Overwhelmed by Joy

July 16, 2012

In college, I used to meet up with about ten other girls once a week to talk, pray, and study the Bible together.  They were a beautiful group of women, and I’ll tell you more about them another time.

At the beginning of our evenings together, after our initial snacking and chatting was done, we’d take turns saying what was happening in our lives.  If you’ve ever been in a Bible study or community group, you know what this looks like.  In my current small group, we call it “highs and lows”, where we each say something good that’s happening, and then something we feel like we need prayer or support for.

This one particular night, we were doing that.  Girls were talking about feeling stressed about their exams, about new friends they were making, about how their relationships with their boyfriends were going.  And as each one talked, I could feel a knot in my chest growing tighter and tighter.  I was overwhelmed and tired.  I had only just met Simon a few months earlier, and he was 3,000 miles away.  I was doing really badly in my biology class.  I was struggling with my roommates.  I couldn’t wait to spew all this out to my friends, so that they could pray and ask God to help me.

Finally, it was my turn.  But when I opened my mouth to speak, what came out wasn’t a string of worries and prayer requests.  It was a deep, rolling laughter that bubbled up from somewhere in the pit of my stomach.  You probably think it sounds like hysteria, and that’s likely what some of them were thinking, too.  But in the middle of the laughter,  I had the greatest sense of peace.  And all I could manage to mutter was, “He loves us.”

In the midst of all of my worries, I was overwhelmed by the joy I hadn’t yet asked for.

Today, I’m praying the same for you.

24 responses to “Overwhelmed by Joy”

  1. Kristen says:

    thank you for sharing, Faith. Short, meaningful and beautiful.

  2. Franco says:

    That’s beautifully written. Thank you.

  3. Rod Arters says:

    Thanks for sharing! Good stuff!

  4. Joneske says:

    Very nice. Thanks!

  5. Patsy says:

    This made me smile 🙂 Thanks!

  6. that is so encouraging and gave me goosebumps 🙂 thanks.

  7. Kari Andrews says:

    This is so beautiful.

  8. Love this!! Yes, He does love us and loves for us to laugh!!! : )

  9. hi faith! i’ve nominated you to participate in this little photo challenge since you take such amazing photos! i would love to see what you come up with 🙂 xo, tobi
    http://huntingforbliss.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/seven-super-shots/

  10. We are all so different. When I am overwhelmed with joy; I often get tears in my eyes. At least with laughter – you don’t smudge your makeup! I’ll take God’s love in any form it arrives.

  11. Jess Witkins says:

    I’m someone who has had mixed emotions and experiences about bible studies, but I have experienced and appreciated the feeling you discuss in them. I think it’s so crucial for women (and men too) to have a support network, a group of people that will listen and hear you out without judgement and be there for you. It’s a rare find really. That in and of itself is a pure joy I wish for everyone. It took me awhile to find it, and now they’re my best friends. I’m even officiating the marriage for one of them next month!

  12. Rin says:

    It’s hard to not bring a shopping list of whine to God even when life is really hard. I’m glad god put joy in your heart that day. It’s a good prayer. xx

  13. Steve says:

    Great post Faith. It seems to me that the more I lean on Him the more I recognize His presence in my life.

  14. Really appreciate your sharing this.

  15. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Thank you Faith. I love your blog x

  17. Hello Faith…..I really appreciate this blog as you know. I feel like I am just beginning this journey, and likewise, communicating through blogs and getting to know this electronic world of connection. You have clearly been at this for awhile, and I was wondering if you have any advice for getting people interested in your blog? I have lots to learn and share, and I’m eager to grow this online community, and thought you might have some great ideas I could try.

  18. Matthew Tapp says:

    I dig this so much. Nothing like the joy of the LORD in the midst of life.

  19. Beautifully written. Not much needs to be said when we are overwhelmed with joy through Him and sometimes laughter and smiling will do instead. Thank you for this.

  20. emilyangell says:

    I wish I remember more about those sessions. This is so good! I’m sure we all laughed with you. Xoxox

  21. Just what I needed to read, thanks!

  22. raynebair says:

    I could really use a group like that. It sounds wonderful and fulfilling. I’m glad you were able to find the joy in the midst of all the stress and worry.

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