Yesterday, I read a bit of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. So much spoke to me, resonated deep. I had to share.

Didn’t God’s heart often break? Didn’t He grieve and rage and feel rejection (Genesis 6:6; Exodus 4:14)? I read it in the pages of Scripture, lines of His own story, the Joy-God owning His own grief, so…I won’t pretend I don’t feel any pain.

In the end, it’s the numbness that kills you.

I will be real and I will feel life…enter the muddy waters of the emotions.

True lament is the bold faith that trusts Perfect Love enough to feel and cry authentic.

True saints know that the place where all the joy comes from is far deeper than that of feelings; joy comes from the place of the very presence of God. Joy is God and God is joy and joy doesn’t negate all other emotions—joy transcends all other emotions.

…the secret of joy’s flame: Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control…let go of my own way, let go of my own fears.

Jesus calls me to surrender and there’s nothing like releasing fears and falling into peace. It terrifies, true. But it exhilarates. This, this is what I’ve always wanted and never knew: this utter trust, this enlivening fall of surrender into the safe hands.

This is the way a body and a mouth say thank you: Thy will be done. This is the way the self dies, falls into the arms of Love.

…this is all I can think: I am falling in love. Falling into being fully alive.

Today, someone tells me I look inexplicably different, great. She wants to know what I did differently. I think back to these words and I think I know the answer. I think it’s surrender, trust. I think it’s gratitude, peace. I think it’s love, life.

I think it’s joy.

I know it’s Him.

Apparently, it shows.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
Then you will look and be radiant, 
    your heart will throb and swell with joy”
~ Isaiah 60:1, 5a (emphasis added)