was set free, it was worth our rocky, tear-stained journey.
If just one woman could see that she was not alone. If she could finally open up, feel welcomed, unafraid. If she could share the truth of her messy, much-less-than-perfect life because she felt safe. Then we had done what we came for.
Oh let’s not be fooled by the gal who’s looking so good--hair perfect, nails chip free, stylish clothes, organized life, godly kids, smile flashing—even if it’s ourselves! (Though it’s surely not me…) They too have their bad days, sad stories, feel isolated, and wonder if anyone else is struggling.
Instead let’s welcome each other in a little deeper. And let the question, “How are you?” linger a little longer till we hear the real answer.
This is what brings me joy…pushing past the polite, the safe, the outside all wrapped up in a pretty bow…to you. Real you connecting with real me.
What brings you joy?
Let's Chat! Please leave a comment