Soulful Joy

It’s a beautiful thing that joy and grief can hold the same space. On February 10th, my dear friend Brittany won the greatest prize and met Jesus face to face. We had been friends for twelve years.
Twelve years of Olive Garden dinners (one of her favorites), coffee dates, Skype /Facetime chats, laughing until we cried, crying until we laughed, leading worship together and championing each other’s gifts and dreams.
So much of our friendship was spent on skype/facetime, phone calls and text messages because I lived across the ocean. I count myself so blessed that she once boarded a plane and flew across that ocean just to see me. Twelve years of incredible, deep, and holy conversations that always encouraged our hearts.
I received the heartbreaking new she was gone only a few hours after her passing. My heart hurt more than I’ll ever be able to express and I wept. However, I did the one thing I knew she would do, I praised and I worshipped and I prayed. I played some of our favorite worship songs and some that I sang to her in the hospital. And I pictured her attending the most epic worship service of all time.
And right there, in the middle of my pain, I felt Jesus. I felt the presence of unexplainable peace and a joy, the kind of joy that dives deep down into your soul.
This year, even before the pandemic, I have had to choose joy over and over. To choose to trust Jesus even when I don’t understand everything happening around me. Because joy, if we choose it, will dive deep into our souls and hold us tightly. Jesus in his presence of joy, taught me about the space he makes for grief. And that joy is the perfect resting place for grief.
I don’t know what this year has held for you personally. I do know that I have grieved much this year but that I have also been held much by joy.
The Bible teaches that true joy is formed in the midst of the difficult seasons of life.”
Francis Chan
“For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:6-7
This Advent devotional is dedicated to Brittany: My friend, you ran an incredible race and I will forever be grateful to have been in that race with you. I miss you but I can’t wait to see you one day where we will again worship together.
Well done my warrior friend, well done.

A proud Kentuckian. Writer. Blogger. Speaker. Traveler. Abolitionist. Artist. Musician. Singer/Songwriter. Coffee Fanatic. (wannabe) Photographer. President of LFI Co Founder of The Harbor Project.

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