BY KATIE WENCLEWICZ, BLOGGER & GRACE ATTENDER
While we have been learning so many great tips and hearing great messages throughout the series, #TheStruggleisReal, I believe that this past week was so impactful. First things first, how many of us would consider ourselves “joyful” people?
When Tim was talking about his test, I was cracking up. While I’ve personally taken that specific test many moons ago, we were the exact opposite. While I may not be able to explain very complicated subjects into something very concise, I’m considered one of the most joyful people around.
I always find myself saying, “I’m so happy,” or describing different states of my life as “happy.” It wasn’t until before the series that I stopped saying “happy” and started saying “joy.” I think we all can agree that being happy is a feeling, whereas having joy is something that is stagnant emotion in your life.
One of my favorite fruits of the spirit is joy because it’s this ever-longing thing that we all strive for and want in our lives. I mean, who doesn’t want to be around someone that brings joy to our lives? My dad always told me, “Who you hang out with is a reflection of who you are,” so I always either 1. Tried to be the joyful one or 2. Sought out joyful people.
I loved when Tim brought up the word Kara and how we can truly find it in two ways:
Being in healthy relationships with other people
Having inner peace
I know in the past I have covered the importance of Life Groups, but there is nothing more that brings me Kara than being around my friends and especially my family. When my fiance and I joined Grace, we were seeking for a church family. I immediately wanted to get involved in any way possible. I’m a people person and since I was living away from home, I was yearning for new friends that went to the same church and that Zach and I could make together.
When we first joined Grace Groups, we were put into a large group that included people from every walk of life. Unfortunately, with different calendars, we couldn’t always meet and that group fizzled quickly. Instead of complaining or crying, I urged to do Group Connect again and that changed our lives.
Through our second group, Zach and I have experienced Kara together. Just about every Sunday we get together and share life together with our group. While we do have fun by playing games and having yummy dinners, we also share tears and real life issues. Whether it is something we are personally battling individually or as a couple – we are a group that truly listens, loves, and supports each other.
If you aren’t in a Grace Group or didn't have a good experience the first time, I hope you reconsider joining one. There is something refreshing and uplifting about being around a group of individuals who are around your age and in similar stages of life. The best part of group is that they truly become the people you look forward to doing stuff with.
Think about this: What brings you joy? Maybe you are already apart of a Grace Group or maybe you enjoy painting sunsets. Whatever it is – pursue all avenues of your gifts and enjoyments.
When we wrap up this entire series, I hope you realize that eating well, exercising, and finding joy are three things that will help you make the biggest kingdom impact. When we experience the little joys in life and purse the unique things that find us joy – we are in our best soul shape.
So fill yourself with joy because once you do, you’ll find a new strength in serving the kingdom of God!