As I got off the phone with a friend tonight at the end of two hour long conversation, “joy” was the word that came to mind.
It seemed like a weird word since many of the things we talked about were not things I would tend to put in the category of “joyful.” But joy is often the emotion I feel after our conversations.
We get to talk about once a week and end up often sharing some of the hardest parts of life. We share good things about life and celebrate well together when those come along, but we’re also not afraid to go deep.
When we ask “how was your day” we expect to hear “horrible” if that was the truth. We confess the areas where sin and Satan trip us up. We cry and laugh together. We’re not afraid to call each other out and even have learned the value of bringing it up when one of us has done something that hurt the other.
Again, I was trying to process why “joy” is the word that comes to mind even when conversation topics are often so deep and hard. But I think it’s because of safety in that vulnerable place.
It is a true gift to be deeply known by someone and loved and valued in that space. For someone to see ALL your mess and mistakes and yet desire your good and cheer for you as you sort through it all, is a blessing.
Joy comes when we are known and loved.
Joy overwhelms when a friend draws near.
Joy brings peace and contentment when one we love can remind us things about ourselves that we have forgotten.
Vulnerability is hard and in many places it can be risky. But if we can find safe places to be our truest selves I think we may also be our most joyful selves.